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What's the biggest butterfly in the world?

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Queen Alexandra's birdwing is endangered, with threats that include habitat loss and illegal collection.

Asked by: Terry Croft, Slough

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Queen Alexandra’s birdwing butterfly, which is only found in 100km2 of rainforest in Papua New Guinea. The females are bigger than the males and have a wingspan of 25cm and an 8cm-long body. The Hercules moth, found in New Guinea and northern Australia, is slightly larger, with a 27cm wingspan and the largest wing area of any living insect.

How do butterflies manage to fly in the wind? © Getty Images

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Authors

luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.

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