The Cairns Birdwing Butterfly

The Cairns Birdwing butterfly is the largest of all Australian butterflies and found along northeastern Australia from Mackay to Cooktown.

Its scientific name is Ornithoptera euphorion

The male birdwing is green, gold and black and is very colourful, compared to the female which is black and white, with some yellow. The female is bigger than the male.

When you visit us at the sanctuary, keep an eye out for the mating ritual between the female and male. The male will chase the female around in the hopes she will show interest, before they commence their mating process – if the female thinks the male is a worthy partner, of course!

Did you know?

  • This butterfly is easily identified due to its vivid colouration.
  • The female’s wingspan can measure 18cm.
  • As soon as adult butterflies hatch they mate quickly because they only live for 4 to 5 weeks.
  • Their favourite habitat is the rainforest.