PacSci Perspectives


Fresh Sheet – July 29, 2017

by | Jul 29, 2017

Heliconius sara (Sara Longwing), one of many Longwings who enjoy the Firebush (Hamelia patens)

Heliconius sara (Sara Longwing), one of many Longwings who enjoy the Firebush (Hamelia patens)

At Pacific Science Center we think one of the most popular nectar plants in our Tropical Butterfly House is the Firebush (Hamelia patens). At first glance, Firebush flowers don’t appear to be open but don’t tell the Heliconidae butterflies. They seem to flock to it – especially in the morning!

Next time you visit our Tropical Butterfly House, see how many different species of butterflies you can find nectaring on the Firebush. Then take a picture and upload it to Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #CitizenSci. If you can’t identify the butterfly species – no worries. Our Living Exhibits staff will respond on social media. This data helps us better understand which butterflies nectar on which plant species. Please join us.

Neotropical Insects NV

40 – Battus polydamas (Polydamus Swallowtail)
40 – Heraclides anchisiades (Ruby-spotted Swallowtail)
30 – Heliconius melpomene (Postman)
41 – Dryas iulia (Julia Longwing)
30 – Anartia amathea (Scarlet Peacock)
6 – Archeoprepona demophoon (Hubner’s Prepona)
40 – Caligo memnon (Owl Butterfly)
6 – Mechanitis polymnia (Polymnia Tigerwing)
30 – Tithorea harmonia (Harmonia Tigerwing)
17 – Heliconius sara (Sara Longwing)
10 – Catonephele orites (Orange-banded Shoemaker)
10 – Eryphanis polyxena (Purple Mort Bleu Owl)

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.