|Rajah Brooke's birdwing|
|Adult male (above) and female, dorsal surfaces|
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 (Banyak, Simeulue, Batu and Mentawai).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.
Both sexes resemble the more restricted relative, the Palawan birdwing, but males of Rajah Brooke's birdwing have more green to the hindwings. The wingspan of Rajah Brooke's birdwing is 15–17 cm (5.9–6.7 in). The wings of males are mainly black. Each forewing has seven tooth-shaped electric-green markings, while there is a relatively large electric-green patch on the hindwings. The head is bright red and the body is black with red markings. The wings of females are browner with prominent white flashes at the tips of the forewings and at the base of the hindwings.
Genus: Trogonoptera Rippon, 1890
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.
Trogonoptera is a genus of birdwing butterflies from the rainforests of the Thai-Malay Peninsula, Borneo, Natuna, Sumatra, Palawan, and various small islands west of Sumatra. Their large size and stunning colors makes them highly prized by collectors. There are at least three theories as to why these butterflies have such distinctive markings on their wings: (1) the alternate green/black spear shapes mimic sharp thorns; (2) the green spear shapes mimic the camouflage pattern of a fern leaf when the butterfly is resting; (3) when flying, the black and green markings mimic those of green broadbill bird feathers in flight. The three green broadbill species in Borneo are found in the same habitats as Rajah Brooke's birdwing, which occurs from the forested lowlands up to 2.000 m on Mount Kinabalu. A number of observers have noted that all Borneo’s birdwing butterflies are so large that they are easily mistaken for birds in flight. A bird hunting for an insect to eat would be unlikely to attack a bird. If the butterfly wing pattern mimics the broadbill’s feathers then it would be a case of a Mullerian mimicry ring because both species have wings covered with thorn like patterns. In addition the broadbills are protected because of their large beaks and the butterfly because it is poisonous. The blue colors evolved in Trogonoptera brookiana form hecata and Trogonoptera trojana may be explained by the presence of fairy-bluebirds in their habitat.
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.
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.
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.
Troides vandepolli, the van de Poll's birdwing, is a montane birdwing butterfly occurring on Java and Sumatra. It is endemic for Indonesia and is protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
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.
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.
Troides andromache, the Borneo birdwing , is a species of butterfly in the family Papilionidae. It is found only in Borneo.
Atrophaneura priapus, the Priapus batwing or white-head batwing, is a swallowtail butterfly found in Burma, Malaysia, Sumatra, and Java. The subspecies A. p. hageni was named to honour Hermann August Hagen. It may be a full species.
Troides cuneifera, the Mountain Birdwing, is a large butterfly belonging to the swallowtail family, Papilionidae, found in the Thai-Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Java and Borneo.
Trogonoptera trojana, the Palawan birdwing or triangle birdwing, is a birdwing butterfly of the family Papilionidae. It is endemic to Palawan in the Philippines. It is one of only two species in its genus, the other being the more widespread Rajah Brooke's birdwing, where the male has larger green markings on the hindwings. This species is included in CITES Appendix II, restricting international export to those who have been granted a permit. The wingspan is approximately 18–19 cm (7.1–7.5 in). The species may be observed flying at any point during the year. The larvae feed on Aristolochia.
Troides amphrysus, the Malay birdwing, is a birdwing butterfly in the genus Troides in the family Papilionidae.
Kallima paralekta, the Indian leafwing or Malayan leafwing, is a species of brush-footed butterfly of the genus Kallima. Despite its common names, it is not found in India or Malaysia, but is endemic to Java and Sumatra of Indonesia. Like other members of its genus, it is remarkable for its strong resemblance to a dead leaf when its wings are folded. It was one of the species encountered by the British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace in his travels in maritime Southeast Asia. It is mentioned in his famous 19th-century work The Malay Archipelago as one of the best examples of protective camouflage achieved through natural selection.
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