PacSci Perspectives


Fresh Sheet – August 12, 2017

by | Aug 12, 2017

Caligo memnon

Is this puddling Caligo memnon (Owl Butterfly) looking for moisture, minerals, electrolytes, or something else?


We ask visitors to “please watch where you step,” when they visit our Tropical Butterfly House. That’s because there are often a large number of butterflies on the damp pavement after the Horticulture staff is finished watering the plants. Sometimes butterflies are found “puddling” on seemingly dry concrete, busily feeling around with their proboscis as though drinking something. The butterflies may be finding minerals from the concrete, but it’s possible that they are searching for salt from sweat. Often they will rest on the planter tops near the ponds, where children like to lean over to look into the water. Did little hands leave a bit of salt behind? With so much water available in the butterfly house, it seems likely that the butterflies are seeking salts and other minerals rather than water.

Bioproductores de El Salvador

10 – Battus belus (Belus Swallowtail)
12 – Caligo memnon (Owl Butterfly)
30 – Catonephele numilia (Halloween Butterfly)
30 – Eurytides thymbraeus (White-crested Swallowtail)
30 – Heliconius hortense (Mountain Longwing)
20 – Lycorea cleobaea (Large Tiger)
25 – Morpho peleides (Blue Morpho)
35 – Morpho polyphemus (White Morpho)
30 – Myscelia ethusa (Royal Blue Butterfly)
10 – Papilio torquatus (Band-gapped Swallowtail)
10 – Tithorea harmonia (Harmonia Tigerwing)
20 – Tithorea tarricina (Cream-Spotted Tigerwing)

Total = 262

“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.