A female Queen Alexandra birdwing butterfly specimen

A female Queen Alexandra birdwing butterfly specimen from the Museum's collection.

Queen Alexandra birdwing butterfly display causes a flutter

A display showcasing a male and female Queen Alexandra birdwing butterfly specimen has opened at the Museum at Tring.

Listed as an endangered species, the display highlights its discovery, current threats and conservation efforts, and how the Museum's Digital Collections Programme are releasing data online to help protect the species.

Queen Alexandra birdwing butterfly display case in the Rothschild Room at the Museum at Tring

The Queen Alexandra birdwing butterfly display case in the Rothschild Room.

Lord Walter Rothschild, founder of the Museum at Tring, was the first to describe the species after naturalist Albert Stuart Meek provided him with a specimen he collected on a trip to Papua New Guinea in 1906.

Queen Alexandra's birdwing, Ornithoptera alexandrae, is the world's largest known butterfly species, with an adult female wingspan reaching up to 28 centimetres across the hind wings.

The display is part of the celebrations of Lord Rothschild's 151st birthday and can be found in the Rothschild Room until December 2019.

Listen to Museum butterfly curator Dr Blanca Huertas talk about this birdwing butterfly and other special specimens on BBC Radio 4's Natural Histories.

Visit Tring

Most of the 4,900 specimens on display in the Museum at Tring have been there since it opened to the public 125 years ago. In fact, some are still exactly where Walter put them so many years ago.

Taxidermy gallery at Tring

The Museum at Tring

Discover our world-class collection of animals and birds at the Natural History Museum at Tring.