Troides helena cerberus
|Common Name:||Common Birdwing|
|Status:||Vulnerable / CITES protected|
|Extant in countries:||•Singapore|
The Common Birdwing is the largest species of the Papilionidae family found in Singapore. The wing expanse of this species, equals and often exceeds that of the famous Rajah Brooke's Birdwing (Trogonoptera brookiana albescens). It is essentially a forest species, but has been drawn to cultivated areas in gardens and parks where its host plant, Aristolochia acuminata, is found. The hindwing of the Common Birdwing is a rich golden yellow edged with black, and the female has a complete series of large black submarginal spots. Rarely, males also have one or more smaller submarginal spots, but never a complete series.
Habitat & Habits
In Singapore, this species is usually found where its host plants are cultivated. It has a large flight range, and has been found both in forested areas as well as urban parks and gardens. It is capable of flying long distances and at great height. It is a sight to behold as it flutters by, almost bird-like. Like many of the Papilionidae species, it flutters its forewings whilst its hindwings are kept relatively still when it stops to feed at flowers - favourites are the Pagoda Flower (Cleredendron spp).
Females lay their eggs singly, often on or below the leaves of the host plant. The males are not known to puddle, unlike many members of the Papilioniodae family.
See Khew's documentation on the life history of the Common Birdwing
and the ButterflyCirlce's blog article - The LIfe History of the Common Birdwing.
- Nagypal, Tony : "The World of Birdwing Butterflies", Systematic description and subspecies of Troides helena
- Hong Kong Lepidopterists' Society (HKLS) : Paper by Young, JJ & Reels, GT : A Brief note of the distribution and conservation of Birdwing Butterflies of Hong Kong
- Inayoshi, Yutaka : "Checklist of Butterflies in IndoChina", Specimen comparisons of Troides helena
- Chin, Fah Shin : "Chin's Malaysian Butterfly Gallery" : Photos of Troides helena cerberus