Ornithoptera Alexandrae is the world’s largest butterfly - it has a wingspan of 28cms and it lives in the lowland forests of Northern Papua New Guinea and feeds on only one species of vine, Aristolochia schlechteri.
The butterfly lays a single egg on the underside of one of the vine’s leaves. After a fortnight the egg hatches. Although not poisonous to the caterpillar, the vine contains a toxin that can be distasteful to other species and helps deter potential predators. Metamorphosis takes place over 40 days.
This butterfly is now endangered by Illegal trafficking and deforestation for palm plantations.
For more information on how we can help save this species go to www.sbbt.org.uk