LARGER THAN LIFE

Animal Scene - - INCHORDATE -

Thanks to care­tak­ers in Tai­wan’s Orchid Is­land, we fi­nally know the mea­sure­ments of this par­tic­u­lar but­ter­fly. On aver­age, the wing­span of a fully grown Magellan birdwing but­ter­fly is fif­teen cen­time­ters long and ten cen­time­ters wide, as re­ported on­line by Dig­i­tal Tai­wan! But see, that’s just an aver­age male -- and we haven’t touched on their big­ger coun­ter­parts yet.

Now, the fe­males can be visu­ally dif­fer­en­ti­ated from the males be­cause th­ese but­ter­flies are sex­u­ally di­mor­phic -- there are a num­ber of phys­i­cal dif­fer­ences be­tween the two sexes (and not just the bits needed to breed). Kind of like how pea­cocks have a dif­fer­ent color de­pend­ing on gen­der, the Magellan birdwing but­ter­flies’ males and fe­males also dif­fer, al­beit in size. The fe­males are ac­tu­ally larger than the males, which means that fe­male Magellan birdwing but­ter­flies can mea­sure up to about twenty to twenty five cen­time­ters wide.

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