PacSci Perspectives


Fresh Sheet – November 11, 2017

by | Nov 11, 2017

Parthenos sylvia (The Clipper)

Parthenos sylvia (The Clipper)

This week’s shipment of pupae from Malaysia includes a huge number of Parthenos sylvia butterflies, also known as The Clipper. This butterfly confuses some of our guests, since it typically rests with its wings open, a trait long associated with moths. Many butterflies actually rest in this position. In fact, many of the “rules” used to distinguish butterflies from moths have exceptions. For example, moths are typically smaller and less colorful than butterflies, but this shipment also contains the vibrant and enormous moth, Attacus atlas, or the Atlas Moth, the world’s largest species of moth. Look for the feathery shaped antennae on these moths one of the most reliable means of distinguishing moths from butterflies. Moths use that extra surface area to capture smells to find their mates. Why would the sense of smell need to be more pronounced for a moth than a butterfly?

Penang Butterfly Farm

30 – Attacus atlas (Atlas Moth)
100 – Catopsilia scylla (Orange Emigrant)
30 – Cethosia biblis (Red Lacewing)
110 – Cethosia cyane (Leopard Lacewing)
45 – Euploea phaenareta (Great Crow)
10 – Hypolimnas bolina (Blue moon)
110 – Parthenos sylvia (The Clipper)
10 – Precis atlites (Gray Pansy)
35 – Tirumala septentrionis (Dark Blue Tiger)
110 – Vindula dejone (The Cruiser)

Total = 590


“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.