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“Golden Birdwing” from Uttarakhand surpassed “Southern Birdwing” to become India’s largest butterfly after 88 years

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Himalayan butterfly named Golden BirdwingThe Himalayan butterfly named “Golden Birdwing (Troides aeacus)” has surpassed the “Southern Birdwing (Troides minos)” after 88 years to become the largest butterfly in India. The female species of the Golden Birdwing has a wingspan of 194 mm that is 4 mm larger than that of the Southern Birdwing with 190 mm wingspan while the largest wingspan in the male species of the Golden Birdwing is 106 mm. The largest female Golden Birdwing’s forewing length is 90 mm.

  • The female Golden Birdwing was recorded from Didihat in Uttarakhand, the largest male was from the Wankhar Butterfly Museum in Meghalaya capital Shillong.
  • The new measurements of Golden Birdwing and 24 other species, are published in the latest issue of Bionotes, a quarterly newsletter for research on life forms. This study of Lepidoptera was done by Shristee Panthee of the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences in Yunnan, China and Peter Smetacek of the Butterfly Research Centre at Bhimtal in Uttarakhand. The measurement used in the study by authors is wingspan.

Key Points:

-Golden Birdwing is followed by Common Windmill (Byasa polyeuctes) at 98 mm, Great Windmill (Byasa dasarada) at 96 mm, and Common Peacock (Papilio bianor) at 78 mm- all from Uttarakhand.

-The smallest butterfly is the Quaker (Neopithecops zalmora) with a wingspan of 18 mm and forewing length of 8 mm. 

About Southern Birdwing:
Southern Birdwing (190 mm) was recorded in 1932 by Brigadier Evans, a British military officer and lepidopterist (a person who studies or collects butterflies and moths). He measured the butterfly from the centre of the thorax to the tip of forewing apex, the outcome of measurement was then doubled to to obtain the exact measurement.

About Uttarakhand:
Chief Minister– Trivendra Singh Rawat
Governor– Baby Rani Maurya 
Capital– Dehradun(Winter Capital), Gairsain (summer capital)