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Australian Wildlife

  New Guinea Birdwing (Ornithoptera priamus)





New Guinea Birdwing | Ornithoptera priamus photo
Ornithoptera priamus pronomus Lockerbie Scrub Cape York Peninsula

Image by Robert Nash - Some rights reserved.    (view image details)



NEW GUINEA BIRDWING FACTS

Identification
The New Guinea Birdwing is the largest butterfly species found in Australia. The upper side of the male's forewings are mainly black with emerald green around the leading and trailing edges and a narrow green stripe in the centre of the black area; the hindwings are emerald green with black dots. The female has black upper forewings with white patches, and black hindwings with yellow outer margin containing black spots. The female does not have any green markings. The New Guinea Birdwing male is similar to the Cairns Birdwing male which has less green on the forewings and no thin patch of green in the middle of the black area. (Some subspecies of Ornithoptera priamus in island groups east of New Guinea have blue males).

Other Names
Common Green Birdwing

Size
wingspan: male 125mm; female 170mm

Habitat
lowland rainforest

Food
larva feeds mainly on Aristolochia acuminata

Range
found in northern Cape York peninsula and Torres Strait Islands. Also found in New Guinea and Indonesia.



Classification
Class:Insecta
Order:Lepidoptera
Family:Papilionidae
Genus:Ornithoptera
Species:priamus
Common Name:New Guinea Birdwing