RECORD: S16. Wallace, A. R. 1855. Description of a new Species of Ornithoptera: Ornithoptera brookiana. Wallace. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of London 1854-1855: 104-105.

REVISION HISTORY: Body text helpfully provided by Charles H. Smith from his Alfred Russel Wallace Page
Additions by John van Wyhe. RN1

[page] 104

The following was read at the April meeting:—

Description of a New Species of Ornithoptera.


"Expansion 6½ inches. Wings very much elongated; black, with a horizontal band of brilliant silky green. On the upper side this band is formed of seven spots

[page] 105

of a subtriangular form, the bases of the four outer being nearly confluent, and of the three inner quite so, forming a straight line across the centre of the wing; the attenuated apex of each spot very nearly reaches the outer margin at each nervule. On the lower wings the green band occupies the centre half, and has its upper margin tinged with purple. The lower wings are finely white-edged. There are some azure atoms near the base of the upper wings. The collar is crimson, and the thorax and abdomen (?) black. Beneath black, upper wings with the green spots opposite the bases of those above, small and notched, the basal one with brilliant purple reflexions, also a purple streak on the anterior margin at the base. Lower wings with a submarginal row of diamond-shaped whitish spots divided by the nervures; base of wings with two elongated patches of brilliant purple. Body obliquely banded with crimson; abdomen black.

"Hab. N.W. Coast of Borneo.

"This magnificent insect is a most interesting addition to the genus Ornithoptera. The green-marked species have hitherto been found only in N. Australia, New Guinea and the Moluccas, and all those yet known so much resemble each other in their style of marking, that most of them have been considered as varieties of the original Papilio Priamus of Linnæus. Our new species is therefore remarkable on two accounts; first, as offering a quite new style of colouring in the genus to which it belongs; and, secondly, by extending the range of the green-marked Ornithopteræ to the N.W. extremity of Borneo. As it has not been met with by the Dutch naturalists, who have explored much of the S. and S.W. of the island, it is probably confined to the N.W. coast. My specimen (kindly given me by Captain Brooke Brooke) came from the Rejang river; but I have myself once seen it on the wing near Sarawak. I have named it after Sir J. Brooke, whose benevolent government of the country in which it was discovered every true Englishman must admire.

"Alfred R. Wallace."

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Citation: John van Wyhe, ed. 2012-. Wallace Online. (

File last updated 26 September, 2012