The World of Birdwing Butterflies



Schoenbergia goliath seems to occupy most of New Guinea, although its distribution in Central New Guinea is unknown. In addition the species is also found in some of the neighbouring islands.

S. goliath flies in secondary and primary forests from the lowlands up to 2,300 m in Irian Jaya. In Papua most populations are known from 400 - 700 m altitude.

It is assumed to be somewhat more common in the western part of New Guinea than in the eastern parts of the island.

S. goliath is among the world's largest butterflies, second only to A. alexandrae. Its eggs can reach a diameter of 4.7 mm, making them the world's largest insect ova.

The most striking subspecies is perhaps S.g.procus from Ceram, where it inhabits the mountainous interior of the island.

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of a specific subspecies, click on the name of the subspecies.
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S. goliath procus

Auctor: Rothschild, 1914
Distribution: Seram Is.
Etymology: Procus = wooer, suitor.
Described forms:
mf. nigroocellatus Haugum & Low, 1981
mf. cunfluenta Schäffler, 2001
mf. jeromei Deslisle & Sclavo, 2008
mf. goudreaulti Deslisle & Sclavo, 2008
ff. albopuncta Ohya, 1983

S. goliath goliath

Auctor: Oberthür, 1888
Distribution: Waigeo Is.
Etymology: Name describing its impressive size; Goliath was the Philistine
giant who lost in fight against David. The name might also refer to
Mount Goliath in Central New Guinea. Nevertheless, as Niepelt
named ssp. samson after another biblical figure, it is most likely
that ssp goliath's name refers to the biblical Goliath.
Described forms:

S. goliath ukihidei

Auctor: Hanafusa, 1994
Distribution: Yapen Is. (off the north coast of Irian Jaya).
Etymology: Named in honour of Mr. Ukihide Tateishi, who rediscovered O.goliath in Yapen Is.
Notes: The taxon was based on two females. The male was described by Deslisle in 1995.
Described forms:
f. edouardei Deslisle, 1995 (golden spot within the radial band).

S. goliath samson

Auctor: Niepelt, 1913
Syn.: joiceyi Noakes & Talbot, 1915
Distribution: Irian Jaya; Berau (= Vogelkop) Peninsula, incl Arfak Mts.
Etymology: Samson was a war hero and judge in Israel, of Dan's tribe, who
fought against the Philistines.
Described forms:
mf. samson Niepelt, 1913
mf. sais. joiceyi Noakes & Talbot, 1916
ff. samson Niepelt, 1913
ff. sais. joiceyi Noakes & Talbot, 1916
ff. flavomaculata Sumiyoshi, 1989

S. goliath atlas

Auctor: Rothschild, 1908
Syn.: sorongensis Morita & Sugiyama, 1998
Distribution: Irian Jaya; Onin Peninsula-Kobowre (=Weyland) Mts-
Cenderawasih (=Geelvink, Sarera) Bay.
Etymology: Atlas, a giant in Greek mythology, carried the world on his shoulders.
Described forms:
mf. letiranti Deslisle & Sclavo, 2008
  ff. albiflora Sumiyoshi, 1989
  ff. subalbus Deslisle & Sclavo, 2008

S. goliath supremus

Auctor: Oberthür, 1888
Syn.: schönbergi Röber, 1896, rect. schoenbergi Röber (preocc.)
Syn.: ? elisabethae-reginae Horváth & Mocsáry, 1899 (see notes
under S.goliath elisabethae-reginae)
Syn.: ? titan Grose-Smith, 1900 (see notes under S.goliath titan)
Syn.: ? huebneri Rumbucher, 1973 (see notes under S.goliath hubneri)
Syn.: kikoriensis Szent-Ivany, 1975
Distribution: Eastern New Guinea; from NE Irian Jaya in the west, to the
east of New Guinea and Goodenough Is.
Etymology: Latin; 'the highest'.
Described forms:
mf. aurifer Haugum & Low, 1979
ff. schmidi Haugum & Low, 1979

S. goliath elisabethae-reginae

Auctor: Horváth & Mocsáry, 1899
Distribution: PNG; East Sepik & Morobe Provinces
Etymology: Named in honour of Elisabeth, empress of Austria and queen
of Hungary.
Notes: Haugum & Low (1979) regarded elisabethae-reginae to be a
synonym of S.goliath supremus.
Described forms:

S. goliath titan

Auctor: Grose-Smith, 1900
Distribution: Central PNG; Aseki
Etymology: Titan was a gigantic warrior in Greek mythology.
Notes: Haugum & Low (1979) regarded titan to be a synonym of
S.goliath supremus. The name titan probably applies to the
  dark females of S.g.supremus only.
Described forms:
mf. confluenta Haugum & Low, 1979
  mf. gottsi Deslisle & Sclavo, 2008

S. goliath huebneri

Auctor: Rumbucher, 1973
Distribution: PNG; Goodenough Is.
Etymology: Named in honour of naturalist Jacob Hübner of Augsburg.
Notes: Haugum & Low (1979) regarded huebneri to be a synonym of
S.goliath supremus.
Described forms:

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