PacSci Perspectives


Fresh Sheet – March 24, 2018

by | Mar 24, 2018


Papilio rutulus (Western Tiger Swallowtail)

Papilio rutulus (Western Tiger Swallowtail)

Papilio pilumnus (Three-tailed Swallowtail)

Papilio pilumnus (Three-tailed Swallowtail)


Happy Spring! Spring is a wonderful time in Seattle. The warmer temperatures and longer days mean more and more amazing time outside. It also means that we’re getting to a time of year when we can spot local butterflies, too! One very showy swallowtail butterfly, native to this area and the western U.S. is Papilio rutulus (Western Tiger Swallowtail). It looks incredibly similar to a species we are getting this week from El Salvador: Papilio pilumnus (Three-tailed Swallowtail). People who have seen Papilio rutulus in the vicinity of Pacific Science Center in June and July may think that they are looking at an escapee from our Tropical Butterfly House because the appearance is so much alike. Can you spot the difference? Keep an eye out this spring and summer for the local one, and come check out its tropical cousin in our butterfly house this week.

Bioproductores de El Salvador
El Salvador

30 – Anaea eurypyle (Pointed Leafwing)
25 – Battus belus (Belus Swallowtail)
35 – Caligo memnon (Owl Butterfly)
25 – Catonephele numilia (Halloween Butterfly)
40 – Eurytides thymbraeus (White-crested Swallowtail)
10 – Heliconius hecale (Tiger Longwing)
30 – Heliconius hortense (Mountain Longwing)
10 – Heliconius ismenius (Ismenius Longwing)
35 – Lycorea cleobaea (Large Tiger)
40 – Morpho polyphemus (White Morpho)
35 – Myscelia ethusa (Royal Blue Butterfly)
10 – Papilio pilumnus (Three-tailed Swallowtail)
25 – Archeoprepona demophon (One-spotted Prepona)
10 – Archeoprepona demophoon (Hubner’s Prepona)
10 – Tithorea harmonia (Harmonia Tigerwing)
30 – Tithorea tarricina (Cream-Spotted Tigerwing)

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.