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Southern Birdwing or Troides minos

Southern Birdwing or Troides minos, a butterfly found abundantly in Kerala, is the largest one in India. It belongs to the Swallowtail family. It can be seen abundantly in the western ghats.

In adult butterflies, the upper side forewing is glossy black with white-bordered veins. The hind wings have a golden yellow colour, with black borders, spots and veins. In females, the forewings have prominent grey-white vein stripes. On the hind wings, there are rows of large triangular black spots. The wingspan is 140-190mm for both.

Sothern Birdwings are active in the early morning hours. They have a slow flight and usually prefer to fly above the trees. They feed only on honey. Mussaenda, Ixora and Lantana are their major host plants. They can be easily spotted in the gardens of both the cities and the villages in Kerala.
Apart from India, Sri Lanka hosts Southern Birdwings.