PacSci Perspectives

Fresh Sheet – February 11, 2017

by | Feb 11, 2017

Tithorea harmonia (Harmonia Tigerwing)

Tithorea harmonia (Harmonia Tigerwing)

Our pupae shipment this week includes two of the chrysalises most often confused with earrings. Both the Mechanitis polymnia (Polymnia Tigerwing) and the Tithorea harmonia (Harmonia Tigerwing) make a chrysalis that is a shiny metallic gold. They look like they would be completely at home in your jewelry box. Surprisingly, the butterflies that come out of these pupae are mostly black and orange with hardly any hints of how they looked when younger.

When a butterfly is about to emerge from its chrysalis, the exoskeleton starts to dissolve a little, allowing you to see the colors of the butterfly through it. This is especially dramatic with these little beauties!

Tithorea harmonia (Harmonia Tigerwing)

Neotropical Insects NV

70 – Heraclides anchisiades (Ruby-spotted Swallowtail)
68 – Heliconius melpomene (Postman)
60 – Catonephele orites (Orange-banded Shoemaker)
10 – Hamadryas feronia (Variable Calico)
6 – Archeoprepona demophoon (Hubner’s Prepona)
6 – Mechanitis polymnia (Polymnia Tigerwing)
80 – Tithorea harmonia (Harmonia Tigerwing)

Total = 300

“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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