|O. p. pronomus, male|
|Distribution of Ornithoptera priamus (in red), with O. p. poseidon (1), O. p. pronomus (2), O. p. macalpinei (3), and other species of Ornithoptera in Australia. Note: range is not limited to Australia.|
Ornithoptera priamus, the common green birdwing, Cape York birdwing, Priam's birdwing, northern birdwing or New Guinea birdwing is a widespread species of birdwing butterfly found in the central and south Moluccas, New Guinea, Bismarck Archipelago, Solomon Islands, and north-east Australia.
The specific name of Ornithoptera priamus, is named after Priam (/ˈpraɪ.əm/, Greek Πρίαμος Priamos), the king of Troy during the Trojan War.
Ornithoptera priamus is sexually dimorphic.
Male: The upperside forewings are velvety black. There is a green (most races) subcostal stripe and a green (most subspecies) marginal stripe bordering the termen, tormen and dorsum of the wing. The sex brand is black and longish. The underside of the forewing is black. There is a chain of bluish or green postdiscal spots.
The hindwings are green. At the wing's leading edge (costa) there are basal yellow-gold spots. There is also a postdiscal chain of black spots. The edge of the hindwing is black.
The underside is dark green or bluish. The yellow-golden spots are transparent. The veins are partly black and the marginal edge of the wing is black. At the outer edge there is a postdiscal chain of black spots.
The body (abdomen) is yellow. Head and thorax are black. The underside of thorax has a red hair coat.
Female: The female is larger than the male and in the upper range of the wingspan. The basic colour of the female is dark brown. There is a chain of white postdiscal spots on the forewings. There is a chain of larger white postdiscal spots with dark centres on the hindwing. The underside is very similar to the upper.
Larva: First instar larvae are wine red on hatching. They soon turn black or dark brown. All segments have soft tubercles with stiff ends bearing black spines. On the 4th segment tubercles are red. The tubercles are dark brown on the other segments. In the second instar, the tubercles lack spines, the 4th tubercles are light red and on the other segments they are the same colour as the body. In the third instar, there is a white to pink saddlemark on the 4th segment. In the fourth and fifth instars, the ground colour is ashy grey to brown, the saddlemark on the 4th segment is white and the tubercles on the 4th segment are white. There may be saddlemarks on the 5th segment and the 6th segment. The tips of the tubercle are black and the osmeterium is dark red.
Pupa: The pupa is yellowish green or brown and is marked with greyish veins as in a leaf. It may have a broad dorsal pale saddle mark. The abdomen has eight pairs of sharp dorsal processes, directed laterally.
Ornithoptera priamus is a variable species. It was originally described from Seram Island of Indonesia. As in other species of the genus Ornithoptera, the females are larger and less vividly coloured than the males, them being mainly blackish or dark brown with patterns in pale brown, yellow or white. Nonetheless, females are extremely variable, and they may have colour patterns similar to females of other Ornithoptera species.
In males, iridescent areas of the wing are typically green, although some subspecies endemic to island groups east of New Guinea have blue males. These subspecies are O. p. urvilleanus (New Ireland, Bougainville, and Solomon Islands), O. p. miokensis (Mioko Island), and O. p. caelestis (Louisiade Archipelago).
However, it is likely that O. p. miokensis is actually a hybrid between O. p. urvillianus and O. p. bornemanni from the neighbouring islands of New Britain and Bougainville. Specimens of this subspecies are variable, and can be identical to specimens of either parent, or intermediates. Immigration may also explain its rarity, as Mioko is a small island and, as of 2001, its host plants had been reduced to a few Aristolochia tagala vines growing in a local village.
Several species currently recognised as distinct have previously been considered subspecies of O. priamus by different authors. These are: O. aesacus ,O. croesus , O. euphorion , and O. richmondia . The last two are still regarded as subspecies of O. priamus by some.
There have been as many as 99 subspecies described (most of which are synonyms of O. p. poseidon), with many more named variants and forms described for both sexes. Some list as few as six subspecies (including nominate),but a taxonomic review is needed and most recognise more:
Overall this species remains widespread, but some subspecies are threatened by habitat destruction, with those endemic to smaller islands (e.g. O. p. miokensis and O. p. boisduvali) of greatest conservation concern. Like all birdwing butterflies, O. priamus is listed on CITES appendix II,which restricts international export to those in possession of a permit.
Birdwings are butterflies in the swallowtail family, that belong to the genera Trogonoptera, Troides, and Ornithoptera. Most recent authorities recognise 36 species, however, this is debated, and some authorities include additional genera. Birdwings are named for their exceptional size, angular wings, and birdlike flight. They are found across tropical Asia, mainland and archipelagic Southeast Asia, and Australasia.
Ornithoptera alexandrae, the Queen Alexandra's birdwing, is the largest species of butterfly in the world, with females reaching wingspans slightly in excess of 25 cm to 28 cm. This birdwing is restricted to the forests of the Oro Province in eastern Papua New Guinea.
Ornithoptera goliath, the Goliath birdwing, is a birdwing butterfly found in New Guinea. It is the second largest butterfly in the world, after the Queen Alexandra's birdwing.
Trogonoptera brookiana, Rajah Brooke's birdwing, is a birdwing butterfly from the rainforests of the Thai-Malay Peninsula, Borneo, Natuna, Sumatra, and various small islands west of Sumatra. The butterfly was named by the naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace in 1855, after James Brooke, the Rajah of Sarawak. The larval host plants are Aristolochia acuminata and A. foveolata. Adults sip flower nectar from plants such as Bauhinia. Rajah Brooke's birdwing is a protected species, listed under Appendix II of CITES, meaning that international export is restricted to those who have been granted a permit. It is the national butterfly of Malaysia.
Troides helena, the common birdwing, is a butterfly belonging to the family Papilionidae. It is often found in the wildlife trade due to its popularity with butterfly collectors. The butterfly has seventeen subspecies.
Rothschild's birdwing is a large birdwing butterfly, endemic to the Arfak Mountains in Western New Guinea.
Papilio aegeus, the orchard swallowtail butterfly or large citrus butterfly is a species of butterfly from the family Papilionidae, that is found in eastern Australia and Papua New Guinea.
Ornithoptera chimaera, the chimaera birdwing, is a birdwing butterfly of the family Papilionidae. It is found in mountain areas of New Guinea, 1000 meters above sea level.
Ornithoptera tithonus, the Tithonus birdwing, is a species of birdwing butterfly found on New Guinea and other neighbouring islands.
Ornithoptera meridionalis, the southern tailed birdwing, is the smallest species of the genus Ornithoptera. It is known from a handful of localities in southeast Papua, New Guinea and several localities along the south coast of Irian Jaya.
Ornithoptera paradisea, the paradise birdwing, is a species of birdwing butterfly found in New Guinea.
Ornithoptera victoriae, the Queen Victoria's birdwing, is a birdwing butterfly of the family Papilionidae, found in the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.
Ornithoptera croesus, the Wallace's golden birdwing, is a species of birdwing butterfly found in northern Maluku in Indonesia.
Ornithoptera richmondia, the Richmond birdwing, is a species of birdwing butterfly that is endemic to Australia. It is the second smallest of the birdwing species, the smallest being Ornithoptera meridionalis.
Ornithoptera aesacus, the Obi Island birdwing, is a rare species of birdwing butterfly, endemic to the Island of Obira, Indonesia.
Troides andromache, the Borneo birdwing , is a species of butterfly in the family Papilionidae. It is found only in Borneo.
Ornithoptera allotei is the name given to a birdwing butterfly that is a natural hybrid between Ornithoptera victoriae and Ornithoptera priamus urvillianus. Despite the fact that hybrids do not warrant a binomial name, the name Ornithoptera allotei persists from the original description of the butterfly as a species.
Pachliopta polydorus, the red-bodied swallowtail, is a butterfly from the family Papilionidae found in north-eastern Queensland, Australia as well as Papua New Guinea and New Zealand.
Troides amphrysus, the Malay birdwing, is a birdwing butterfly in the genus Troides in the family Papilionidae.
Ornithoptera akakeae is the name given to a birdwing butterfly that is a natural hybrid between Ornithoptera rothschildi and Ornithoptera priamus poseidon. Despite the fact that hybrids do not warrant a binomial name, the name Ornithoptera akakeae persists from the original description of the butterfly as a species.