Male Cairns Birdwing (34)
|This beauty was a challenge to capture and another gorgeous male is caught! Even with a higher shutter speed i was unable to capture a "non blurry" shot, the one achieved will be put in my workshop. Next visit my goal is to achieve a full frontal!|
Males have a predominately black upper wing with emerald green flashes, however the female lacks the green coloring, having a plain black upper wing with white patches. (Ornithoptera priamus) This butterfly is also referred to as the Cairns Birdwing. It is the largest species of butterfly found in Australia, where the female has a wingspan of 20cm.
The female is able to locate the correct plants using chemical receptors in her forelegs to 'taste' various leaves. She also uses sense organs at the end of her abdomen to find tender leaves that would be suitable for caterpillar food.
The leaves of the Aristolochia vines are poisonous. To many other caterpillars these toxins would be deadly, but the birdwing not only able to eat these leaves but also use them for their own protection.
The caterpillars are able to store the toxins in fleshy orange-red spines one their backs and these act as protection from birds. n nature bright colors such as orange, red and yellow sometimes act as warnings to other animals letting them know they are either dangerous or inedible. Should a bird ignore the warning colors of the birdwing caterpillar, it is unlikely to make the same mistake again.
This beauty was caught during my visit @ Butterfly World