Butterflies of New
and the islands of the South Pacific
New Guinea Clipper
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
Kali Senai, Arfak, Irian
Jaya © G.Zakine
There are 3 species in the genus Parthenos.
The commonest and most widespread is sylvia,
which is found from India to the Philippines, and south to Papua New
Guinea. The remaining species, aspila
and tigrina, are both endemic to New
is found in West Irian
and Papua New Guinea. It almost certainly also occurs on many of the
This species is found in primary rainforest,
usually in the vicinity of rivers, at elevations between sea level
and about 800 metres.
I have no data regarding
tigrina. The lifecycle is likely to be
very similar to that of sylvia as
The larva is brown, speckled with white dots and has broad greenish
dorsal and lateral stripes. Each segment bears 4 multi-branched
spines, purplish brown at the base and red on the outer half. The
larval foodplants include Adenia (
Passifloraceae ) and Tinospora
( Menispermaceae ).
The chrysalis occurs
in 2 forms, either pale green or dark olive. It is plain in
appearance, without protuberances, and is suspended by the cremaster
from beneath a leaf.
a powerful and fast flying butterfly. The flight consists of short
periods of gliding, alternating every few seconds with shallow but
rapid flickering wing beats.