PacSci Blog


Fresh Sheet – April 13, 2019

Apr 13, 2019

Rothschildia lebeau (Lebeau’s Rothschildia)

Rothschildia lebeau (Lebeau’s Rothschildia)

In this week’s pupae shipment from Costa Rica, we are getting a small number of Rothschildia lebeau (Lebeau’s Rothschildia), a small but stunning silk moth with large transparent sections of its wing. The name silk moth is a little confusing. There are domestic silkworm moths, but there is also a separate family of wild moths that spin golden silk cocoons to pupate inside. R. lebeau is one of this family. Like all of the related moths, this one and the Atlas Moth have a short adult lifespan, living only long enough to find a mate and pass on their genes. The adults do not have a mouthpart and their wings are much more easily damaged than those of most butterflies. They have large wing scales that easily shake free, even from everyday activities like flying.
To comply with our permits, Animal Care is keeping the females of this species in a flight cage. These moths are much less particular than most of our butterflies in that they will lay on many plants. The sexes are easy to identify, with males having larger antennae and smaller abdomens than females.

Come visit our Tropical Butterfly House and take a look at these spectacular moths soon. They might not be around for very long.

Suministros Entimológicos Costarricenses, SA
CRES Costa Rica

20 – Anteos chlorinde (White Angled Sulphur)
11 – Archeoprepona demophon (One-spotted Prepona)
8 – Battus polydamas (Polydamus Swallowtail)
35 – Caligo memnon (Owl Butterfly)
46 – Danaus plexippus (The Monarch)
20 – Dryadula phaetusa (Banded Orange Heliconian)
5 – Eryphanis polyxena (Purple Mort Bleu Owl)
10 – Hamadryas februa (Gray Calico)
12 – Hamadryas laodamia (Starry Calico)
47 – Heliconius hecale (Tiger Longwing)
33 – Heliconius melpomene (Postman)
34 – Heraclides anchisiades (Ruby-spotted Swallowtail)
35 – Morpho peleides (Blue Morpho)
14 – Papilio cresphontes (Giant Swallowtail)
26 – Papilio thoas (Thoas Swallowtail)
11 – Prepona omphale (Blue Belly-Button)
11 – Rothschildia lebeau (Lebeau’s Rothschildia)
25 – Siproeta stelenes (Malachite)

Total = 403


“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.