Butterflies and Moths of Sri Lanka

Ceylon Birdwing Troides darsius



Similar Species    

Non in Sri Lanka


Endemic to Sri Lanka, Threatened (Global Redlist), Near Threatened (National Redlist 2007)


All over the island from sea level to 3000 feet elevation, rarer or absent towards the North. Some different sites I have observed and shot it are, at the sand-dune near Malala Lagoon (Bundala National park) and at Panama Sanctuary both from coastal areas, in Hanthana - about 2000 feet elevation, in the trail to Corbett’s Gap (Knuckles) - about 3000 feet high and in Medirigiriya near Kawudulla National Park. It is not uncommon in Peradeniya University Park and road to Hanthana. Butterfly seems to prefer wet zone as many observations are from wet zone.

Class: Insecta

Order: Lepidoptera

Sub-order: Ditrysia

Super Family: Papilionoidea

Family: Papilionidae

Genus: Troides

Species: T. darsius Gray 1852


Sri Lanka only


This is a forest lover but visits open aeras of home gardens where nectar plants and its host plant Aristolochia spp grow. Frequently visible in riparian forest and open scrublands at forest edges.


It has quite slow wing beat but flight is moderately fast as its wings are larger.

Ceylon Birdwing Female UP
Early stages  

Eggs: about 2-2.5 mm


Host Plants: Aristolochia a delicate vine which is also a medicinal plant grows in fences of home gardens and forest edges. Aristolochia species are also hosted by another genus of Papilionidae genus Pachliopta (Roses)



Troides darsius is refered to as Common Birdwing together with the 'Ceylon Birdwing' by many authers. But the term Common Birdwing is widely used throughout the tropic for varous Troides species. Since the Troides darsius is confined to Sri Lanka the name 'Ceylon Birdwing' is more specific and suitable for this magnificient Sri Lankan butterfly. And I suggest authors to give up continuous use of the name 'Common Birdwing' for Ceylon Birdwing and More accurately to use Sri Lankan Birdwing.


Bernard d' Abrera (1998) says "This regal butterfly is an appropriate choice for the national butterfly of Sri Lanka, in its simple colours of black and gold" . I honestly and strongly agree with him.

2010 - See Biodiversity secretarate has decleared the National butterfly  

Sri Lanka names its national butterfly >>Article 01

Our Nationl Butterfly >>Artcle 02


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