Good old India... I just love it!!! Light-attracting Orn. alexandrae... What would Mr. Straatman say? I used to collect in Andhra Pradesh at night, but surprisingly not a single male of alexandrae came to light... Perhaps, I should have used another type of lamp... Next time I'll be wiser, I promise.
Lol, while I have many Indian friends, sentences like this “We got electricity connection in our house recently and I think the butterflies were probably attracted by the lights”, gives me the urge to slap them all with a shovel.
I frankly do believe that he did see O. alexandrae in India, why should it not fly there, it must be a disjunct population that is only found in their rainforest. The witness seems very reliable. Certainly a new subspecies, expect to see O. alexandrae indiai soon in a large publication. I bet the Ornithoptera experts are preparing an expedition now. After all it flies in West Papua too, but has yet to be found and named although there are scores of Papuan hunters are after it, if only the Indians could breed it and make some money. Perhaps this even a new species
The Brits can be pretty reliable too, because famous naturalists like Lewin, Forester, Layard and the Bree's said they saw or caught L. virgaureae in blighty.
BTW do we know if the West Papuan introduced population is a hoax or not.
There are still people who believe in it, but if it was true, it would be known and localised now.
Just a hoax, alexandrae is now confined to a tiny area around Popondetta amid oil plantations. I often see people post that its common in nature, as far as I am concerned, you might as well believe that this species flies in India. I watched Bugging with Ruud recently, what a strange and wonder eccentric chap he his, a real fun guy, although i expect a lot think he is OTT. Still he visited the Wau Valley, 400 species of butterflies in one area, but he had to have an armed guard with a shotgun to protect him from those nasty rascals. He visited that famous village, you know, where alexandrae is nearly confined too, and saw quite a few of pupae and caterpillars of the giant birdwing, but only because the villages are bringing them to their village to protect them from the loggers on their specially planted vines. Ruud only saw one male adult alexandrae close up on a Hibiscus, so near it landed on his face before flying up into the canopy.