Saturday, December 31, 2011

Fresh Sheet – December 31, 2011

The last pupae shipment of the year has arrived from Costa Rica with 562 specimens including some of the largest and some of the smallest butterflies we ever get.

Costa Rica

08 - Biblis hyperia (Red Rim)
20 - Caligo atreus (Yellow-Edged Giant-Owl)
06 - Caligo eurilochus (Forest Giant Owl)
05 - Caligo memnon (Owl Butterfly)
30 - Catonephele numilia (Numilia)
40 - Danaus plexippus (The Monarch)
23 - Dryas iulia (Julia Longwing)
04 - Eryphanis polyxena (Purple Mort Bleu Owl)
10 - Eueudes isabella (Isabella’s Longwing)
14 - Greta oto (Glasswing)
11 - Hamadryas amphinome (Red Calico)
22 - Heliconius charitonius (Zebra Longwing)
18 - Heliconius cydno (Cydno Longwing)
30 - Heliconius doris (Doris Longwing)
11 - Heliconius erato (Small Postman)
33 - Heliconius hecale (Tiger Longwing)
31 - Heliconius ismenius (Ismenius Longwing)
13 - Heliconius melpomene (Postman)
19 - Heraclides anchisiades (Ruby-spotted Swallowtail)
22 - Hypna clytemnestra (Silver-studded Leafwing)
04 - Morpho amathonte (Amathonte's Morpho,)
38 - Morpho peleides (Blue Morpho)
14 - Myselia cyaniris (Blue Wave Butterfly)
08 - Opsiphanes quiteria (Scalloped Owl)
13 - Papilio polyxenes (Black Swallowtail)
20 - Parides iphidamas (Transandean Cattleheart)
19 - Philaethria dido (Scarce Bamboo Page)
31 - Phoebis philea (Orange Barred Sulfur)
04 - Prepona omphale (Blue Belly-Button)
16 - Siproeta epaphus (Rusty-tipped Page)
25 - Siproeta stelenes (Malachite)

Total = 562

Read more!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Happy Thirteenth Birthday!!

Today the Tropical Butterfly House celebrates its thirteenth year. As in the past, Animal Care staff has created a special fruitcake for the butterflies. Maida and Discovery Corp Intern, Natrice concocted the cool "cake" pictured above.

This year in an attempt to make the Butterfly House birthday a green event, we appealed to PSC staff for their "unwanted fruits - things that are no longer ideal for human consumption" but still edible to butterflies. The response was very successful.

So take a break from shopping today and visit the Tropical Butterfly House. You just might find a special guest!

Read more!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Fresh Sheet – December 24, 2011

This week’s shipments of pupae contain three species that send Animal Care staff to their taxonomy books: Archaeoprepona demophon, Archaeoprepona demophoon, and Prepona omphale . Come visit us and see if you can spot the differences!

And don’t forget to wish the Tropical Butterfly House “Happy Birthday” on December 26th. We’ll be open all day.

El Salvador

10 - Archaeoprepona demophoon (Hübner’s Prepona)
25 - Battus belus (Belus Swallowtail)
12 - Caligo memnon (Owl Butterfly)
25 - Catonephele numilia (Numilia)
20 - Consul fabius (Tiger Leafwing)
12 - Heliconius charitonius (Zebra Longwing)
20 - Heliconius erato (Small Postman)
20 - Heliconius hecale (Tiger Longwing)
10 - Heliconius hortense (Mountain Longwing)
25 - Heliconius ismenius (Ismenius Longwing)
20 - Lycorea cleobaea (Large Tiger)
25 - Morpho peleides (Blue Morpho)
40 - Morpho polyphemus (White Morpho)
15 - Myselia cyaniris (Blue Wave Butterfly)
25 - Myscelia ethusa (Royal Blue Butterfly)
15 - Papilio torquatus (Band-gapped Swallowtail)
25 - Prepona omphale (Blue Belly-Button)
25 - Tithorea harmonia (Harmonia Tigerwing)

Total = 369


20 - Anartia amathea (Scarlet Peacock)
10 - Archaeoprepona demophon (One-spotted Prepona)
05 - Battus polydamas (Polydamus Swallowtail)
40 - Caligo memnon (Owl Butterfly)
40 - Catonephele orites (Orange-banded shoemaker)
24 - Dryas iulia (Julia Longwing)
06 - Hamadryas feronia (Variable Calico)
15 - Heliconius erato (Small Postman)
05 - Heliconius hecale (Tiger Longwing)
15 - Heliconius melpomene (Postman)
40 - Heraclides anchisiades (Ruby-spotted Swallowtail)
40 - Heraclides thoas (Thoas Swallowtail)
05 - Mechanitis polymnia (Polymnia Tigerwing)
05 - Parides sesostris (Emerald-patched Cattleheart)

Total = 270

Grand Total = 639

“Fresh Sheet” is our weekly shipment report of pupae on display in the emerging window. Visit Pacific Science Center’s Tropical Butterfly House and meet our newest residents.

Read more!

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Festivus Miracle!

It’s December 19th, and a favorite holiday among naked mole-rats is quickly approaching. That’s right, it’s almost Festivus!

As we shared in this blog story last year, the naked mole-rats presumably celebrate Festivus on the 23rd of December.

They observe the holiday with Feats of Strength,

Airing of Grievances,

and even a naked mole-rat-sized Festivus Pole.

This year, there is even a Festivus miracle! One of our two queens, Galinda, gave birth to a new litter of pups on Sunday night. As with other Festivus miracles, this is something that is easily explainable. Galinda has about five litters a year! This is pretty normal for her! Yet it is also something we anticipate with excitement and a little concern. The health of our queen is key to maintaining a healthy colony, and delivering pups is one of the most risky times for a mole-rat. Each successfully delivered litter truly is a moment to appreciate

With all naked mole-rat litters, there is a very high rate of mortality among the pups. The first few weeks of life for a baby naked mole-rat are extremely difficult. However, we are excited to see babies this time of year and hope for the best. We know from experience and communication with other facilities that there is no added care we can do to help the babies along. By keeping the colony and its queen healthy, we have done our part in the process and must give the colony a few quiet days to establish a bond with the pups. It is up to them now.

Read more!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Fresh Sheet – December 17, 2011

“Fresh Sheet” is our weekly shipment report of pupae on display in the emerging window. Visit Pacific Science Center’s Tropical Butterfly House and meet our newest residents.


67 - Papilio rumanzovia (Crimson Swallowtail)
100 - Papilio lowii (Sunset Swallowtail)
03 - Papilio palinurus (Banded Peacock)
10 - Idea leuconoe (Paper Kite)
80 - Doleschalia bisaltide (Autumn Leaf)
80 - Parthenos sylvia philippensis (The Clipper)
30 - Papilio polytes (Polite Swallowtail)
100 - Hypolimnas bolina (Blue moon)

Total = 470

Read more!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Beautiful Birdwings

Last year, Life Sciences Volunteer Terry Pagos went to Colorado and visited one of our pupae suppliers, Rich Cowan, at LPS LLC (formerly London Pupae Supply). This import facility handles most butterfly pupae brought into the USA, sorting them for quality before sending them onto their final destinations. While there, Terry became fascinated with the beautiful birdwing butterflies. Too bad for Terry. Pacific Science Center did not have this species on its permit at the time.

It took many long months and a very fussy application before we were given USDA permission to fly birdwing butterflies, but at long last, they are arriving.

Last week in our LPS shipment, we received five pupae of the species, Ornithoptera priamus. These huge relatives of the more familiar swallowtail butterflies are found in parts of Australia, New Guinea, and Southeast Asia. They are not only large, but striking. Their wings are brilliant green and yellow on a black background. They also have unusual, bright yellow abdomens, and a single deep red spot on each side of the thorax.

Best of all, they are not at all shy. Because their larvae feed on the toxic plants of the Aristolochia family, these butterflies taste bad to predators, and they seem to know it. Their flight is slow and relaxed. They calmly feed mere inches from the fascinated viewer. The birdwing has an astounding wingspan of 18 cm, over 7 inches! We speak the truth when we say, this butterfly can only be appreciated in person.

The birdwings will take a few weeks to emerge, so we can’t predict exactly when they will be out for viewing, but we guarantee when you see them you will be impressed. Visiting gaudy, heat-loving butterflies in a fragrant, warm habitat is a great way to usher in the darkest days of the year. Stop by and visit!

Read more!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Fresh Sheet – December 10, 2011

The Tropical Butterfly House welcomes an exciting new butterfly species to our garden this week. Can you spot it on the lists below? Hint: This very large lepidoptera originally comes from the world’s second largest island.

Stay tuned. We’ll make a formal introduction soon.


20 - Argema mimosa (African Moon Moth)
02 - Athyma perius (Common Sergeant)
10 - Catopsilia pyranthe (Mottled Emigrant)
08 - Catopsilia scylla (Orange Emigrant)
10 - Cethosia cyane (Leopard Lacewing)
11 - Chilasa clytia (Common Mime)
10 - Doleschalia bisaltide (Autumn Leaf)
10 - Euploea core (Common Crow)
40 - Hypolimnas bolina (Blue moon)
05 - Ornithoptera priamus (New Guinea Birdwing)
40 - Papilio constantinus (Constantines's Swallowtail)
10 - Papilio demodocus (Orchard Swallowtail)
10 - Papilio lowii (Sunset Swallowtail)
10 - Papilio memnon (Great Memnon)
40 - Papilio nireus (Blue-banded Swallowtail)
15 - Papilio ophidicephalus (Emperor Swallowtail)
15 - Papilio polytes (Polite Swallowtail)
17 - Tirumala limniace (Blue Tiger)

Total = 273

El Salvador

08 - Archeoprepona demophon (One-spotted Prepona)
16 - Battus belus (Belus Swallowtail)
10 - Caligo memnon (Owl Butterfly)
16 - Catonephele numilia (Numilia)
16 - Consul fabius (Tiger Leafwing)
10 - Eueudes isabella (Isabella’s Longwing)
09 - Heliconius erato (Small Postman)
19 - Heliconius hecale (Tiger Longwing)
10 - Heliconius hortense (Mountain Longwing)
08 - Heliconius ismenius (Ismenius Longwing)
30 - Morpho peleides (Blue Morpho)
30 - Morpho polyphemus (White Morpho)
10 - Myselia cyaniris (Blue Wave Butterfly)
25 - Myscelia ethusa (Royal Blue Butterfly)
10 - Papilio erostratus (Dusky Swallowtail)
30 - Papilio torquatus (Band-gapped Swallowtail)
30 - Parides montezuma (Montezuma Cattleheart)
16 - Prepona demophon (One-spotted Prepona)
25 - Prepona omphale (Blue Belly-Button)
12 - Tithorea harmonia (Harmonia Tigerwing)

Total = 340

Grand Total = 613

“Fresh Sheet” is our weekly shipment report of pupae on display in the emerging window. Visit Pacific Science Center’s Tropical Butterfly House and meet our newest residents.

Read more!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Our New Arachnid

Meet the newest resident of Pacific Science Center’s Insect Village – an African Amblypigid, Daman varigatus.

Also known as the whip scorpion, tailless whip scorpion, Tanzanian whip scorpion, cave spider, cave scorpion, amblypygid, or amblypygyd, our guy is not as scary as the names suggest. Amblypigids do not bite, sting, or pinch! Still, his ferocious appearance has made him famous. An amblypigid performed in the movie “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” and yet another was an unusual meal on television’s “Fear Factor.”

Notice that unlike other arachnids, whip spiders only have six legs. One set of legs adapted into long feelers that allow the animal to sense their surroundings and find prey.

When you visit our African amblypigid exhibit, you may have to hunt around before spotting him. Perhaps he’ll be hiding in his cave?

Read more!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Fresh Sheet – December 2, 2011

With this week’s pupae shipment from Costa Rica, we received the above photo and the following note:

Today Ily made our ¨pasito.¨ It is in the entrance to our facilities. I think she really enjoys making it! It is very traditional to set the ¨pasito¨ at home or work.

Paola Vargas Salas
Costa Rica Entomological Supply

20 - Archeoprepona demophon (One-spotted Prepona)
02 - Battus polydamas (Polydamus Swallowtail)
27 - Catonephele numilia (Numilia)
34 - Danaus plexippus (The Monarch)
07 - Dryas iulia (Julia Longwing)
16 - Eryphanis polyxena (Purple Mort Bleu Owl)
17 - Greta oto (Glasswing)
49 - Hamadryas feronia (Variable Calico)
26 - Heliconius charitonius (Zebra Longwing)
07 - Heliconius cydno (Cydno Longwing)
64 - Heliconius doris (Doris Longwing)
57 - Heliconius ismenius (Ismenius Longwing)
24 - Heliconius melpomene (Postman)
03 - Heraclides anchisiades (Ruby-spotted Swallowtail)
33 - Hypna clytemnestra (Silver-studded Leafwing)
42 - Morpho peleides (Blue Morpho)
20 - Myselia cyaniris (Blue Wave Butterfly)
07 - Parides iphidamas (Transandean Cattleheart)
24 - Siproeta stelenes (Malachite)

Total = 479

“Fresh Sheet” is our weekly shipment report of pupae on display in the emerging window. Visit Pacific Science Center’s Tropical Butterfly House and meet our newest residents.

Read more!