The upperside of the forewings of the male chimaera birdwing (Ornithoptera chimaera) are black with three streaks of yellowish-green scales. The hindwings are mainly yellow with an area of black and small patches of green on top of the yellow (4). There are two or more black dots within the yellow area. The underside is more colourful with less black areas. Females are dark brown, with several indistinct white spots on the forewings and a broad pale band on the hindwing enclosing a semicircular series of black spots. The furry body is primarily black and yellow. The caterpillar has a black body with a yellow ‘saddle’, covered with small, spiky bumps. The pupa is black mottled with pale yellowish-brown (3).
While some scientists believe there are three subspecies of the chimaera birdwing (Ornithoptera chimaera chimaera, O. c. charybdis, and O. c. flavidior), each occupying slightly different ranges (4) (5), others believe that O. c. charybdis, and O. c. flavidior are simply local forms (6).
- La Chimère, Ornithoptère Chimère.