The species is relatively new and was discovered only in 1906 by English naturalist and bird collector Albert Stewart Meek, in forests of New Guinea. PORT MORESBY - Concern has been raised in Papua New Guinea and overseas about the disappearance of the Queen Alexandra Birdwing butterfly species in Oro Province. It has an average head and body length of 3 inches (7.6 centimeters). A monophagous species, Queen Alexandra’s birdwing (Ornithoptera alexandrae) feeds only from the vine species Aristolochia schlechteri. When the egg hatches, its meals (the leaves of this plant) are easily available. Explore insect safari's photos on Flickr. Ornithoptera alexandrae, or the Queen Alexandra’s birdwing butterfly, is now known as the largest species of butterfly in the world and soon became the prize for lepidopterology and collectors of butterflies across the world. The Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing is facing dwindling numbers due to the palm oil industry eating up its natural habitat, as well as logging and illegal trade. This group includes the world's largest butterfly (Queen Alexandra's Birdwing, Ornithoptera alexandrae) as well as some of the rarest. The largest butterfly in the world is endangered. ), males up to 20 cm (9 in.) Goliath Birdwing is the second largest butterfly species in the world, next only to Queen Alexandra’s birdwing. The world's largest butterfly, the Queen Alexandra's Birdwing, has been given a new lifeline with a pioneering project led by the Sime Darby Foundation (SDF) and the recently created Swallowtail and Birdwing Butterfly Trust (SBBT). Queen Alexandra's birdwing butterflies are already on the endangered species list, and rapidly losing their rainforest habitat. There is evidence that the world’s largest Queen Alexandra Birdwing butterfly has been found in the Inaina area of Kairuku, Central Province. Females of the species have wingspans measuring more than 10 inches (25.4 centimeters). The Birdwing is the world's largest butterfly and it is found only in PNG and … Queen Alexandra's Birdwing is the biggest butterfly in the world, with a wingspan up to 1 ft (30 cm) wide. The females of this species are considered to be the butterflie… Like all insects, they have 3 body parts – head, thorax, and abdomen. Photograph: Mark Stratton Photograph: Mark Stratton M … ), Conservation Status: Endangered (Edward VII was King of England at the time of the butterfly’s discovery). Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing Butterfly. Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing, the largest butterfly in the world with a wingspan of 30cm—at least 10 times the size of common butterflies—was discovered in Papua New Guinea in 1906. The Richmond Birdwing Butterfly is now classed as vulnerable to extinction - and there are two reasons why. The first one is habitat loss due to development. Leaders in Oro Province are taking steps to protect the endangered Queen Alexandra Birdwing butterfly. Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing, the largest butterfly in the world with a wingspan of 30cm—at least 10 times the size of common butterflies—was discovered in Papua New Guinea in 1906. This magnificent butterfly was discovered in the early 1900s by Alfred S. Meeks. Alexandra of Denmark - Queen - Born 1844 Photos; Animal Photos; Birdwing Butterfly Photos; Butterfly Photos; Endangered Species Photos; Hand Photos; Insect Photos; Lepidoptera Photos; Queen - Royal Person Photos; Resting Photos; Swallowtail Butterfly Photos Queen Alexandra's birdwing butterfly is the largest species of butterfly in the world: its wings can reach a span of over 25cm. Weight: 12 g (0.42 oz. The Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing is the largest butterfly in the world and is known for their vibrant coloration. This species is also the second most poisonous butterfly in the world, though its poison can’t kill people. After some 11 to 13 days the caterpillar hatches and eats almost constantly, rapidly increasing in size. That is pretty much the size of a small bird! Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing (Ornithoptera alexandrae), is the largest and arguably the most beautiful butterfly in the world. Its rainforest habitat is … Many biologists (people who study living organisms) believe the Queen Alexandra's birdwing butterfly is the world's largest butterfly. Its females reach a wingspan of 23 cm, giving them the distinction of being the world’s largest butterfly. It is endangered, and is one of the three species of insect which are illegal to trade worldwide. Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing (O. alexandrae) is a giant species with blue-green males. The Richmond birdwing butterfly (Ornithoptera richmondia) is the largest subtropical Australian butterfly. IUCN Red List Conservation Status: Endangered. It is only found in the forests of Papua New Guinea. Scientific name: Ornithoptera alexandrae Type of Animal: Insect Animal Family: Papilionidae (swallowtail butterfly family) Where Found: Forests in the Oro Province of Papua New Guinea Wingspan: (Females) up to 28 cm (11 in. This jaw-dropiing butterfly belongs to the group of swallowtails known as "birdwing butterflies." insect safari has uploaded 1990 photos to Flickr. There are marked differences between the males and females in this species is as can be seen in the images below. Characteristics. Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing, described by Lord Walter Rothschild and named to honour the Queen consort Alexandra, the wife of Edward VII, is the biggest in size and possibly the most charismatic species of the birdwings. This huge butterfly is on the US Endangered Species List. The Queen Alexandra's Birdwing butterfly is in danger of becoming extinct due mostly to the destruction of its natural habitat. As Wildlife Queensland works to bring back the Richmond birdwing butterfly in south-east Queensland, an international ‘sister project’ is giving a lifeline to the endangered Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing of Papua New Guinea, bringing together conservation and palm-oil interests in a major new project. 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. The species is relatively new and was discovered only in 1906 by English naturalist and bird collector Albert Stewart Meek, in forests of New Guinea. Yes, their wingspan can be over a foot long which is why they are considered the largest butterfly in the world. The female Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing lays its eggs on the pipevine plant (Aristolochia schlecteri). The world’s largest butterfly – an endangered species – will be the first to benefit from a new conservation project in Papua New Guinea. Children can have fun at home learning about fascinating inhabitants of the natural world and doing enjoyable creative projects. Albert was a (natural history) collector for Walter Rothschild, the man who eventually named the butterfly in 1907. More than a century later, one of the world’s rarest species has become the most endangered. This species is found in just a few valleys near Popondetta in Papua New Guinea and is severely endangered by forest clearing. Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing Butterfly Facts At A Glance. Males, which are smaller, have wingspans of about 7 inches (17.8 centimeters). The males of these giant arthropods are much smaller in size than their female counterparts. The butterfly is found in a very limited area in New Guinea in five local subspecies. So is there anything else you would like to know about this interesting insect? Lo-and-behold… the largest butterfly, with a wingspan of 30 cm (1 foot), found exclusively on Planet Earth, is Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing (Ornithoptera alexandrae).The species was first discovered in 1906 in Papua New Guinea by the naturalist, Albert S. Meek, who chanced upon an individual on one of his walks in the rainforest. Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing butterfly is named after Edward VII’s wife, Alexandra of Denmark. It’s called Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing Butterfly. Meeks named the butterfly to honor Queen Alexandra, the Danish wife of King Edward VII of England (1841-1910). If it can be further proven to be so, it will not be unique only to the Managalas plateau of Northern (Oro) Province. Vital numbers of the incredible Queen Alexandra's Birdwing are to be bred in captivity and released to cast their huge shadows in the tropical rainforests of Papua New Guinea. This vine also plays a central role in reproduction, as the butterfly lays a single egg on the underside of one of the leaves. NEWS DESK | NBC News / PNG Today. The Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing is highly endangered, and along with several other birdwing butterfly species, was placed on the Appendix I CITES list in 1977 (collecting or trading wild-caught CITES I species is prohibited by international agreement). Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing can have a body length up to 8 cm (3.2″) and a wingspan up to 31 cm (14″). The Queen Alexandra's Birdwing is considered endangered by the IUCN, being restricted to approximately 100 square kilometres of coastal rainforest near Popondetta, Oro … The world’s largest butterfly – an endangered species – will be the first to benefit from a new conservation project in Papua New Guinea. The Queen Alexandra Bird Butterfly ( Ornithoptera alexandrae ) is a butterfly from the family of the Knight Butterfly (Papilionidae). The species was named after Alexandra of Denmark. What Do We Look Like? Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing butterflies live in the rainforests of Papua New Guinea, an island off the northern coast of Australia. Alber Stewart Meek discovered the largest butterfly in the world (in Papua New Guinea) , the Queen Alexandra’s birdwing butterfly, in 1906. Birdwings are named for their … Much of this land was eagerly sought after for grazing and subtropical agriculture due to its rich soils. Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing butterflies are insects. This rare, tropical butterfly is from a lowland coastal rainforest in New Guinea. Our specimens were acquired before they were officially protected. They have 2 compound eyes, antennae, a proboscis, 6 legs, and wings covered with scales. More than a century later, one of the world’s rarest species has become the most endangered. It was once abundant from Maryborough in southern Queensland to Grafton in northern New South Wales, breeding in rainforest habitat wherever the food plants were plentiful. The Queen Alexandra Birdwing Butterfly is the latest in the “Exploring Lepidoptera” series from the Vanderbilt Museum’s educators.