28 June 2012

The Green Birdwing, from Australia, is one of the world’s largest butterflies with a wingspan of up to 20cm.

However the stunning species, which is protected by CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) to prevent its illegal trade, is rarely seen and only lives for around six to eight weeks.

 

Butterfly Keeper Heather Prince said:

“The first individuals have started to emerge from their pupas now and so for the next month or two our Butterfly Journey exhibit will be home to a group of these amazing butterflies.

“The females, although much larger than the males, are dark brown or blackish with white or cream spots, whereas the males are far brighter. Their wing colour is predominantly green with flashes of yellow and black providing a stunning contrast.

“They won’t be around for too long and so if people want to come and see them, I’d urge them to do so very soon.”

The group can be seen flying together with over 25 other species – around 300 butterflies – in the zoo’s Butterfly Journey exhibit.