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India’s Largest Butterfly: All You Need to Know About Golden Birdwing

India’s Largest Butterfly

India is home to many beautiful species of butterflies due to its warm and tropical climate and among all, the name of India’s largest butterfly is The Himalayan butterfly, Golden Birdwing and the scientific name of the species is Troides Aeacus.

It broke the 88-year-old record of Southern Birdwing (its scientific name is Troides Minos) in 2020, a specimen recorded by Brigadier William Harry Evans, a British military officer, and lepidopterist, recorded in 1932.

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The length of the wingspan of the female species of the Golden Birdwing is 194 mm which is marginally larger than the length of the wingspan of the Southern Birdwing which is 190 mm. Yet the male butterfly is much smaller with a wingspan length of 106 mm.

The female Birdwing was found at Didihat in Uttarakhand and the largest male species was measured in the Wankhar Butterfly Museum situated in Shillong, Meghalaya. The specimen is present at the Butterfly Research Center at Bhimtal.

The golden birdwing lives in Northern India, in addition to China, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Taiwan, Japan, Indonesia, Cambodia, and peninsular Malaysia.

The primary measurement that scientists tend to use with butterflies is the wingspan. In 1932, Mr William was the one who recorded the wingspans of all butterfly species found in the Indian subcontinent.

He published standardised work on the wingspans of butterfly species. Though the specimen of the largest butterfly measured by him was unknown. So it was considered a subspecies of the Common Birdwing.

Measurement Method

A quarterly newsletter for research on life forms, Bionotes, has recently published the measurement of India’s largest butterfly and 24 other species. The authors of this newsletter are Shristee Panthee from the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences in Yunnan and Peter Smetacek from the Butterfly Research Center at Bhimtal in Uttarakhand.

The writers disclose that the only measurement used in the study of Lepidoptera (the order of the butterfly) is the wingspan. This method is used to measure the butterflies from the wing base to the tip.

The revised wingspan measurements of the three large species followed by the Golden Birdwings are mentioned below:

Species Scientific Name Measurement
Common Windmill Byasa polyeuctes 98 mm
Great Windmill Byasa dasarada 96 mm
Common Peacock Papilio bianor 78 mm

All three species belong to Uttarakhand. The smallest butterfly in India is Quaker. The scientific Name of the species is Neopithecops Zalmora.

The butterfly belongs to the lycaenids or blues family and has a wingspan of 18 mm with a forewing length of 8 mm. The forewing length of the female Golden Birdwing is 90 mm.

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FAQs related to India’s Largest Butterfly

Q1. Name the largest butterfly of India. 
Ans. The name of India’s largest butterfly is The Himalayan butterfly aka Golden Birdwing.

Q2. What is the scientific name of the Himalayan butterfly?
Ans. The scientific name of this species is Troides Aeacus.

Q3. What is the measurement of India’s largest butterfly?
Ans. The  wingspan of the female species of the Golden Birdwing is 194 mm.

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