Ornithoptera meridionalis

Ornithoptera meridionalis is a butterfly from Australasia / Indomalaya ecozone (Australia). The first description was in 1897 by Rothschild. The wingspan is about 12 – 14 cm. This butterfly is a member of the family PAPILIONIDAE. Ornithoptera meridionalis is black. It has green and golden areas on the wings. The hind wings have thin tails. The females are dark-brown and have some white and yellow spots. They are significant-larger than the males.


Photos for easy identification

Photo © by Naturhistorisches Museum Wien; Photographer Thomas Neubauer
Photo © by Naturhistorisches Museum Wien; Photographer Thomas Neubauer
Photo © by Naturhistorisches Museum Wien; Photographer Thomas Neubauer
Photo © by Naturhistorisches Museum Wien; Photographer Thomas Neubauer

Here you can see some photos of Ornithoptera meridionalis (male above / female below). Ornithoptera meridionalis is a member of the family PAPILIONIDAE from Australasia / Indomalaya (Australia).


Description

The fore wings are black. Next to the wing leading edge there is a green stripe. In the middle of the wing there is a large, green band.
The underside of Ornithoptera meridionalis is green. The wing tip and the veins are black. Next to the wing tip there is a big black spot. 

The hind wings of Ornithoptera meridionalis are tiny, golden and have thin tails. The inner edge is black. The outer edge and the veins are green.
The underside nearly is a copy of upside. But, the inner edge is green and hairy. 

The body (abdomen) is yellow. Head and thorax are black and green. The underside of thorax has a red hair-coat.  

Sex differences: The female covers the upper range of the wing-span. It is significant-larger than the male. The basic colour of the female is dark-brown. Two groups of white spots dominate the fore wing.  On the hind wings there is a big white area. The outer edge of the white area is yellow. Between the white part and the yellow part there is a chain of black spots. The underside is a copy from upside, but all colours are stronger.


Distribution

Ornithoptera meridionalis is a butterfly from the Australasia / Indomalaya (Australia) ecozone. The distribution is restricted on New Guinea and other islands in the neighbourhood.


This world map shows the ecozones in which this butterfly is distributed.

Larval food

Aristolochiaceae:

General information

The first description of this butterfly was in 1897 by Rothschild. There is only one subspecies.

Ornithoptera meridionalis is one of the smallest birdwings. This butterfly is strictly protected. It is listed in the appendix II from CITES.


Macro photos

Photo © by Naturhistorisches Museum Wien; Photographer Thomas Neubauer macro photograph of Ornithoptera meridionalis m (upside)
Photo © by Naturhistorisches Museum Wien; Photographer Thomas Neubauer macro photograph of Ornithoptera meridionalis m (underside)
Photo © by Naturhistorisches Museum Wien; Photographer Thomas Neubauer macro photograph of Ornithoptera meridionalis f (upside)
Photo © by Naturhistorisches Museum Wien; Photographer Thomas Neubauer macro photograph of Ornithoptera meridionalis f (underside)

Here you can see some macro photos of Ornithoptera meridionalis.


Protection provisions / Red List

Similar and closely-related species

Ornithoptera paradisea Staudinger 1893 (Paradise Birdwing)   


Scientific name

Ornithoptera meridionalis Rothschild 1897  
     (in past: Troides meridionalis)


Other names

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Classification / Taxonomy / Family tree

To family tree (Genus: ORNITHOPTERA)...    


Ecozone

AUSTRALASIA / INDOMALAYA (Australia)

 

To the top

Back to family Papilionidae from AUSTRALAISA / INDOMALAYA (AUSTRALIA) 

 

Apatura iris
Inachis io
Nymphalis antiopa
Apatura iris
Vanessa atalanta
Papilio machaon
Pierides sp.
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