Troides hypolitus

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Rippon's birdwing
T. h. cellularis - female, upperside
Papilionidae - Troides hypolitus.JPG
Male, at National Museum (Prague)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Papilionidae
Genus: Troides
Species: T. hypolitus
Binomial name
Troides hypolitus
(Cramer, 1775)
  • Papilio hypolitus Cramer, [1775]
  • Ripponia hypolitus
  • Papilio remus C. & R. Felder, 1864
  • Ornithoptera hypolitus var. sulaensis Staudinger, 1895

Troides hypolitus, the Rippon's birdwing, is a birdwing butterfly endemic to the Moluccas and Sulawesi. It is not significantly threatened, but it is protected.[citation needed]

Troides hypolitus is a butterfly from Australasia/Indomalaya ecozone. The first description was in 1775 by Pieter Cramer. This butterfly is a member of the family Papilionidae. Troides hypolitus is black. It has a chain of golden spots on the hindwings. The females are dark brown and they are bigger than the males.

Original figure in Uitlandsche Kapellen


For terms see External morphology of Lepidoptera.

The wingspan is from 180–200 mm.

The male's forewings are black. Some veins are bordered by white colour. The underside is very similar to the upperside. The hindwings are grey. The outer edge is black and it contains a chain of golden spots. The veins are black. The underside is similar to the upperside, but the basic colour is white.

The body (abdomen) is black and yellow, but the underside is white and yellowish. It looks like a wasp. Head and thorax are black. The nape has a red hair-coat.

The sexes are sexually dimorphic. The female covers the upper range of the wingspan and is usually larger than the male. The basic colour of the female is dark brown. Many veins are bordered by white. The golden spots are bigger and they contain a black core. The underside is a very similar to the upperside.

As Ornithoptera hippolytus in Robert Henry Fernando Rippon Icones Ornithopterorum (1898 to 1906)


Troides hypolitus is found in the Australasia/Indomalaya ecozone. The distribution is restricted on the Molucca Islands and Sulawesi.


There are four subspecies:

  • Troides hypolitus hypolitus (Moluccas)
  • Troides hypolitus antiope Rothschild, 1908 (Morotai)
  • Troides hypolitus cellularis Rothschild, 1895 (Sulawesi, Talaus)
  • Troides hypolitus sulaensis (Staudinger, 1895) (Sula Islands)


This butterfly is strictly protected. It is listed in the appendix II from CITES.


In Greek mythology Hippolytus was the son of Theseus.


  • D'Abrera, B. (1975) Birdwing Butterflies of the World. Country Life Books, London.
  • Collins, N. Mark; Morris, Michael G. (1985). Threatened Swallowtail Butterflies of the World: The IUCN Red Data Book. Gland & Cambridge: IUCN. ISBN 978-2-88032-603-6. 
  • Haugum, Jan; & Low, A. M. (1975): Notes on the status of Troides hypolitus (Cramer) 1775 (Lep.: Papilionidae: Troidini) with a description of a new genus, notes on the status of T. hypolitus cellularis Rothschild 1895, and the apparent dimorphism in the male sex of T. hypolitus sulae The Entomologist's Record and Journal of Variation 87, pp. 111–119, illustration.
  • Haugum, J. & Low, A.M. 1978-1985. A Monograph of the Birdwing Butterflies. 2 volumes. Scandinavian Press, Klampenborg; 663 pp.
  • CITES: (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora):
    • Appendix II- (as at 12.02.2008)
  • EU regulation on trading with species of wild Fauna and Flora:
    • Appendix B- (as at 19.08.2005)
  • IUCN Red List of threatened species:
    • no entry- (as at 2008)

External links[edit]