The World of Birdwing Butterflies

 

ORNITHOPTERA AESACUS

IUCN conservation status category: INDETERMINATE.

Ornithoptera aesacus is the least known of the three species of the Ornithoptera genus - aesacus, priamus and croesus.

The species was described from one male and two females which were bred from larvae collected by John Waterstradt in 1905. Unfortunately, Mr. Waterstradt failed to describe the early stages. Until this date little is known about the species which is still rare in collections.

Very few specimens exist in museum collections. Hardly any specimens are known to have been collected from the time of Waterstradt's discovery of the species until the 1980's when a Jakarta collector managed to obtain a small series for sale.

The present status of the species is unclear. Field data is virtually unknown and little is known about its habitat.

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O.aesacus

Auctor: Ney, 1903
Syn.: obiana (Waterstradt i.l.) Rebel 1906
Syn.: obiensis Rippon 1906
Syn.: obiana (as O.arruana obiana) Rippon 1906-1912
Distribution: Obi Is.
Etymology: Ęsacus was the oldest son of Priamus.
Notes: From its discription in 1903 it took a lifetime before the species
was rediscovered in 1979 or 1980.
Described forms:
mf. maculatusaurum Parrott & Deslisle, 1987
mf. nadiae Deslisle, 1995
ff. tenebricosa Parrott & Deslisle, 1987
ff. purpurea Sumiyoshi, 1989
ff. masaeae Ohya, 1995


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