On Sept 13, 2023, the Sabah Government declared the Kinabalu Birdwing as the state butterfly.
This move aims to boost tourism and biodiversity conservation, said Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Christina Liew.
Named Kalibambang Emas in the local language, it’s a rare and stunning butterfly, scientifically known as Triodes andromache.
Sadly, habitat destruction threatens its existence, classifying it as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. It’s also protected under wildlife conservation laws.
Recognizing this butterfly will aid in its protection and promote broader biodiversity conservation. Liew stressed the importance of educating rural communities about its value.
She suggested featuring it on Malaysian stamps, especially for a first-day cover.
This unique butterfly is found in the montane regions of Mount Kinabalu and Crocker Range, residing at elevations of 1,000 to 2,000 feet.
Entomologists have been fascinated by this birdwing for over two centuries.
Males display black, yellow, and green colors, while females have brown and white patterns.
With a wingspan of 50mm to 70mm, this butterfly is a captivating addition to Sabah’s natural heritage.