Richmond Birdwing Conservation Network
Bring back the Birdwing Butterfly
A project of Wildlife Queensland
Community members, conservation groups and representatives from local, state and federal agencies can become members of the Richmond Birdwing Conservation Network. The RBCN is a non-profit voluntary group.
|The Richmond Birdwing Butterfly Ornithoptera richmondia.
Richmond Birdwing Butterfly (Ornithoptera richmondia) is
one of the largest butterflies found in South East Queensland and
Northern New South Wales. This beautiful butterfly, the male of
which has brilliant green and black wings and bright red splash
on its thorax, was once found in great numbers from the Mary River
Heads in Queensland to the Clarence River in New south Wales and
west to the Great Dividing Range.
Since the early 1900s, the range of the butterfly has become severely
restricted. By the beginning of the 21st century, its distribution
was reduced to two distinct populations, one on the Sunshine Coast
and one stretching from the Gold Coast and its hinterland to the
more northern parts of Northen New South Wales. Brisbane and its
environs no longer has a stable and viable Richmond Birdwing Population,
although sightings are more frequent in wet weather years encouraged
by a frenzy of planting activities in the Brisbane suburbs over
the last two decades.
Click here for more information on the threats
to the survival of this butterfly.
Once one has seen the beautiful male Richmond Birdwing butterfly with its brilliant green and black wings, it
would be difficult and unlikely to confuse another butterfly with it. On the other hand, the very different and larger female Richmond
Birdwing butterfly can be easily confused with a number of other butterflies.
This page and subsequent pages will attempt to remove some of the
confusion that those of us who have never seen a Richmond Birdwing
Butterfly suffer, and answer the question "Was that a Richmond
Birdwing butterlfy?" The pages do not present a scientific
key with which to identify the butterfly, but a series of pictures
that will help point out the differences.
The male is best recognized as it flies and glides through the
forest or garden, with its brilliant green wings easily visible.
However, when at rest, feeding on a flower, it usually holds its
wings together, displaying the blue, yellow and black colours on
the underside of its wings. Rarely does it rest with its wings spread
out so that you can see the brilliant green on the upper side.
Click here for a list of look a-like butterflies.