PacSci Perspectives


Fresh Sheet – November 18, 2017

by | Nov 18, 2017

One of the stars of Amazon Adventure 3D, Heliconius melpomene (Postman)

One of the stars of Amazon Adventure 3D, Heliconius melpomene (Postman)

As you may know, Amazon Adventure 3D is currently playing at Pacific Science Center’s IMAX theaters. This is the story of the 19th century English naturalist Henry Bates who discovered the “beautiful proof” for Darwin’s theory of natural selection through his observation of butterflies. This week’s pupae shipment includes some awesome butterfly species that Bates could have encountered in his South American explorations. For example, one of the stars of the movie is a Heliconius butterfly, or Longwing. Look for the beautiful Heliconius melpomene (Postman) and other Longwings in our Tropical Butterfly House that may be Batesian mimics. This shipment also contains the Morpho Achilles (Blue-banded Morpho), one of our less frequently seen Morphos, and Caligo memnon (Owl Butterfly), both butterflies whose genera range into Brazil along the Amazon River. Come visit us soon and stand among the Brazilian Button Flower (Centratherum puntatum), Cacao (Theobroma cacao), and Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea spectabilis) to feel like you’re part of the movie.

Neotropical Insects NV

55 – Battus polydamas (Polydamus Swallowtail)
15 – Heraclides anchisiades (Ruby-spotted Swallowtail)
20 – Heliconius melpomene (Postman)
45 – Dryas iulia (Julia Longwing)
5 – Catonephele orites (Orange-banded Shoemaker)
45 – Anartia amathea (Scarlet Peacock)
5 – Archeoprepona demophoon (Hubner’s Prepona)
45 – Biblis hyperia (Red Rim)
10 – Caligo memnon (Owl Butterfly)
5 – Eryphanis polyxena (Purple Mort Bleu Owl)
4 – Mechanitis polymnia (Polymnia Tigerwing)
40 – Tithorea harmonia (Harmonia Tigerwing)
6 – Morpho achilles (Blue-banded Morpho)

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.