The World of Birdwing Butterflies

 

TROIDES HELENA

Troides helena enjoys the widest distribution of all the birdwings. It stretches from North India and Nepal in the west, to China in the north, to Sulawesi in the east and to Tinjil and Sumba islands in the south.

In most of the area helena is a common species from sea-level to 1000 m elevation. It flies high, but often descends to flowers of lower trees and bushes.

As for several other birdwing species, helena larvae feed on Aristolochia tagala in most of its range.

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T. helena cerberus

Auctor: Felder, 1865
Syn.: pompeus Gray, 1852 nec Cramer, 1775
Syn.: cerberus Felder, 1864 (nom.nud.)
Syn.: cerberus Felder, 1865
Syn.: ruficollis Butler, 1877 female nec male
Syn.: hephaestus Distant, 1885 nec Felder, 1864
Distribution: N.India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia,
?Laos, S.Vietnam. Has also intruded the Andaman Islands.
Etymology: Kerberos was a three-headed canine guardian in Greek mythology.
Notes:
Described forms:
mf. cerberus Felder, 1865
mf. eumagos Jordan, 1908
ff. azelia Jordan, 1908
ff. gypsothelia Jordan, 1908
ff. chongkiakwangi Tung, 1981
ff. pluto Felder, 1864




T. helena euthycrates

Auctor: Fruhstorfer, 1913
Syn.: cerberus Fruhstorfer, 1902
Syn.: cerberus Jordan, 1908
Syn.: cerberus Dubois & de Salvaza, 1921
Syn.: cerberus D'Abrera, 1975
Syn.: cerberus Ohya, 1983
Syn.: cerberus Tsukada & Nishiyama, 1980
Distribution: N.Vietnam, ?Cambodia, ?Laos, ?S.China
Etymology: Euthycrates = 'marked with luck'.
Notes:
Described forms:
none


T. helena tabuchii

Auctor: Hayami & Kobayashi, 1994
Distribution: Hong Kong
Etymology:
Notes: Matsuka (2001) regarded T.helena tabuchii to be a synonym of
T.helena spilotia.
Described forms:
none



T. helena spilotia

Auctor: Rothschild, 1908
Syn.: spilotius Kurosawa, 1966
Syn.: helena Carey-Hughes & Pickford, 1976
Syn.: cerberus M.Okano, 1983
Syn.: cerberus Ohya, 1983
Distribution: S.China; Hainan, Zhanjiang (=Leizhou) Peninsula - Yunkai Da
Shan Range - Hong Kong - Jiangxi Province. According to
Haugum & Low (1985) W and NW limits are totally unknown.
Etymology: Spilotos = stained , spotted.
Notes:
Described forms:
none

 



T. helena heliconoides

Auctor: Moore, 1877
Syn.: heliaconoides Wood-Mason & de Nicéville, 1880 & 1887
Syn.: pompeus Wood-Mason & de Nicéville, 1881
Syn.: cerberus Felder, 1865
Syn.: ruficollis Butler, 1877 female nec male
Syn.: hephaestus Distant, 1885 nec Felder, 1864
Distribution: Andaman Isls.; North Andaman Is., South Andaman Is., Brothers Is.,
?Little Andaman Is.
Etymology: Helikon was a sacred forested mountain inhabited by the muses.
Heliconoides reflects Fabricius' name for T.helena.
Notes: Ssp cerberus has now been reported to have intruded the Anadaman Islands.
Described forms:
ff. heliconoides Moore, 1877 (= aphnea Jordan, 1908)
ff. rhyparia Jordan, 1908




T. helena ferrari

Auctor: Tytler, 1926
Distribution: Nicobar Isls.; Great Nicobar Is. and Little Nicobar Is.
Etymology: Named after Lieut.-Colonel Ferrar, Chief Commissioner of the
Andamans, who discovered the new taxon in 1924.
Notes:
Described forms:
none




T. helena typhaon

Auctor: Rothschild, 1908
Syn.: hephaestus Hagen, 1894
Syn.: helena de Nicéville & Martin, 1895
Syn.: cerberus Rothschild, 1895
Distribution: N. Sumatra
Etymology: Typhaon or Tyfon was a monstrous figure in Greek mythology.
Notes:
Described forms:
ff. aplotia Jordan, 1908
ff. typhaon Rothschild, 1908 (= phycia Jordan, 1908)




T. helena dempoensis

Auctor: Deslisle, 1993
Distribution: S. Sumatra; Mt Dempo
Etymology: Named after its type locality, Mount Dempo.
Notes:
Described forms:
none




T. helena isara

Auctor: Rothschild, 1908
Syn.: hephaestus Weymer, 1885
Syn.: cerberus Rothschild, 1895
Syn.: cerberus Rippon, 1906
Syn.: isarus Kurosawa, 1966
Distribution: Nias Is.
Etymology: Isare = 'as Ara'. Ara was a Greek godess of destruction and revenge.
Notes:
Described forms:
ff. aphrodite Ohya, 1983




T. helena nereis

Auctor: Doherty, 1891
Distribution: Enggano Is.
Etymology: Nereus was a Greek god of the waters, and father of the nereids.
Notes:
Described forms:
none




T. helena rayae

Auctor: Deslisle, 1991
Distribution: Belitung Is. (between Sumatra and Borneo).
Etymology: Named after the auctor' wife, Raymonde ("Ray").
Notes:
Described forms:
none




T. helena hermes

Auctor: Hayami, 1991
Distribution: Simeulue Is., Banyak Archipelago. 
Etymology: Hermes, god of thieves and commerce, guide for the dead to
  the underworld, son of Zeus and Maia.He weared winged
  sandals and a winged hat. Hermes was the messenger of Zeus. (Greek mythology).
Notes:
Described forms:
ff. hera Hayami, 1991 




T. helena mosychlus

Auctor: Fruhstorfer, 1913
Syn.: cerberus Rothschild, 1895
Syn.: pompeus Rippon, 1906
Syn.: mosuychlus Robinson, 1977 (lapsus)
Syn.: moschylus D'Abrera, 1975 (lapsus)
Syn.: moschylus M. Okano, 1983 (lapsus)
Distribution: N. Borneo, Banggi Is. Exact distribution in Kalimantan not known.
Etymology:
Notes:
Described forms:
none




T. helena orientis

Auctor: Parrott, 1991
Distribution: E. Kalimantan; Bontang, Melak, Anjungan.
Etymology: Orientis = east. The name reflects the taxon's easterly distribution
in Kalimantan.
Notes:
Described forms:
none




T. helena sugimotoi

Auctor: Hanafusa, 1992
Distribution: Karimata Is. (west of Borneo).
Etymology: Named after Mr. Shiro Sugimoto who first reported
T. helena from Karimata Is.
Notes:
Described forms:
none




T. helena venus

Auctor: Hayami, 1991
Distribution: South Natuna Archipelago; Subi Besar Is., Serasan Is.
Etymology: Venus was the goddess of love in Roman mytholgy, known as
  Aphroditi in Greek mythology and Turan in Etruscan mythology.
Notes:
Described forms:
none




T. helena bunguranensis

Auctor: Ohya, 1982
Syn.: mosychlus D'Abrera, 1975
Distribution: Natuna Is.
Etymology: Named after its type locality, Bunguran/Natuna Besar.
Notes:
Described forms:
none




T. helena helena

Auctor: Linnaeus, 1758
Syn.: ?nereides Fruhstorfer, 1906 (see notes under T.helena nereides)
Syn.: ?mannus Fruhstorfer, 1908 (see notes under T.helena mannus)
Syn.: ?antileuca Rothschild, 1908 (see notes under T.helena antileuca)
Syn.: ?neoris Rothschild, 1908 (see notes under T.helena neoris)
Syn.: cerberus Strand, 1910
Distribution: S.Sumatra, Kratakau Is., Sebesi Is., Sangijang Is., Belitung Is.,
?Bangka Is., Java, Madura Is.
Etymology: Helene was daughter of Zevs and Leola in Greek mythology.
Notes:
Described forms:
mf. jupiter Oberthür, 1879
mf. helena Linnaeus, 1758  (= intermedia Dufrane, 1946)
mf. albovittata Roepke, 1935 (syn.: alboradians Rousseau-Decelle, 1946)
mf. neocarolus Haugum & Low, 1985
mf. seriepunctata Roepke, 1935 (syn.: punctata Dufrane, 1946)
mf. holzi Pagenstecher, 1890
mf. rutilans Oberthür, 1879
ff. penetia Jordan, 1908
ff. pompeus Cramer, 1775
ff. hycetus Rippon, 1906 (syn.: albicans Roepke, 1935)
ff. jupiter Oberthür, 1879
ff. rutilans Oberthür, 1879




T. helena ssp. noname

Auctor:
Distribution: Tinjil Is.
Etymology: - - - -
Notes: Undescribed, discovered January 1992.
Described forms:
none




T. helena nereides

Auctor: Fruhstorfer, 1906
Distribution: Bawean Is.
Etymology: Nereus was a Greek god of the waters, and father of the nereids.
Notes: Haugum & Low (1985) regarded nereides to be a f.loc. of
T.helena helena.
Described forms:
none




T. helena antileuca

Auctor: Rothschild, 1908
Syn.: antileucus Kurosawa, 1966
Distribution: Kangean Is., 'Goa-Koening Is.' (=Sabunten Is.?), 'Airkokkab Is.'
(=Sapankur Is.?), Paliat Is., Saur Is, ?Saubi Is., ?Sepanjang Is.,
?Pangerungan Besar Isls.
Etymology: Antileuca = in doubt.
Notes: Haugum & Low (1985) regarded antileuca to be a f.loc. of
T.helena helena.
Described forms:
none




T. helena mannus

Auctor: Fruhstorfer, 1908
Syn.: mamius Martin, 1922 (lapsus calami)
Syn.: maurus D'Abrera, 1975 (lapsus calami)
Syn.: maurus Tsukada & Nishiyama, 1985 (lapsus calami)
Syn.: helena Haugum & Low, 1985
Distribution: Bali
Etymology: In German mythology Mannus was father of the West Germanic peoples.
  He was son of Tuisto, the ultimate ancestor of all German peoples. Mannus was mentioned by the Roman historian Tacitus in his book "Germania".
Notes: Haugum & Low (1985) regarded mannus to be a f.loc. of
T.helena helena.
Described forms:
none



T. helena sagittatus

Auctor: Fruhstorfer, 1896
Syn.: saigttatus Pagenstecher, 1909 (lapsus)
Syn.: agittatus Martin, 1922 (lapsus)
Distribution: Lombok Is.
Etymology: Sagitta = arrow.
Notes:
Described forms:
ff. sagittatus Fruhstorfer, 1896 (=  nympha Jordan, 1908)
ff. sciara Jordan, 1908




T. helena propinquus

Auctor: Rothschild, 1895
Distribution: Sumbawa Is., Sumba Is.
Etymology: Propinquus = kinsman, neighbour.
Notes:
Described forms:
none




T. helena hephaestus

Auctor: Felder, 1865
Syn.: hephaestus Felder, 1864 (nom. nud.)
Syn.: hephaestus Felder, 1865
Syn.: leda Wallace, 1865
Syn.: mopa Rothschild, 1908
Syn.: ?neoris Rothschild, 1908 (see notes under T.helena neoris)
Syn.: mopus Kurosawa, 1966
Syn.: mopa Tsukada & Nishiyama, 1980
Syn.: ?neoris Tsukada & Nishiyama, 1980 (see notes under T.helena neoris)
Distribution: Sulawesi, Salayar Is., Kabia Is., Kabeana Is., ?Muna Is., Peleng Is.,
Buton Is., Binongko Is. (= Papalia Is.) (see notes under T.helena neoris), Sula Is.
Etymology: Hefaistos was a Greek god of fire and metals, son of Zeus and Hera.
Notes:
Described forms:
mf. hephaestus Felder, 1865
mf. takashii Haugum & Low, 1985
mf. imperialis Zondervan, 1940
ff. lucinda Jordan, 1908
ff. lygea Jordan, 1908
ff. imperialis Zondervan, 1940




T. helena neoris

Auctor: Rothschild, 1908
Distribution: Binongko Is.
Etymology:
Notes: Accepted by Tsukada & Nishiyama (1980) as a valid
subspecies. Haugum & Low (1985) regarded neoris to be
a synonym of T.helena hephaestus. In their Monograph they
do, however, write: "Time will show whether neoris qualifies for
a separate standing".
Described forms:
none



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