Spend a moment in our Butterfly Rainforest with Ryan talking about the Green birdwing, Ornithoptera priamus, native to Australia, New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. These butterflies are large, and the females are larger than the males, making them some of the largest butterflies you’ll see in our exhibit.

They are toxic and have bright markings to warn predators. Their colors can vary by region and subspecies. Ours are from Australia and while the females are mostly brown to black, the males have bright green markings.


Hello. Welcome to the Butterfly Rainforest at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

My name is Ryan and today we’ll be talking about one of the rarer butterflies we have in the Butterfly Rainforest. However, it is one of the more stunning species. One that might even rival the Blue morpho. This is called the Green birdwing. It hails from northern Australia, New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. This form comes from Australia. Because there are several different subspecies of different colors.

You can see the beautiful green here on the outside of the wings and the bright yellow abdomen. Now on the inside, it also has a beautiful striking green. Now this butterfly, like the Blue morpho, doesn’t like to sit with its wings open very often, but again this one is still very striking on the outside.

You’ll also want to note its size. This is also a very big butterfly. It’s where the name birdwing comes from. These are also toxic butterflies. They have bright yellow markings on their abdomens to warn you of that. On top of that this is the male. The female actually has very little color. She’s primarily black, but she’s notably larger. Easily the largest butterfly we have inside the Butterfly Rainforest. She can be up to 10 inches long. But, they don’t emerge very regularly, so we only get a handful of them and when we do sometimes we allow the males to come out and sometimes we allow the females to come out.

So we hope you have the chance to come on down and enjoy this beautiful, beautiful butterfly. And have a great rest of the day. Thank you.

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Video by Ryan Fessenden; Produced by Radha Krueger