PacSci Perspectives


Fresh Sheet – February 24, 2018

by | Feb 24, 2018

Myscelia ethusa (Royal Blue Butterfly)

Myscelia ethusa (Royal Blue Butterfly)

For this week’s shipment, we wanted to feature the Myscelia ethusa. They are beautiful and intriguing, but it’s hard to get good information on them. The literature on Myscelia ethusa is a bit skimpy. For such a gorgeous butterfly, this might be surprising. But this species has a number of behaviors that make it hard to observe, either in the wild or in our Tropical Butterfly House. It spends a large portion of each day in the upper portion of the tree canopy hiding against the bark of trees. Its mottled grey and brown outer wings conceal it from predators and entomologists alike. It also feeds with its wings closed. You might see a cluster of them at our fruit trays and not even know it if their iridescent inner wings are hidden.

For every species with a carefully observed and described life cycle, there are many others with mysterious habits yet to be discovered. This butterfly is in the middle – we know enough to be intrigued and to want to discover more. Perhaps one of our readers, reading this right now, will someday uncover the mysteries of Myscelia ethusa.

Bioproductores de El Salvador
El Salvador

25 – Battus belus (Belus Swallowtail)
25 – Caligo memnon (Owl Butterfly)
33 – Catonephele numilia (Grecian Shoemaker)
15 – Eurytides thymbraeus (White-crested Swallowtail)
9 – Heliconius hecale (Tiger Longwing)
35 – Heliconius hortense (Mountain Longwing)
30 – Morpho peleides (Peleides Blue Morpho)
12 – Morpho polyphemus (White Morpho)
35 – Myscelia ethusa (Royal Blue Butterfly)
20 – Papilio erostratus (Dusky Swallowtail)
10 – Papilio torquatus (Band-gapped Swallowtail)

Total = 249


“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.