PacSci Perspectives


Fresh Sheet – March 17, 2018

by | Mar 17, 2018

Left: Siproeta stelenes (Malachite) Right: Siproeta epaphus (Rusty-tipped Page)

Left: Siproeta stelenes (Malachite) Right: Siproeta epaphus (Rusty-tipped Page)

Among this week’s pupae shipment from Costa Rica, we have two species to compare and contrast: Siproeta stelenes (Malachite) and Siproeta epaphus (Rusty-tipped Page). These two butterflies have almost identical pupae and larvae; have the same host plant and similar ranges. They are closely related yet their superficial appearance is completely different. But taking a closer look – their colors and patterns mask a deeper similarity. Notice that their wing shapes, bodies, and sizes are very similar. Color in butterflies can evolve quickly in response to predators. The reason may be to blend in, mimic another species, or stand out to find mates. What pressures do you think shaped the colors on these two species? Visit our Tropical Butterfly House soon and observe the two different Siproeta species for yourself!

Suministros Entimológicos Costarricenses, SA
CRES, Costa Rica

15 – Adelpha fessonia (Mexican Sister)
5 – Agraulis vanilla (Gulf Fritllary)
11 – Archeoprepona demophon (One-spotted Prepona)
18 – Caligo eurilochus (Forest Giant Owl)
5 – Caligo memnon (Owl Butterfly)
23 – Catonephele numilia (Grecian Shoemaker)
17 – Danaus plexippus (The Monarch)
9 – Dryadula phaetusa (Banded Orange Heliconian)
5 – Eryphanis polyxena (Purple Mort Bleu Owl)
10 – Eueiudes isabella (Isabella’s Longwing)
13 – Greta oto (Glasswing)
10 – Hamadryas laodamia (Starry Calico)
40 – Heliconius doris (Doris Longwing)
8 – Heliconius hecale (Tiger Longwing)
34 – Heliconius hewitsoni (Hewitson’s Longwing)
2 – Heliconius ismenius (Ismenius Longwing)
15 – Heliconius melpomene (Postman)
33 – Morpho peleides (Peleides Blue Morpho)
7 – Opsiphanes tamarindi (Tamarind Owl)
23 – Papilio thoas (Thoas Swallowtail)
10 – Siproeta epaphus (Rusty-tipped Page)
45 – Siproeta stelenes (Malachite)

Total = 358

“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.