Trogonoptera brookiana

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Raja Brooke's Birdwing
Trogonoptera brookiana 0588.JPG
Mounted specimens of male (above) and female
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Papilionidae
Genus: Trogonoptera
Species: T. brookiana
Binomial name
Trogonoptera brookiana
Wallace, 1855
  • Troides brookiana

Rajah Brooke's Birdwing (Trogonoptera brookiana) is a distinctive black and electric-green birdwing butterfly from the rainforests in the Thai-Malay Peninsula, Borneo, Natuna, Sumatra, and various small islands west of Sumatra (Banyak, Simeulue, Batu and Mentawai).[1][2] The butterfly was named by the naturalist Alfred R. Wallace in 1855, after James Brooke, the Rajah of Sarawak.[2]

The larval host plants are Aristolochia acuminata and A. foveolata.[3] Adults sip flower nectar from plants such as Bauhinia.[2]

Rajah Brooke's Birdwing is a protected species, listed under Appendix II of CITES,[3][4] meaning that international export is restricted to those who have been granted a permit.

It is the national butterfly of Malaysia.[5]


Both genders resemble the more restricted relative, the Palawan Birdwing, but (among others) males of the Rajah Brooke's Birdwing have more green to the rear wings. The wingspan of the Rajah Brooke's Birdwing is 15–17 cm (5.9–6.7 in).[3]

Male: The wings of the male butterflies are mainly black. Each forewing has seven teeth-shaped electric-green markings, while there is a relatively large electric-green patch on the hindwings. The head is bright red and the body is black with red markings.

Female: The wings of the female butterflies are browner with prominent white flashes at the tips of the forewings and at the base of the hindwings.[3]


  • Trogonoptera brookiana akikoa Morita, 1994
  • Trogonoptera brookiana brookiana
  • Trogonoptera brookiana toshikii Kobayashi, 1991


  1. ^ The World of Birdwing Butterflies. Trogonoptera brookiana. Accessed 20 May 2012
  2. ^ a b c ARKive Rajah Brooke’s birdwing. Accessed 20 May 2012
  3. ^ a b c d Butterfly Corner. Trogonoptera brookiana (Raja Brooke's Birdwing). Accessed 20 May 2012
  4. ^ CITES (3 April 2012) Appendices. Accessed
  5. ^ Butterflies of Malaysia. Accessed 20 May 2012
  • Goh, D. 1994. Life history of Trogonoptera brookiana albescens in Malaysia (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae). Tropical Leidoptera 5(1): 1-5. pdf