- A Himalayan butterfly named Golden Birdwing is India’s largest, a record an unknown specimen had held for 88 years.
Details about the butterfly
- With a wingspan of 194 mm, the female of the species is marginally larger than the Southern Birdwing (190 mm) that Brigadier William Harry Evans, a British military officer and lepidopterist, had recorded in 1932.
- But the male Golden Birdwing (Troides aeacus) is much smaller at 106 mm.
- The hitherto largest Indian butterfly that Brigadier Evans recorded in 1932 was an individual of the Southern Birdwing (Troides minos), which was then treated as a subspecies of the Common Birdwing.
- While the female Golden Birdwing was recorded from Didihat in Uttarakhand, the largest male was from the Wankhar Butterfly Museum in Meghalaya capital Shillong.
- The updated wingspan of three species — all from Uttarakhand — after the Golden Birdwing are Common Windmill (Byasa polyeuctes) at 98 mm, Great Windmill (Byasa dasarada) at 96 mm, and Common Peacock (Papilio bianor) at 78 mm.
- The smallest is the Quaker (Neopithecops zalmora) with a wingspan of 18 mm and forewing length of 8 mm.
- The largest female Golden Birdwing’s forewing length is 90 mm.