Saturday, June 29, 2013

Fresh Sheet – June 29, 2013

Butterflies in all the colors of the rainbow will be showing-off their wings with pride this weekend! Stop in and visit.


70 - Papilio palinurus (Banded Peacock)
08 - Papilio rumanzovia (Crimson Swallowtail)
80 - Papilio lowii (Sunset Swallowtail)
50 - Idea leuconoe (Paper Kite)
04 - Doleschalia bisaltide (Autumn Leaf)
16 - Graphium agamemnon (Tailed Jay)
07 - Pachliopta kotzeboea (Pink Rose)
80 - Parthenos sylvia philippensis (The Clipper)
40 - Hypolimnas bolina (Blue moon)
11 - Cethosia biblis (Red Lacewing)

Total = 366

“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!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Fresh Sheet – June 22, 2013

In addition to a bevy of Birdwing butterflies this week, we have some amazingly beautiful moths hanging in our Emerging Window: Orizaba Silkmoths and African Moon Moths. Come see. You won’t want to miss them!

El Salvador

10 - Archeoprepona demophoon (Hubner’s Prepona)
25 - Battus belus (Belus Swallowtail)
25 - Caligo memnon (Owl Butterfly)
10 - Eurytides branchus (Dual-spotted Swallowtail)
15 - Heliconius hecale (Tiger Longwing)
10 - Heliconius hortense (Mountain Longwing)
20 - Heliconius ismenius (Ismenius Longwing)
20 - Lycorea cleobaea (Large Tiger)
10 - Morpho peleides (Blue Morpho)
20 - Morpho polyphemus (White Morpho)
25 - Myscelia ethusa (Royal Blue Butterfly)
10 - Papilio androgeus (Queen Page)
20 - Papilio garamas (Magnificent Swallowtail)
10 - Papilio torquatus (Band-gapped Swallowtail)
20 - Archeoprepona demophon (One-spotted Prepona)
15 - Rothschildia orizaba (Orizaba Silkmoth)
25 - Tithorea harmonia (Harmonia Tigerwing)

Total = 290


10 - Argema mimosa (African Moon Moth)
05 - Cethosia biblis (Red Lacewing)
40 - Cethosia cyane (Leopard Lacewing)
10 - Charaxes cithaeron (Blue-spotted Charaxes)
10 - Charaxes varanes (Pearl Charexes)
05 - Doleschalia bisaltide (Autumn Leaf)
05 - Euploea core (Common Crow)
05 - Graphium agamemnon (Tailed Jay)
15 - Hypolimnas bolina (Blue moon)
10 - Idea leuconoe (Paper Kite)
05 - Ornithoptera priamus (New Guinea Birdwing)
30 - Papilio dardanus (Mocker Swallowtail)
10 - Papilio demodocus (Orchard Swallowtail)
20 - Papilio lowii (Sunset Swallowtail)
10 - Papilio nireus (Blue-banded Swallowtail)
10 - Papilio ophidicephalus (Emperor Swallowtail)
05 - Papilio palinurus (Banded Peacock)
05 - Papilio polytes (Polite Swallowtail)
10 - Parthenos sylvia lilacinus (Blue Clipper)
10 - Parthenos sylvia philippensis (The Clipper)
05 - Parthenos sylvia violaceae (Violet Clipper)
06 - Tirumala limniace (Blue Tiger)
05 - Troides rhadamantus plateni (Platen’s Birdwing)
10 - Vindula dejone (The Cruiser)

Total =256

Grand Total = 546

“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!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Birdwing Jackpot

Troides rhadamantus, the Golden Birdwing is one of the most recent species added to our Tropical Butterfly House permit. The pupae are expensive but the butterflies are flashy and Life Sciences Manager, Sarah Moore feels that buying five or six of them a year brightens up the place.

Little did she expect Pacific Science Center would someday hit the Birdwing Jackpot as we did earlier this week!

Because PSC holds permits for a variety of insects, we are occasionally contacted when mis-sent bugs need a good home. This was the case when Sarah got a call from the Los Angeles International Airport Department of Fish and Wildlife. LAX had confiscated a shipment of 120 Birdwing butterfly pupae. These spectacular butterflies were unintentionally being shipped to a facility that did not have a permit to fly them.

Sometimes agencies have to enforce rules but want to be flexible. This was such a case. The Birdwing pupae could not be sent back to the original destination. Sending them back to their place of origin, the Philippines, would essentially doom them to days of transit, during which they most likely would perish.

Not wanting to see these lovely creatures destroyed, the agent responsible for them started calling around for exhibits that were allowed to have them. They are on our permit and we were delighted to accept the pupae. After a little paperwork, they arrived by FedEx the next day.

Because time had already been lost, some of the pupae had begun to emerge before we got them. We placed some of the more fragile pupae in “hospitals,” small, netted containers that can still give them a chance to emerge. But most, about 2/3 of them, are alive, healthy, viable – and huge. We look forward to seeing these gigantic, colorful, bold butterflies gracing our butterfly house.

Best of all, these butterflies are people friendly. So for the next few weeks, be sure to bring your camera when you visit our Tropical Butterfly House. The Birdwings will be putting on a show!

Read more!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Fresh Sheet – June 15, 2013

This is the last weekend of the 2013 Seattle Science Festival. Take advantage of some of the most creative scientific minds in the Northwest by attending a Signature Program or come visit our Tropical Butterfly House.

Costa Rica

08 - Archeoprepona demophon (One-spotted Prepona)
12 - ≤em>Brassolis isthmia (Small-spotted Owl)
24 - Caligo eurilochus (Forest Giant Owl)
08 - Caligo memnon (Owl Butterfly)
67 - Catonephele numilia (Numilia)
12 - Eueiudes isabella (Isabella’s Longwing)
36 - Greta oto (Glasswing)
67 - Heliconius doris (Doris Longwing)
102 - Heliconius hecale (Tiger Longwing)
98 - Heraclides anchisiades (Ruby-spotted Swallowtail)
35 - Morpho peleides (Blue Morpho)
29 - Myscelia cyaniris (Blue Wave Butterfly)
06 - Papilio thoas (Thoas Swallowtail)

Total = 504

“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!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Fresh Sheet – June 8, 2013

The Seattle Science Festival continues today at Seattle Center with activities for everyone. Join the fun at the Science Expo, then stop by our Tropical Butterfly House and see what’s up!


10 - Battus polydamas (Polydamus Swallowtail)
07 - Heraclides thoas (Thoas Swallowtail)
20 - Heraclides anchisiades (Ruby-spotted Swallowtail)
07 - Heliconius melpomene (Postman)
45 - Dryas iulia (Julia Longwing)
10 - Catonephele orites (Orange-banded Shoemaker)
60 - Anartia amathea (Scarlet Peacock)
05 - Archeoprepona demophoon (Hubner’s Prepona)
06 - Hypna clytemnestra (Silver-studded Leafwing)
30 - Caligo memnon (Owl Butterfly)
60 - Mechanitis polymnia (Polymnia Tigerwing)
10 - Tithorea harmonia (Harmonia Tigerwing)

Total = 270

El Salvador

20 - Archeoprepona demophon (One-spotted Prepona)
15 - Archeoprepona demophoon (Hubner’s Prepona)
25 - Caligo memnon (Owl Butterfly)
25 - Catonephele numilia (Numilia)
25 - Consul fabius (Tiger Leafwing)
10 - Eurytides branchus (Dual-spotted Swallowtail)
10 - Eurytides thymbraeuss (White-crested Swallowtail)
12 - Heliconius charitonius (Zebra Longwing)
10 - Heliconius hecale (Tiger Longwing)
12 - Heliconius ismenius (Ismenius Longwing)
20 - Lycorea cleobaea (Large Tiger)
25 - Morpho polyphemus (White Morpho)
10 - Myscelia cyaniris (Blue Wave Butterfly)
30 - Myscelia ethusa (Royal Blue Butterfly)
25 - Papilio androgeus (Queen Page)
10 - Papilio garamas (Magnificent Swallowtail)
20 - Papilio torquatus (Band-gapped Swallowtail)
04 - Parides arcas (Arcas Cattleheart)
10 - Parides photinus (Queen of Hearts)
20 - Tithorea harmonia (Harmonia Tigerwing)

Total = 338

Grand Total = 608

“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!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Bees Get a New Home

As you walk by it may look much like business as usual. But for those of us working with Pacific Science Center’s observation bee hive, some huge improvements have just been made.

Our observation hive has been in use for thirteen years, and has held up remarkably well. But some of the acrylic pieces started showing signs of wear, and a few were irreparably broken. When Life Sciences Manager Sarah Moore put in a work request to fix a few parts, she little knew neither how extensive the repairs would be nor how much easier they would make everyone’s life. Furthermore, Sarah didn’t even consider that the repairs would bring out new behaviors in the bees.

The hive has four “doors” between the inner part of the hive where the honey comb is displayed, and the running board below, which leads to a tube out to the outdoors. The bees spend most of their time either flying and collecting food outside, or up on the combs. But connecting these two areas is critical. The doorways must be big enough for bees to feel comfortable using them, too small to be drafty and of course, the doors must be secure so that no bee gets out into the exhibit area!

A full hive of honey can weigh upward of sixty pounds, and much of that weight rests on the frame below, including the structure the doors are built into. Over time, the plastic in this part of the structure cracked and finally broke.

Exhibit Developer Craig Matsuda was tasked with repairing these broken fixtures. Sarah imagined this would be a fairly specific set of repairs, but Craig recognized that due to the age of the plastic, rebuilding the whole structure made more sense than fixing only the broken parts. Craig thought hard about how to make the bees happy, and added some innovations.

So in addition to new doors, the bees got new porches, a new feeder box, and best of all, new windows!

The area below the hive is a sort of porch – a transitional space between the interior and the outside. Like a porch in a house, it helps keep out drafts and pests. Also like many porches, it accumulates debris. Craig had the brilliant idea of adding four little pluggable holes to use as cleanouts. We can put the hose of a vacuum cleaner into these spaces and remove crumbs of wax, deceased bees and anything else that shouldn’t be in a hive.

The new feeder space holds a pint mason jar, which can be filled with honey or sugar water to feed bees over the winter. Right now they should be getting most of their food from flowers outside.

For many years, the exhibit has featured glass panes covering the hive. Glass has the advantage of being very clear and very scratch resistant. A second Plexiglas sheet protected the glass pane, so broken glass (and angry bees) were never a real concern. But glass is very heavy. And we used a metal frame to clamp the panes of glass onto the hive.

Craig wanted to try scratch resistant Plexiglas instead of glass. Sarah had some concerns. Plexiglas can generate static electricity, which bees would probably hate. It also fogs up easily. But the benefits are compelling.

Not only is it shatterproof and lightweight, but it could be attached to the hive with screws, eliminating ten or fifteen pounds of metal.

This year for the first time, lifting the frame of bees and sliding it into place was easy!

Now that the bees are in their new space, they are doing some behaviors we have not seen before. They are building all the way up to the top of the enclosure. In the past, they ignored the ceiling area. They are also spending more time in their porches, potentially building honeycomb in a new area. The Plexiglas is a much better insulator than the old glass windows, so the hive is better at retaining heat which will help their brood mature well. And the new hive transmits sound really well. Put your ear down near the porch and you can hear the sounds of the bees buzzing. It’s exciting - and a bit intimidating.

Looking for the queen? Here’s how to find her:

Welcome to your new home, bees. While observation hives are a tricky structure to deal with, we hope these new changes make it a more comfortable home for you and a great learning opportunity for our visitors!
Read more!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Fresh Sheet – June 1, 2013

Over four hundred more pupae from the Philippines are preparing themselves to fly in our Tropical Butterfly House. Stop by and watch them emerge!

20 - Papilio palinurus (Banded Peacock)
36 - Papilio rumanzovia (Crimson Swallowtail)
60 - Papilio lowii (Sunset Swallowtail)
80 - Idea leuconoe (Paper Kite)
16 - Doleschalia bisaltide (Autumn Leaf)
20 - Graphium agamemnon (Tailed Jay)
40 - Pachliopta kotzeboea (Pink Rose)
80 - Parthenos sylvia philippensis (The Clipper)
40 - Hypolimnas bolina (Blue moon)
20 - Ideopsis juventa (Wood Nymph)

Total = 412

“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!