PacSci Perspectives


Fresh Sheet – September 22, 2018

by | Sep 22, 2018

Battus polydamas (Gold Rim Swallowtail)

Battus polydamas (Gold Rim Swallowtail)

This week we received a big batch of Battus polydamus, the Gold Rim or Tailless Swallowtail from Suriname. These butterflies are part of a group of swallowtails that eat Aristolochia or Pipevine as caterpillars. They sequester noxious chemicals from the plant in their bodies that make them inedible to predators.

Male Gold Rim Swallowtails have special androconial scales on their hindwings. The scales produce a pheromone that the male uses while courting. A male will hover above a female, fanning her with the chemical.

Drop by our Tropical Butterfly House soon and perhaps you can observe this courting behavior going on.

Neotropical Insects NV

70 – Battus polydamas (Gold Rim Swallowtail)
10 – Heraclides thoas (Thoas Swallowtail)
35 – Heraclides anchisiades (Ruby-spotted Swallowtail)
10 – Dryas iulia (Julia Longwing)
7 – Agraulis vanillae (Gulf Fritillary)
21 – Catonephele orites (Orange-banded Shoemaker)
50 – Anartia amathea (Scarlet Peacock)
10 – Archeoprepona demophoon (Hubner’s Prepona)
16 – Biblis hyperia (Red Rim)
5 – Tithorea harmonia (Harmonia Tigerwing)
50 – Caligo memnon (Owl Butterfly)
10 – Eryphanis polyxena (Purple Mort Bleu Owl)
6 – Morpho achilles (Blue-banded Morpho)

Total = 300

“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.

Adopt a Butterfly

Love the Tropical Butterfly House? Spread that love by adopting one of our beautiful winged creatures! Starting at just $50, your adoption will help care for the butterflies in the Tropical Butterfly House, and support of the hands-on science programming offered at Pacific Science Center. And, you’ll receive some exclusive benefits for your generosity.