PacSci Perspectives

Fresh Sheet – February 18, 2017

by | Feb 18, 2017

Opsiphanes tamarindi UV

Opsiphanes tamarindi (Tamarind Owl)

This week’s pupae shipment is an owlapalooza! We have four different butterflies this week that all are commonly referred to as owl butterflies: Caligo memnon (Owl Butterfly), Eryphanis polyxena (Purple Mort Bleu Owl), Opsiphanes quiteria (Scalloped Owl), and Opsiphanes tamarindi (Tamarind Owl). These butterflies don’t hoot, they aren’t nocturnal and we don’t know of them being particularly wise. So why are they all called owl butterflies? It is because of the beautiful giant eye-spots they all have on their front or hind wings. This fantastic example of mimicry likely helps scare away some potential predators that may have wanted to eat a tasty butterfly, but don’t want to mess with an owl. Our owl butterflies this week include representatives from three different genera. Do you think a common ancestor evolved that eye spot? Or are we looking at an example of convergent evolution?

Come see all these wonderful flyers. Owl see you at the Tropical Butterfly House.

Suministros EntimolXgicos Costarricenses, SA
CRES Costa Rica

16 – Archeoprepona demophon (One-spotted Prepona)
20 – Caligo memnon (Owl Butterfly)
14 – Catonephele mexicana (Mexican Catone)
15 – Catonephele numilia (Halloween Butterfly)
37 – Danaus plexippus (The Monarch)
8 – Eryphanis polyxena (Purple Mort Bleu Owl)
10 – Eueiudes isabella (Isabella’s Longwing)
23 – Greta oto (Glasswing)
21 – Heliconius hecale (Tiger Longwing)
32 – Heliconius hewitsoni (Hewitson’s Longwing)
23 – Heliconius melpomene (Postman)
5 – Heliconius sapho (Sapho Longwing)
32 – Heraclides anchisiades (Ruby-spotted Swallowtail)
32 – Morpho peleides (Blue Morpho)
10 – Myscelia cyaniris (Blue Wave Butterfly)
10 – Opsiphanes quiteria (Scalloped Owl)
8 – Opsiphanes tamarindi (Tamarind Owl)
36 – Siproeta stelenes (Malachite)

Total = 352

“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.