PacSci Perspectives


Fresh Sheet – May 26, 2018

by | May 26, 2018

Kallima paralekta (Malayan Leafwing) from Higley, 1902; “Birds and Nature, Vol. 13” (Public domain), via Wikimedia Commons

Kallima paralekta (Malayan Leafwing) from Higley, 1902; “Birds and Nature, Vol. 13” (Public domain), via Wikimedia Commons

This week’s shipment from Malaysia contains a beautiful variety of species, including one that isn’t often seen in our Tropical Butterfly House, the Malayan Leafwing butterfly, Kallima paralekta. When its wings are closed, this butterfly bears an incredible resemblance to a leaf on a twig. But those closed wings hide the vibrant blue and orange colors of their inside face. Butterflies often have a pattern on one surface of their wings that clearly evolved to camouflage them into their surroundings, but the other side does the opposite. What do you think this says about the behavior of the butterfly? What is the purpose of the brilliant colors in their patterning? Can you find one of these sneaky butterflies flying around our butterfly house? Or even harder, can you find one that isn’t flying and is hidden among the leaves it looks just like?

Penang Butterfly Farm

9 – Attacus atlas (Atlas Moth)
80 – Catopsilia scylla (Orange Emigrant)
80 – Cethosia cyane (Leopard Lacewing)
18 – Hypolimnas bolina (Blue Moon)
20 – Idea leuconoe (Paper Kite)
10 – Kallima paralekta (Malayan Leafwing)
80 – Parthenos sylvia (The Clipper)
33 – Vindula dejone (The Cruiser)

Total = 330

“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.