Ornithoptera goliath

Zhao Li2012

Insect Museum of West China

Insect Museum of West China
Chengdu, China

Ornithoptera goliath, also known as Goliath birdwing, has the largest wing area among all butterfly species. It is a typical representative of the genus Ornithoptera endemic to Irian-New Guinea and surrounding islands. The females are dim in color and have different wing shapes compared with males. Lives in tropical rainforests and is active in the canopy or shrub layers. It likes visiting flowers, usually flies to wild flowers to suck nectar during morning and dusk. The larvae are hosted by several Aristolochia plants and feed on their leaves. In 2010, materials scientists found inverted V-shaped nanostructures in the black part of its wings, and fabricated ultra-black and ultra-thin amorphous carbon films following its structure. The thickness of the film is about 1/6 of the previously reported ultrablack material, but its light absorption performance is comparable to the former. The energy reflected by this film is only 1/14 of that of a flat carbon film, which makes the material have higher light absorption and emission efficiency. It is protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, and is also listed in the Red List of Threatened Species of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).


  • Title: Ornithoptera goliath
  • Creator: Zhao Li
  • Date Created: 2012
  • Type: specimen
  • Location: Indonesia

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