PacSci Perspectives


Fresh Sheet – August 11, 2018

by | Aug 11, 2018

Morpho peleides (Blue Morpho) has “ears” at the base of its wings.

Morpho peleides (Blue Morpho) has “ears” (in the circle) at the base of its wings.

Have you ever wondered how butterflies can hear you when you sneak up to photograph them in our Tropical Butterfly House? Where are their ears?

Scientists at the University of Bristol, UK, have discovered a small membrane at the base of butterflies’ wings that detect sound vibrations. These sensory organs perceive certain frequencies, making it helpful for them to detect the nearby flight of birds – natural predators of moths and butterflies. Having their “ears” at the base of their wings may explain why the beautiful Morpho peleides (Peleides Blue Morpho) always perches with its wings closed, frustrating butterfly photographers!

Bioproductores de El Salvador
El Salvador

25 – Anaea eurypyle (Pointed Leafwing)
30 – Caligo memnon (Owl Butterfly)
25 – Catonephele numilia (Grecian Shoemaker)
20 – Eurytides epidaus (Long-tailed Kite Swallowtail)
20 – Eurytides thymbraeus (White-crested Swallowtail)
30 – Heliconius charitonius (Zebra Longwing)
25 – Heliconius hecale (Tiger Longwing)
10 – Heliconius hortense (Mountain Longwing)
9 – Heliconius ismenius (Ismenius Longwing)
21 – Lycorea cleobaea (Large Tiger)
15 – Morpho peleides (Peleides Blue Morpho)
25 – Morpho polyphemus (White Morpho)
25 – Myscelia ethusa (Royal Blue Butterfly)
30 – Papilio cresphontes (Giant Swallowtail)
12 – Papilio torquatus (Band-gapped Swallowtail)
9 – Archeoprepona demophon (One-spotted Prepona)
15 – Prepona omphale (Blue Belly-Button)
10 – Smyrna blomfildia (Blomfeld’s Beauty)
25 – Tithorea harmonia (Harmonia Tigerwing)
10 – Tithorea tarricina (Cream-Spotted Tigerwing)

Totals = 401


“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.