PacSci Perspectives


Fresh Sheet – November 10, 2018

Nov 10, 2018

Attacus atlas (Atlas Moth)

Attacus atlas (Atlas Moth)

We have Attacus atlas (Atlas Moth) cocoons in this week’s pupae shipment from Malaysia. These large, beautiful moths can be quite easy to find resting on a tree branch during the day and they always delight our guests.

Have you ever wondered why they’re called “Atlas Moths”? We know that this Saturniid moth’s common name comes from Greek mythology. The Titan, Atlas, was doomed to hold up the skies for eternity. One theory is that the name “Atlas” refers to the moth’s size. Another thought is that the name is a reference to the map-pattern on the moth’s wings. What do you think?

Interestingly, the Cantonese common name for Attacus atlas is “Snake Head Moth.” Zoom in and take a close look at the wing tips. Do you see the snakehead? We’re curious – would those wing tips scare away a predator? Fortunately, Atlas Moths are safe from predators in our Tropical Butterfly House!

Penang Butterfly Farm

17 – Attacus atlas (Atlas Moth)
40 – Catopsilia pyranthe (Mottled Emigrant)
33 – Cethosia biblis (Red Lacewing)
70 – Cethosia cyane (Leopard Lacewing)
6 – Danaus vulgaris (Blue Glassy Tiger)
4 – Euploea mulciber (Striped Blue Crow)
40 – Hypolimnas bolina (Blue Moon)
70 – Idea leuconoe (Paper Kite)
70 – Parthenos sylvia (The Clipper)
60 – Precis atlites (Gray Pansy)
70 – Vindula dejone (The Cruiser)

Total = 480


“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.