PacSci Perspectives

Fresh Sheet – October 29, 2016

by | Oct 29, 2016

Caligo atreus (Husky’s Owl)

Caligo atreus (Husky’s Owl)

The common name of Caligo atreus can be the Yellow-edged Giant Owl, Atreus Owl, Purple Glowing Giant Owl, or Magnificent Owl. However, around the Pacific Northwest, we like to call this species Husky’s Owl because of their purple and gold inner wing markings. If you ever get a glimpse of them with open wings, you will see why we’ve named them for our local University of Washington. They display the school’s colors.

Although these butterflies enchant us, in their natural range they are sometimes considered to be a pest species. Their caterpillars feed on banana plants and can eat enough to seriously harm this important crop. Farmers are experimenting with parasitic wasps that seek out caterpillars of Owl and related butterflies to lay their eggs on. When the caterpillar turns into a chrysalis, the wasps get to work and devour it, breaking the lifecycle and protecting the banana plants.

The farmers who raise our butterflies are careful not to introduce those tiny wasps into the chrysalis they send us. We in turn have to choose plants in our Tropical Butterfly House that won’t be eaten up by Caligo caterpillars, including banana and bird of paradise plants.

Suministros Entimológicos Costarricenses, SA
CRES Costa Rica

15 – Caligo atreus (Husky’s Owl)
10 – Caligo memnon (Owl Butterfly)
30 – Catonephele numilia (Halloween Butterfly)
26 – Danaus plexippus (The Monarch)
12 – Dryadula phaetusa (Banded Orange Heliconian)
30 – Eueiudes isabella (Isabella’s Longwing)
16 – Hamadryas februa (Gray Calico)
11 – Hamadryas fornax  (Orange Calico)
15 – Hamadryas laodamia (Starry Calico)
26 – Heliconius cydno (Cydno Longwing)
40 – Heliconius doris (Doris Longwing)
7 – Heliconius erato (Small Postman)
20 – Heliconius hecale (Tiger Longwing)
10 – Heliconius hewitsoni (Hewitson’s Longwing)
40 – Heliconius melpomene (Postman)
45 – Heraclides anchisiades (Ruby-spotted Swallowtail)
38 – Morpho peleides (Blue Morpho)
30 – Myscelia cyaniris (Blue Wave Butterfly)
35 – Papilio thoas (Thoas Swallowtail)
15 – Parides iphidamas (Transandean Cattleheart)
12 – Siproeta epaphus (Rusty-tipped Page)
30 – Siproeta stelenes (Malachite)

Total = 513

“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.

These butterflies typically arrive as pupae on the Thursday or Friday before the Fresh Sheet is published. Some of these butterflies will start emerging the day they arrive or the next day, but other species may take a full week before they reach adulthood. After emerging, they may live for a week or even a few months! While we love sharing a variety of species with our guests, we cannot guarantee that any specific species will be flying on the day that you visit Pacific Science Center.

If you are interested in photographing a specific butterfly and would like to be updated about when it is flying in the Tropical Butterfly House, please email with details and your contact information.

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