Ornithoptera priamus

Ornithoptera priamus is a butterfly from Australasia / Indomalaya ecozone (Australia). The first description was in 1758 by Linnaeus. The wingspan is about 18 – 22 cm. This butterfly is a member of the family PAPILIONIDAE. Ornithoptera priamus is black. It has large green areas on the wings. The females are brown and have some white 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 priamus (male above / female below). Ornithoptera priamus is a member of the family PAPILIONIDAE from Australasia / Indomalaya (Australia).


Description

The fore wings are black. The edge is green. A black and longish odour-spot is on the wing.
The underside of Ornithoptera priamus is black. There is a chain of bluish or green spots in the middle of the wing. 

The hind wings of Ornithoptera priamus are green. At the wing leading edge there is a big, golden spots. At the outer edge there is also a small golden spot and a chain of black spots. The edge of wing is black.
The underside is dark-green or bluish. The golden spots are transperent like a window. The veins are black partly. The edge of wing is black. At the outer edge there is a chain of black spots. 

The body (abdomen) is yellow. Head and thorax are black. 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. There is a chain of white spots on the fore wings. On the hind wings there are big yellow marks. These marks have a dark core. The underside is a copy from upside.


Distribution

Ornithoptera priamus is a butterfly from the Australasia / Indomalaya (Australia) ecozone. You can see this butterfly in New Guinea,  on the Moluccas and in the North of Australia.


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 175by Linnaeus. There are many subspecies.

Ornithoptera priamus and Troides helena was the first Birdwing butterflies wich were described by scientists. Ornithoptera priamus has a very large area of distribution.

Ornithoptera priamus is, like all other Birdwings a true miracle of nature. This butterfly is strictly protected. It is listed in the appendix II from CITES.

Photo © by Naturhistorisches Museum Wien; Photographer Thomas Neubauer macro photograph of Ornithoptera priamus boisduvalii m (upside)
Photo © by Naturhistorisches Museum Wien; Photographer Thomas Neubauer macro photograph of Ornithoptera priamus boisduvalii m (upside)

Ornithoptera priamus has an optical effect. At a diagonal point of view the wing will change its colour.

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 the subspecies Ornithoptera priamus boisduvalii (male left/ female right). The wingspan is about 14 - 18 cm.

Photo © by Thomas Neubauer
Photo © by Thomas Neubauer

Here you can see the golden aberration of  the subspecies Ornithoptera priamus euphorion (male left/ female right). This golden euphorion is very rare.

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 the subspecies Ornithoptera priamus miokensis (male left/ female right). The wingspan is about 16 - 21 cm.

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 the subspecies Ornithoptera priamus poseidon (New Guinea Birdwing) (male left/ female right). The wingspan is about 14 - 17 cm.

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 the subspecies Ornithoptera priamus richmondia (Richmond Birdwing) (male left/ female right). The wingspan is about 11 - 14 cm.

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 the subspecies Ornithoptera priamus urvillianus (D'Urville's Birdwing) (male left/ female right). The wingspan is about 17 - 21 cm.


Macro photos

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

Here you can see some macro photos of Ornithoptera priamus.


Protection provisions / Red List

Similar and closely-related species

Ornithoptera croesus Wallace 1859 (Wallace´s Golden Birdwing, Goldroter Vogelschwingenfalter)  


Scientific name

Ornithoptera priamus Linnaeus 1758  
     (in past: Troides priamus)


Other names

 Cairns Birdwing, New Guinea Birdwing, Richmond Birdwing, D'Urville's Birdwing


Classification / Taxonomy / Family tree

To family tree (Genus: ORNITHOPTERA)...    


Ecozone

AUSTRALASIA / INDOMALAYA (Australia)

 

To the top

Back to family Papilionidae from AUSTRALAISA / INDOMALAYA (AUSTRALIA) 

 

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