queen alexandra's birdwing

National Moth Week is July 22-30.⠀
The world’s largest moth is the Atlas moth (Attacus atlas), and it has a wingspan of about a foot (30.5 centimeters). The largest butterfly, Queen Alexandra’s birdwing (Ornithoptera alexandrae), is roughly the same size. So what’s the difference between moths and butterflies?⠀
Moths and butterflies fit into two categories: behavior and anatomy. For the most part, moths are nocturnal. They fly and feed at night. Butterflies, on the other hand, are diurnal, or active during the day. So the winged insect you see feeding from a flower in the middle of a spring afternoon is most likely a butterfly. If you watch a large-winged, flitting insect make its way toward a candle at night, it’s probably a moth.⠀
Butterflies and moths also pupate, or become adults, differently. Both go through their metamorphosis in a chrysalis, or protective shell. Moths, however, often spin a silk cocoon around their chrysalis, sometimes camouflaging it with leaves or debris.⠀
The physical differences between moths and butterflies are usually easy to see:⠀
* Butterflies’ antennae are wider at the tips – their ends look like little clubs. Moths’ antennae are often feathery. Sometimes, they’re thin like butterflies’ antennae, but without the clubs.⠀
* Most of the time, butterflies’ wings display more vivid colors than moths’ wings do. This doesn’t mean that moths only come in shades of white, brown and gray, though. The Actias artemis shown on the previous page is an Asian moth that is related to the similarly-colored luna moth. It’s colorful enough that it’s sometimes known as the night butterfly.⠀
* Many moths use a series of loops called a retinaculum and a fringe called a frenulum to connect their front and rear wings. Butterflies don’t have these structures.⠀
*Often, moths’ bodies are plumper and fuzzier than butterflies’ bodies.⠀
But not every member of the order Lepidoptera fits neatly into the categories of butterfly and moth. There are butterflies with moth-like qualities and moths with butterfly-like qualities. https://www.instagram.com/p/BW2nEKQF7WO/

The world’s largest butterfly is now also one of the most endangered, surviving only on a tiny plot of coastal rain forest in the Popendetta Valley of eastern Papua New Guinea. The spectacular Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing (Ornithoptera alexandrae) has been forced into an ever-smaller range by decades of deforestation and natural disaster.

This species, which feeds exclusively on the vines and foliage of local pipevine (Aristolochia) plants and thrives only in lowland old-growth rain forest, lost a large part of its habitat with the eruption of Mount Lamington in 1951. Habitat loss later escalated as forests were cleared for logging and farming— for rubber and cocoa plantations and, increasingly, for large-scale palm-oil operations. To add to the pressure, collectors continue to chip away at this fragile population by paying high prices for Queen Alexandra’s specimens on the black market, even though commercial trade in this species is illegal.

Why is this species so prized? Find out on the Museum blog

Image: AMNH/D.Finnin

anonymous asked:

Queen Alexandra's Birdwing (Ornithoptera alexandrae)

Ornithoptera alexandrae
German: Königin-Alexandra-Vogelfalter
English: Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing 


Sorry dudes, i’m stupid. ;_; I have accidentally drawed the male one. But I like this gijinka version so much, so I didn’t want delete that.  

I want to draw 100 butterflies! 
(and maybe some geometer and owlet moths)!

So, please reblog my challenge for more butterflies <3 thanks  

(you have no idea? So check this out!