PacSci Perspectives


Fresh Sheet – December 1, 2018

Dec 1, 2018

Is this Morpho peleides (Blue Morpho) large or small?

Is this Morpho peleides (Blue Morpho) large or small?

In this shipment from El Salvador, we have a nice variety of butterflies, including a small complement of Morpho peleides (Blue Morpho). Of the 18 we’re receiving, 10 of them were listed on our invoice as “small.” Since the large size of this butterfly is part of what makes it so dramatic, the smaller ones actually cost less.

The Blue Morpho’s variation in size is a good reminder of an important aspect of butterflies that people don’t always consider: butterflies are full-grown. All the growth in Lepidoptera happens during the larval stage. How much a caterpillar eats and grows will ultimately determine their size as adults. Once the pupa arrives at Pacific Science Center and a butterfly emerges from its chrysalis, what you see at that point is the final look of the butterfly.

So next time you’re in our Tropical Butterfly House, see if you can spot any of the diminutive Blue Morphos flying around next to their larger brethren.

Bioproductores de El Salvador
El Salvador

28 – Anaea nobilis (Noble Leafwing)
20 – Anaea eurypyle (Pointed Leafwing)
30 – Caligo memnon (Owl Butterfly)
35 – Catonephele numilia (Grecian Shoemaker)
30 – Eurytides thymbraeus (White-crested Swallowtail)
40 – Heliconius hortense (Mountain Longwing)
12 – Heliconius ismenius (Ismenius Longwing)
20 – Lycorea cleobaea (Large Tiger)
18 – Morpho peleides (Blue Morpho)
20 – Morpho polyphemus (White Morpho)
35 – Myscelia ethusa (Royal Blue Butterfly)
10 – Papilio cresphontes (Giant Swallowtail)
10 – Papilio torquatus (Band-gapped Swallowtail)
11 – Archeoprepona demophoon (Hubner’s Prepona)
10 – Tithorea harmonia (Harmonia Tigerwing)
15 – Tithorea tarricina (Cream-Spotted Tigerwing)

Total = 344


“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.