Southern Birdwing’s 88 year old record broken by Golden Birdwing to become the largest butterfly in India.

6 July 2020.


Himalayan butterfly named Golden Birdwing is India’s largest butterfly in India now.It replaces Souther Birdwing which held the record for last 88 years.In 1932 British Army Officer Brigadier William Harry Evans a Lepidopterist had recorded Southern Birdwing butterfly with wingspan of 190mm to be the largest butterfly.Evans measured the butterfly from centre of thorax to the tip of forewing  apex. This value was doubled to get the exact measurement.

Findings about the Golden Birdwing

  • According to the new measurement method Golden Birdwing has a wingspan of 194 mm, the female of the species is marginally larger than the Southern Birdwing (190 mm) .
  • Altough the male Golden Birdwing (Troides aeacus) is much smaller at 106 mm.
  • The new measurements of this and 24 other species of butterflies were published in the latest issue of Bionotes, a quarterly newsletter for research on life forms.
  • Shristee Panthee of the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences in Yunnan and Peter Smetacek of the Butterfly Research Centre at Bhimtal in Uttarakhand are the authors of the study.
  • While the female Golden Birdwing was recorded from Didihat in Uttarakhand, the largest male was from the Wankhar Butterfly Museum in Meghalaya capital Shillong.
  • According to the authors, the only measurement used in the study of Lepidoptera is wingspan — a simple concept with various interpretations of the term.
  • 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.
  • Lepidopterist is a person who studies butterflies.

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