PacSci Perspectives


Fresh Sheet – February 3, 2018

by | Feb 3, 2018

Troides helena (Common Birdwing)

Troides helena (Common Birdwing), one of the largest butterflies, comes from the Indomalaya ecozone.

There are giants among us! And they will soon be flying in our Tropical Butterfly House. In addition to the often seen giant of the butterfly house, the Atlas Moth (Attacus atlas), this week’s shipment will feature another very large species of butterfly, the Troides helena (Common Birdwing), a member of the Swallowtail Family. There are approximately 36 species of Birdwing butterfly, including the largest butterfly in the world, Ornithoptera alexandrae (Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing). That Birdwing species competes with our Atlas Moths, both reaching wingspans of up to 25cm (9.8 inches)! Troides helena typically reaches between 13-17cm, so it isn’t as large as its cousin, but still a dramatic butterfly to view. Can you spot this species in our Tropical Butterfly House? Do you see how it got the name “Birdwing” from its bird-like flight? Please visit soon.

Penang Butterfly Farm

40 – Attacus atlas (Atlas Moth)
10 – Catopsilia scylla (Orange Emigrant)
70 – Cethosia cyane (Leopard Lacewing)
10 – Euploea phaenareta (Great Crow)
70 – Idea leuconoe (Paper Kite)
20 – Lexias dirtea (Archduke)
80 – Parthenos sylvia (The Clipper)
10 – Precis atlites (Gray Pansy)
20 – Tirumala septentrionis (Dark Blue Tiger)
10 – Troides helena (Common Birdwing)
60 – Vindula dejone (The Cruiser)

Total = 400


“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.