Ornithoptera alexandrae (Queen Alexandra's Birdwing)

Ornithoptera alexandrae, also called Queen Alexandra's Birdwing is a butterfly from Australasia / Indomalaya ecozone (Australia). The first description was in 1907 by Rothschild. The wingspan is about 19 – 28 cm. This butterfly is a member of the family PAPILIONIDAE. Ornithoptera alexandrae is black. It has blue and green areas on wings. The females are brown and have white spots. Queen Alexandra's Birdwing is the largest butterfly on earth. It is strictly protected!


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 alexandrae (Queen Alexandra's Birdwing) (male above / female below). Ornithoptera alexandrae is a member of the family PAPILIONIDAE from Australasia / Indomalaya (Australia).


Description

The fore wings are longish and black. The wing leading edge is greenish. There is a longish and black smelling area on the wing.
The underside of Ornithoptera alexandrae is bluish and greenish. The veins are black.

The hind wings of Ornithoptera alexandrae are green. In the middle of wing there is a black area. The outer edge is black. The veins are partly black.
The underside is light-green. The veins are black.

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 brown. Two chains of white spots are on the fore wings. On the hind wings there is a chain of large, yellowish marks. These marks have a brown core. On the underside the yellowish marks are strong-colored.


Distribution

Ornithoptera alexandrae (Queen Alexandra's Birdwing) is a butterfly from the Australasia / Indomalaya (Australia) ecozone. The distribution is restricted on Newguinea.


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 1907 by Rothschild. There are no subspecies.

Ornithoptera alexandrae flies almost untouchable in the crowns of trees of the rain forests of New-Guinea. In the era of the discovery journeys they were shot with special arrows. Queen Alexandra´s Birdwing is with its up to 28 cm wingspan the largest butterfly of the world, a miracle of nature. All Birdwings are protected!


Macro photos

Photo © by Naturhistorisches Museum Wien; Photographer Thomas Neubauer macro photograph of Ornithoptera alexandrae (underside)
Photo © by Naturhistorisches Museum Wien; Photographer Thomas Neubauer macro photograph of Ornithoptera alexandrae (underside)

Here you can see some macro photos of Ornithoptera alexandrae.


Protection provisions / Red List

Similar and closely-related species

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Scientific name

Ornithoptera alexandrae Rothschild 1907 
   (in past: Troides alexandrae)


Other names

Queen Alexandra's Birdwing
 Alexandra Vogelschwingenfalter
 Ornithoptére de la Reine Alexandra 


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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