Butterflies aren’t just among the most beautiful species on the planet. But they also play a significant ecological significance as pollinators and have been a major part of the human world for hundreds of years. We might see different types of butterflies in our gardens and surroundings. But most of them are significantly small. This is about Amazingly Large Butterfly Species which is rare to see in day-to-day life.
Pictures of butterflies from Egypt are found to be dated to 3500 years old. Butterflies are featured in songs and poems all over the world. Butterflies are not as efficient at pollinating as Bumblebees due to the lack of specific structures for collecting pollen. Bees, for instance, have corbiculae, which are also called pollen baskets on their hind legs, for efficient collection of pollen. Butterflies, however, accidentally pollinate flowers as they drink their nectar.
There are more than 24,000 butterflies in the world that are incredibly varied by size as well as color and shape. It is interesting to note that the wings of butterflies are covered with tiny dimensions of between 30-80 micrometers across a 30-500 micrometer space that reflects light and produces the vivid colors that we can observe. The vibrant patterns of butterflies’ wings serve multiple purposes such as to attract mates as well as fool predators.
This article will look at some of the biggest species of these stunning creatures. These are the 5 biggest butterflies according to their maximum wingspan.
#1 Rippon’s birdwing 7.9 inch wingspan
The Rippon’s butterfly has a huge wingspan that can reach 7.9 inches. The butterfly is native to the Moluccas, and Sulawesi located in Indonesia. Rippon’s is a protected species however it is not considered to be endangered. It is thought that the bright yellow hue of the Rippon’s birdwing is used to confuse predators and imitate the behavior of a wasp to protect itself.
#2 Buru Opalescent Birdwing- 7.9 inches wingspan
At 7.9 inches across, the Buru Opalescent Birdwing Butterfly has an amazing wingspan that is similar in size to Rippon’s birdwing. This butterfly only lives within Buru within the Moluccas Islands of Indonesia and is found at higher altitudes of 1300 up to 1600 meters. The Buru Opalescent birdwing is listed as an endangered species in danger of disappearing within the natural world. These butterflies are threatened by the collection of specimens as well as habitat destruction due to logging.
#3 The African Giant Swallowtail 9.1 inch wingspan
This African gigantic swallowtail is an enormous butterfly, with a width of 9.1 inches. It is the biggest butterfly found in Africa in size and spans a huge geographical spread across twelve African countries. This African giant swallowtail is without natural predators since it is extremely poisonous and may cause illness and death if it is ingested. The status of conservation for the species is “data deficient” which means there is not enough information to correctly define it.
#4 Goliath Wingspan, 10-11 inches
The second-largest butterfly in the world is a huge butterfly with wings that extend between 11 and 12 inches. This Goliath birdwing butterfly is found within the forests in Papua New Guinea and its neighboring islands. Also, this is a species with a classification of low concern. The butterfly’s name is derived from the biblical gigantic Goliath because of its massive size. Its subspecies are named after mythological giants like Titan, Atlas, and Samson.
#5 Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing11-inch wingspan
The largest butterfly in the world with an enormous 11-inch wingspan can be seen in the queen’s birdwing. This butterfly was named after Alexandra from Denmark who was the Queen of the United Kingdom and Empress of India between 1901 and 1010.
Queen Alexandra’s birdwing has been considered endangered and is found only within a 40-square-mile stretch of rainforest along the coast of Papua New Guinea. Resultantly the butterfly is among only three insects within Appendix I to CITES (Convention of International Trade in Endangered species) which prohibits all trade in this species. A volcanic eruption on Mt. Lamington in the year 1951 caused the destruction of habitats that led to the loss of Queen Alexandra’s birdwing.