Ornithoptera priamus

New Guinea Birdwing

Basic Information

General information

Family: Papilionidae
Sub Family: Papilioninae
Estimated Lifespan 14 Days

Garden Specific Information

Estimated Number In Flight: 0
Total Number of Pupae Received: 141
First Flown On: 05/08/09
Last Flown On: 10/05/18

Species Range:

  • Australia
  • Asia

Host plants:

  • Aristolochia

Food Source

Adults will feed from a variety of nectar-producing flowers.

Etymology Of Name

The genus Ornithopera is Greek for Bird Wing. In Greek mythology Priam was the king of Troy during the Trojan War.


New Guinea Birdwings are only found in tropical rainforests where the host plant is present and the areas directly bordering those forests.

Life history

After finding a suitable mate and mating, the female goes about laying her eggs. Eggs are laid individually on the host plants. Often, once the caterpillar hatches, the remaining egg becomes the caterpillar’s first meal. The chrysalis is formed on a structure in close proximity of the host plant.


Adults can be observed year round with the highest numbers occurring in the summer and fall.

Fun Facts

The New Guinea Birdwing was first described over two hundred years ago. Since that time the species has been broken up into several different subspecies which inhabit different geographic ranges.