Saturday, November 22, 2014

Fresh Sheet – November 22, 2014

What’s going on here? A recent pupae shipment from Costa Rica contained an unusual looking Heliconius melpomene (left) emerging next to a typical H. melpomene (right). Is this a pigment error or a species variation? Discuss.

Neotropical Insects NV

25 - Battus polydamas (Polydamus Swallowtail)
10 - Heraclides thoas (Thoas Swallowtail)
20 - Heliconius melpomene (Postman)
25 - Dryas iulia (Julia Longwing)
25 - Anartia amathea (Scarlet Peacock)
10 - Biblis hyperia (Red Rim)
25 - Caligo memnon (Owl Butterfly)
25 - Eryphanis polyxena (Purple Mort Bleu Owl)
25 - Morpho achilles (Blue-banded Morpho,)
10 - Tithorea harmonia (Harmonia Tigerwing)

Total = 200

Bioproductores de El Salvador

17 - Battus belus (Belus Swallowtail)
21 - Caligo memnon (Owl Butterfly)
10 - Catonephele numilia (Numilia)
10 - Consul fabius (Tiger Leafwing)
06 - Heliconius erato (Small Postman)
10 - Heliconius hecale (Tiger Longwing)
10 - Heliconius hortense (Mountain Longwing)
10 - Heliconius ismenius (Ismenius Longwing)
10 - Lycorea cleobaea (Large Tiger)
10 - Memphis nobilis (Noble Leafwing)
20 - Morpho peleides (Blue Morpho)
05 - Morpho polyphemus (White Morpho)
27 - Myscelia ethusa (Royal Blue Butterfly)
20 - Papilio erostratus (Dusky Swallowtail)
12 - Prepona omphale (Blue Belly-Button)

Total = 198

Grand Total = 398

“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, November 15, 2014

Fresh Sheet – November 15, 2014

This week’s shipment of pupae includes Cruisers, Clippers, Crows, and Kites in addition to a colorful array of potential butterflies! Come, check them out.

Penang Butterfly Farm, Malaysia

20 - Catopsilia scylla (Orange Emigrant)
60 - Cethosia cyane (Leopard Lacewing)
03 - Cethosia hypsea (Malay Lacewing)
05 - Chilasa clytia (Common Mime)
10 - Danaus vulgaris (Blue Glassy Tiger)
12 - Euploea mulciber (Striped Blue Crow)
50 - Idea leuconoe (Paper Kite)
20 - Papilio memnon (Great Memnon)
70 - Parthenos sylvia (The Clipper)
18 - Precis atlites (Gray Pansy)
62 - Vindula dejone (The Cruiser)

Total = 330

“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, November 13, 2014

Our Regal Regina

SPIDERS! The word alone might cause some people to stop reading this post. Arachnophobia, the fear of spiders, is one of the top ten most common phobias in the world.

Today we would like to introduce you to one of the spiders at Pacific Science Center: our currently off-exhibit regal jumping spider (Phidippus regius), Regina.

Why do we keep our jumping spider off exhibit? Is it because she’s too terrifying for the general public to witness?!?! No! We keep Regina off-exhibit because she’s tiny, spends most of her time hiding in a silk tent, and is, quite frankly, not the most exciting exhibit animal. She was once on exhibit but not often visible in her enclosure. We replaced her with a very active, very visible, and very charismatic giant centipede.

In need of a new home, we moved Regina to a small container that sits in our Animal Care office. Since her move, we have grown even fonder of our jumping spider and Regina has become something of a mascot for the staff. It is not rare to come into the Animal Care office to see one of the caretakers crouched over her tiny home, with a camera focused in for a picture.

So what is it that makes her so fun to look at? Is it her iridescent chelicera? The beautiful markings on her abdomen? Her eight prominent eyes? Regina is arguably just as beautiful as the butterflies in our Tropical Butterfly House, in her own way. Her common name is, after all, “Regal Jumping Spider.”

Perhaps it is the way she eats her mealworms and crickets (which are sometimes just as big as she is) with gusto? Or the way she goes on tiny adventures around her enclosure, finding the best place to silk up camp? Or the way that when she falls asleep on the wall of her home her abdomen droops to one side ever so slightly, until a vibration wakens and alerts her?

Ultimately, it is hard to say what makes her so special, but she has earned the title of “gateway spider” because even people with arachnophobia can’t help but use the word “cute” to describe her. Our Regina is from the Southeastern United States, but there are native jumping spiders such as Phiddipus audax that you can keep an eye out for. They are smaller and have darker coloring, but have similar body shapes and iridescent chelicera. They love to hang out in orchards and blackberry bramble.

We are currently brainstorming solutions to get Regina back on exhibit in a space where she is easily visible, but until then enjoy her cuteness. And stay tuned!

Read more!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Fresh Sheet – November 8, 2014

It’s another exciting week at Pacific Science Center: Life Sciences Research Weekend, Ripley’s Believe It or Not®, Interstellar: The IMAX Experience in 70mm Film, and almost three hundred butterflies from El Salvador. Can you think of a better way to spend a rainy day?

Bioproductores de El Salvador

14 - Archeoprepona demophoon (Hubner’s Prepona)
10 - Battus belus (Belus Swallowtail)
18 - Caligo memnon (Owl Butterfly)
20 - Catonephele numilia (Numilia)
20 - Eurytides thymbraeus(White-crested Swallowtail)
10 - Heliconius erato (Small Postman)
25 - Heliconius hecale (Tiger Longwing)
20 - Heliconius hortense (Mountain Longwing)
20 - Heliconius ismenius (Ismenius Longwing)
10 - Lycorea cleobaea (Large Tiger)
30 - Morpho polyphemus (White Morpho)
25 - Myscelia ethusa (Royal Blue Butterfly)
10 - Papilio androgeus (Queen Page)
20 - Papilio erostratus (Dusky Swallowtail)
20 - Prepona omphale (Blue Belly-Button)
25 - Tithorea harmonia (Harmonia Tigerwing)

Total = 297

“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, November 6, 2014

Ali Update

Recently, fans of Al’la’shuk (Ali for short) have noticed some changes in our little western painted turtle. He’s always been an active and curious member of the PSC’s Reptile-Amphibian-Mammal (RAM) Zone. But now Ali is looking more handsome than ever! What’s the difference?

When we acquired Ali two years ago, he had some minor health problems. His shell was misshapen and not shedding properly. The diagnosis from our vet was that our turtle was not getting enough sunshine and vitamin D. At first, adding vitamin D to his diet and a full spectrum light source to his tank started Ali on a healthy course.

Then this summer Animal Care experimented with taking Ali outside for a weekly 20-minute sunbath. At first he appeared agitated by all the city noise. But by the end of the summer, he would calmly lounge on his rock and soak in the rays. Now Ali’s shell color is remarkably improved. When the sun and warmth return to Seattle, we’ll continue the routine.

Another health concern is that we might have spoiled Ali with too much protein in his diet so we’re slowly trying to introduce him back to vegetables. Thanks to the creativity of Animal Caretakers Katie and Maida, we have a new turtle menu. We have found that Ali’s favorite food combinations include sweet potatoes. Combined with shrimp and whitefish cat foods or especially bloodworms, mashed sweet potatoes are frozen into cubes. We have offered him protein combinations with peas but like a small child, he picks out the protein and discards the peas. Natural foods such as water plants are merely playthings for our boy. He takes big bites out of the leaves of water plants, and spits them out again! We hope he gets at least some vegetable matter into him that way.

Caring for animals like Ali teaches us that we must give attention to their very basic needs. Seemingly minor factors such as sunlight and vitamins can have serious long-term effects. With proper care, Ali could live for many decades and he’ll get even more handsome!

Read more!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Fresh Sheet – November 1, 2014

This week we received a lot of interesting pupae: Three kinds of Owl butterfly plus a ‘mini-owl’, five species of Hamadryas, some more Greta oto, but only two specimens of Morpho amanthonte. This relative of M. peleides exhibits sexual dimorphism. The female has a narrow band of blue on a dark wing; the male has blue almost entirely covering his dorsal wing surface. (M. peleides wishes it were that blue!) Let’s hope we got one of each!

For fans of mimicry, we also acquired Eueiudes isabella and Heliconius ismenius, a pair of almost identical looking species.

Suministros Entimológicos Costarricenses, SA
Costa Rica

04 - Archeoprepona demophon (One-spotted Prepona)
12 - Caligo eurilochus (Forest Giant Owl)
08 - Caligo illioneus (Illioneus Giant Owl)
20 - Caligo memnon (Owl Butterfly)
48 - Catonephele numilia (Numilia)
25 - Eueiudes isabella (Isabella’s Longwing)
20 - Greta oto (Glasswing)
15 - Hamadryas amphinome (Red Calico)
21 - Hamadryas februa (Gray Calico)
06 - Hamadryas feronia (Variable Calico)
11 - Hamadryas fornax (Orange Calico)
22 - Hamadryas laodamia (Starry Calico)
18 - Heliconius cydno (Cydno Longwing)
30 - Heliconius doris (Doris Longwing)
28 - Heliconius erato (Small Postman)
26 - Heliconius hecale (Tiger Longwing)
20 - Heliconius hewitsoni (Hewitson’s Longwing)
15 - Heliconius ismenius (Ismenius Longwing)
22 - Heliconius melpomene (Postman)
14 - Heraclides anchisiades (Ruby-spotted Swallowtail)
02 - Morpho amathonte (Amathonte's Morpho,)
37 - Morpho peleides (Blue Morpho)
50 - Myscelia cyaniris (Blue Wave Butterfly)
05 - Opsiphanes tamarindi (Tamarind Owl)
17 - Papilio thoas (Thoas Swallowtail)
12 - Parides childrenae (Green-celled Cattleheart)
18 - Parides iphidamas (Transandean Cattleheart)
18 - Siproeta epaphus (Rusty-tipped Page)

Total = 544

“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!