PacSci Perspectives


Fresh Sheet – May 6, 2017

by | May 6, 2017


Catonephele orites (Orange-banded Shoemaker) male

Catonephele orites (Orange-banded Shoemaker) male.

Catonephele orites (Orange-banded Shoemaker) female

Catonephele orites (Orange-banded Shoemaker) female.


Many animal species are sexually dimorphic. That means that the male looks different from the female. We are aware of the different male/female appearances among some animals, but take a look – there are many species of butterflies that exhibit sexual dimorphism.

An example of a subtle difference between male and female butterflies can be found in Anartia amathea (Scarlet Peacock) where the male simply exhibits a more intense coloration than the female. A more obvious example of butterfly sexual dimorphism is indicated in the featured butterfly pictured above: Catonephele orites (Orange-banded Shoemaker). In this case, the female doesn’t have an “orange band” and could easily be mistake for a different species.

Look around our Tropical Butterfly House the next time you visit. See if you can find examples of sexually dimorphic butterflies.

Neotropical Insects NV

11 – Battus polydamas (Polydamus Swallowtail)
10 – Heraclides thoas (Thoas Swallowtail)
50 – Heraclides anchisiades (Ruby-spotted Swallowtail)
20 – Heliconius melpomene (Postman)
37 – Dryas iulia (Julia Longwing)
20 – Catonephele orites (Orange-banded Shoemaker)
50 – Anartia amathea (Scarlet Peacock)
10 – Archeoprepona demophoon (Hubner’s Prepona)
50 – Caligo memnon (Owl Butterfly)
7 – Eryphanis polyxena (Purple Mort Bleu Owl)
15 – Mechanitis polymnia (Polymnia Tigerwing)
20 – 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.