Author Archives: Wölfchen

Asplenium lobulatum Mett.

Asplenium lobulatum

Distribution:

Fiji: Viti Levu
Hawai’i Islands: Hawai’i, Kaua’i, Lana’i, Maui, Moloka’i, O’ahu
Samoa: Savai’i, ‘Upolu

local names: –

Chloroclystis katherina Robinson

Katherina’s Geometer Moth (Chloroclystis katherina)

This species, which was described in 1975, is obviously endemic to Viti Levu, Fiji, and appears to be restricted to montane forests.

The moth has a wingspan of 1,5 to 1,8 cm.

*********************

References:

[1] Gaden S. Robinson: Macrolepidoptera of Fiji and Rotuma: a taxonomic and biogeographic study. Classey 1975
[2] Neal L. Evenhuis: Checklist of Fijian Lepidoptera. Bishop Museum Technical Report 38(13): 1-53. 2007

Disphyma clavellatum (Haw.) Chinnock

Disphyma clavellatum

Distribution:

New Zealand: South Island

local names: –

*********************

Photo: John Barkla
http://www.inaturalist.org/people/john_barkla

(under creative commons license (4.0))
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0

Hydrocotyle novae-zeelandiae DC.

Hydrocotyle novae-zeelandiae

Distribution:

New Zealand: Rangatira Island (Chatham Islands); Great Barrier Island; Kapiti Island; North Island; South Island; Stewart Island

local names: –

~~~

This species may in fact be a species aggregate.

There are two varieties, the nominate variety, and Hydrocotyle novae-zeelandiae var. montana Kirk.

Crepidomanes kurzii (Bedd.) Tagawa & K. Iwats.

Crepidomanes kurzii

Distribution:

Society Islands: Mo’orea

local names: –

*********************

References:

[1] Atsushi Ebihara; Jean-Yves Dubuisson; Kunio Iwatsuki; Sabine Hennequin; Motomi Ito: A taxonomic revision of Hymenophyllaceae. Blumea 52(2): 1-60. 2006

Miocalles superstes (Zimmerman)

Marotiri Miocalles Weevil (Miocalles superstes)

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Marotiri Rocks

local names: –

***

The Marotiri Miocalles Weevil was described in the year 1936 (as Microcryptorhynchus superstes Zimmerman).

This species is known only from the tiny Southeast Islet of the Marotiri group in the south of the Austral Archipelago, where the animals can be found on St.-John’s Beggarticks (Bidens saint-johniana Sherff) and on Yellow Purslane (Portulaca lutea Soland. ex G. Forst.), on which they obviously feed.

The flightless Marotiri Miocalles Weevil is only about 0,2 cm long, and reddish brown in color. [1]

*********************

References:

[1] Elwood C. Zimmerman: Curculionidae of Marotiri, South-Central Pacific (Coleoptera). Pacific Insects 8(4): 893-903. 1966

*********************

edited: 30.12.2018

Veronica poppelwellii Cockayne

Veronica poppelwellii

Distribution:

New Zealand: South Island

local names: –

Sinployea aunuuana Solem

Aunuu Sinployea Snail (Sinployea aunuuana)

This species, which is restricted to the small island of ‘Aunu’u offshore Tutuila’s east coast in the American part of Samoa, was described in the year 1983.

The shell reaches an average size of 0,28 cm in diameter. [1]

~~~

The island of ‘Aunu’u was investigated in intensive field studies in the year 2001, when the island was found to be infested with two alien snail species: the Two-toned Gulella (Huttonella bicolor (Hutton)), and the West African Streptostele Snail (Streptostele musaecola (Morelet)); both are known to be invasive, mainly snail-eating species, and both are found on many Pacific islands now.

The Aunuu Sinployea Snail was not found in 2001, and is now considered most likely extinct. [2]

*********************

References:

[1] Alan Solem: Endodontoid land snails from Pacific Islands (Mollusca: Pulmonata: Sigmurethra). Part II, Families Punctidae and Charopidae, Zoogeography. Field Museum of Natural History Chicago, Illinois 1983
[2] Robert H. Cowie; Rebecca J. Rundell: The Land Snails of a small tropical island, Aunu’u, American Samoa. Pacific Science 56(2): 143-147. 2002

Asplenium trichomanes L.

Asplenium trichomanes

Distribution:

Hawai’i Islands: Hawai’i, Maui
New Zealand: North Island; South Island

local names: –

~~~

Three subspecies are known to occur within the Polynesian region, of which only one is endemic.

The nominate race occurs in Australia and on New Zealand’s North- and South Islands, the subspecies Asplenium trichomanes ssp. densum (Brack.) W. H. Wagner is endemic to the Hawaiian Islands, while the subspecies Asplenium trichomanes ssp. quadrivalens Meyer, which is native to Australia and Europe, is known from a few population on New Zealand’s North Island.

Hibiscus furcellatus Desr.

Clay’s Hibiscus (Hibiscus furcellatus)

Distribution:

Hawai’i Islands: Hawai’i, Kaua’i, Maui, O’ahu

local names:

aloalo – Hawai’i Islands
‘akiahala – Hawai’i Islands
‘akiohala – Hawai’i Islands
hau hele – Hawai’i Islands
hau hele wai – Hawai’i Islands

The ‘Green Cancer’

The ‘Green Cancer’

Actually, the Miconia (Miconia calvescens DC.), occurring naturally from Central to South America, is indeed a very beautiful plant – actually.

Unfortunately it is also probably one of the most invasive plant species at all, the worst thing, that could happen to the native flora of many of the Polynesian islands.

The species was brought to Polynesia for the first time in the year 1937, namely to Tahiti, to enhance the inventory of the local Botanical Garden.

Birds, alien species as well introduced by humans like Red-vented Bulbuls (Pycnonotus cafer L.) or Silvereyes (Zosterops lateralis Latham), very soon begun to ensure the dissemination of the numerous, very small seeds. The seeds are also often hidden in the soil adhering the roots of several other plants, for example food plants like Taro, and can, together with these plants, be transported from one place to another. Moreover, they can very easily and absolutely unintentionally be distributed with the muddy filth in the profile of the sole of a shoe.

The species grows extremely fast, its leaves are giant and soon block the light from the smaller plants, which leads to their unavoidably death. Once the species has established itself somewhere, it will soon vehemently assume command over all of the other plant species and generate giant pure stands. For example, in the year 1996 two-thirds of the vegetation on the island of Tahiti were made solely by Miconias (!).

In the meantime the species can be found on several of the Hawaiian Islands (Hawai’i, Kaua’i, Maui, O’ahu), the larger of the Society Islands (Mo’orea, Ra’iatea, Taha’a, Tahiti) as well as on some islands of the Marquesas (Fatu Hiva, Nuku Hiva).

********************

References:

[1] Jean Yves Meyer: Status of Miconia calvescens (Melastomataceae), a dominant invasive tree in the Society Islands (French Polynesia). Pacific Science 50(1): 66-76. 1996

********************

Photo: Kim Starr & Forest Starr; by courtesy of Kim Starr & Forest Starr

http://www.starrenvironmental.com

Deudorix doris Hopkins

Samoan Cornelian (Deudorix doris)

The adult has a wingspan of about 3 cm, the forewings are black with the so-called cell fiery red colored, the hindwings are of the same red color for about a third of their area.

The males appear to be much commoner than females, but these may just hide in the forest canopy, where they are quite difficult to observe. [1]

~~~

The caterpillars are thought to feed on fruits of native tree species including Elaeocarpus spp. and Hernandia spp.. [2]

*********************

References:

[1] G. H. E. Hopkins: Insects of Samoa and other Samoan terrestrial Arthropoda. Part III. Lepidoptera, Fasc. 1. Butterflies of Samoa and some neighboring island-groups. London 1927
[2] Brian Patrick; Hamish Patrick: Butterflies of the South Pacific. Otago University Press 2012

*********************

female and male

Depictions from: ‘G. H. E. Hopkins: Insects of Samoa and other Samoan terrestrial Arthropoda. Part III. Lepidoptera, Fasc. 1. Butterflies of Samoa and some neighboring island-groups. London 1927’

(public domain)

Hermatobates palmyra Polhemus & Polhemus

Palmyra Coral Treader (Hermatobates palmyra)

The Palmyra Coral Treader was described in 2012, it appears to live in the waters around the Line Islands, Kiribati.

The species can also be found around the Mariana Islands. [1]

~~~

The coral treaders inhabit the surface of the ocean, where they search for insects that were blown onto the sea etc.. They are thus actually marine species that are not covered by my blog, however, being insects they may not be thought of as usual marine animals; thus I will mention these creatures in my blog as well.

*********************

References:

[1] John T. Polhemus, Dan A. Polhemus: A Review of the Genus Hermatobates (Heteroptera: Hermatobatidae), with Descriptions of Two New Species. Entomologica Americana 118(1): 202-241. 2012

Calliphora bryani Kurahashi

Rawaki Blow Fly (Calliphora bryani)

The Rawaki Blow Fly is obviously endemic to the island of Rawaki, where it feeds upon the carcasses of dead seabirds.

It is an about 0,5 to 0,7 cm long fly with a reddish-brown thorax, which is silver-grey dusted throughout. The abdomen is glossy bronze in color, the legs are reddish brown. The wings are hyaline.

The Rawaki Blow Fly is viviparous, that means it doesn’t lay eggs but gives birth to fully developed larvae.

*********************

References:

[1] Hiromu Kurahashi: Tribe Calliphornini from Australian and Oriental regions, III. a new Calliphora from Phoenix Island, with an establishment of a new subgenus (Diptera: Calliphoridae). Pacific Insects 14(2): 435-438. 1972

Hyposmocoma papaiili Schmitz & Rubinoff

Crab Shell Cosmet Moth (Hyposmocoma papaiili)

The Crab Shell Cosmet Moth was scientifically described in the year 2011.

It is a rather inconspicuous dark greyish brown colored species, which is restricted to the island of Maui.

the males have a wingspan of about 0,72 to 0,88 cm, the females of up to 1,26 cm.

The larvae were found on Eucalyptus trees (which are not native to the Hawaiian Islands), where they most probably feed on lichens.

The larval case in its shape resembles somewhat the carapace of a crab. It is about 1 cm long and has an entrance at each of the both, strangely serrated ends.

*********************

References:

[1] Patrick Schmitz; Daniel Rubinoff: Ecologically and Morphologically Remarkable New Cosmet Moth Species of the Genus Hyposmocoma (Lepidoptera: Cosmopterigidae) Endemic to the Hawaiian Islands, with Reference to the Spectacular Diversity of Larval Cases. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 104(1): 1-15. 2011

Epilobium pallidiflorum A. Cunn.

Epilobium pallidiflorum

Distribution:

New Zealand: Chatham Islands; Great Barrier Island; Kapiti Island; North Island; South Island; Stewart Island; Tiritiri Matangi Island

local names: –

Sisyra palmata New

Fijian Sponge-Fly (Sisyra palmata)

The Fijian Sponge-Fly, which is only known from the island of Vanua Levu, was described in the year 1987.

The biology of this species is not known, however, it probably feeds on dead insects or pollen, like other species of the genus.

*********************

References:

[1] Neal L. Evenhuis: Checklist of Neuroptera of Fiji. Bishop Museum Technical Report 35(14): 1-2. 2006

Powelliphanta augusta Walker, Trewick & Barker

Mount Augustus Predatory Snail (Powelliphanta augusta)

This species was described in 2008, it was until then known under the tag name Powelliphanta “Augustus”. [1]

The Mount Augustus Predatory Snail was discovered in 1996 at the ridgeline of Mt. Augustus northeast of Westport.

This locality was subsequently destroyed by mining operations, and about 6000 snails were taken from the locality in 2007 to protect them from the mine development. The ca. 4000 snails that were released to nearby sites showed an alarmingly high mortality rate, and 800 were even killed accidently by the Department of Conservation in a fridge during a captive program in 2011.

*********************

References:

[1] Steven A. Trewick; Kath J. Walker; Corina J. Jordan: Taxonomic and conservation status of a newly discovered giant landsnail from Mount Augustus, New Zealand. Conservation Genetics 9(6): 1563-1575. 2008

*********************

Photo: K. J. Walker

(under creative commons license (4.0))
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

Astronidium pickeringii (A. Gray) Christoph.

Astronidium pickeringii

Distribution:

Fiji: Ovalau
Samoa: Olosega, Ta’u, Tutuila, ‘Upolu

local names: –

*********************

References:

[1] J. F. Maxwell; J. F. Veldkamp: Notes on the Astronieae (Melastomataceae) – II. Astronidium, Beccarianthus. Blumea 35: 115-165. 1990

Thyrocopa minor Walsingham

Smaller Thyrocopa Moth (Thyrocopa minor)

This species is endemic to the island of Moloka’i.

The moth has a wingspan of about 1,8 cm, the forewings are mottled light brown and brown, the hindwings are brown.

********************

References:
[1] Elwood C. Zimmerman: Insects of Hawaii 9; Microlepidoptera Part 2; Gelechioidea. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu 1978
[2] Matthew J. Medeiros: A revision of the endemic Hawaiian genus Thyrocopa (Lepidoptera: Xyloryctidae: Xyloryctinae). Zootaxa 2202: 1-47. 2009

Haloragis stokesii F. Br.

Haloragis stokesii

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Rapa

local names:

~~~

This species is endemic to the island of Rapa, a very similar but nevertheless distinct species is known from Rarotonga, Cook Islands.

There are several other forms, which may turn out to represent distinct species, Haloragis sp. ‘South Coast’ from Pitcairn Island and Haloragis sp. ‘Tahiti’ from Tahiti.

*********************

References:

[1] Jean-Yves Meyer: Rapa, îles Australes: guide de la flore indigène et endémique. Direction de l’Environnement, Délégation à la Recherche: STPmultipress, Papeete 2011

Tachygyia microlepis (Duméril & Bibron)

Short-legged Tongan Skink (Tachygyia microlepis)

The enigmatic Short-legged Tongan Skink was described in the year 1839.

This species, which may well have been endemic to the island of Tongatapu, is known from only two specimens that were collected during the L’Astrolabe expedition in 1827.

The Short-legged Tongan Skink was a quite large terrestrial species with somewhat reduced legs, it probably fell prey to the numerous feral mammals, like cats, dogs, pigs and rats, that had been imported to the Tongan islands, both by Polynesians and Europeans.

The species is now generally considered extinct.

*********************

References:

[1] G. R. Zug; I. Ineich; G. Pregill; A. M. Hamilton: Lizards of Tonga with Description of a New Tongan Treeskink (Squamata: Scincidae: Emoia samoensis Group). Pacific Science 66(2): 225-237. 2012

Chloridops kona Wilson

Kona Grosbeak (Chloridops kona)

The Kona Grosbeak was discovered at the end of the 19th century, at that time it was restricted to a tiny, only about 10 km² large area in the north of the Kona district on the island of Hawai’i.

This rather plump and inconspicuous looking bird fed almost exclusively on the dried seeds of the Naio tree (Myoporum sandwicense (A. Gray)), and could often be located by the cracking sound of its feeding.

R. C. L. Perkins was one of the few people, that saw the bird in life, he wrote about it in the year 1893.:

The Palila (Chloridops kona), though an interesting bird on account of its peculiar structure, is a singularly uninteresting one in its habits. It is a dull, sluggish, solitary bird, and very silent – its whole existence may be summed up in the words “to eat.” Its food consists of the seeds of the fruit of the aaka (bastard sandal-tree [Myoporum sandwicense (A. Gray)], and probably in other seasons of those of the sandal-wood tree), and as these are very minute, its whole time seems to be taken up in cracking the extremely hard shells of this fruit, for which its extraordinarily powerful beak and heavy head have been developed. I think there must have been hundreds of the small white kernels in those that I examined. The incessant cracking of the fruits when one of these birds is feeding, the noise of which can be heard for a considerable distance, renders the bird much easier to see than it otherwise would be. … I never heard it sing (once mistook the young Rhodacanthis’ song for that of Chloridops), but my boy informed me that he had heard it once, and its song was not like that of Rhodacanthis. Only once did I see it display any real activity, when a male and female were in active pursuit of one another amongst the sandal-trees. Its beak is nearly always very dirty, with a brown substance adherent to it, which must be derived from the sandal-tree.

Note, that the name Palila is actually the Hawaiian vernacular name for another drepanidine bird species – Loxioides bailleui (Oustalet).

The last living Kona Grosbeaks were seen in the year 1894.

*********************

References:

[1] R. C. L. Perkins: Notes on Collecting in Kona. The Ibis 6(5): 101-111. 1893
[2] D. Luther: Die ausgestorbenen Vögel der Welt. Westarp Wissenschaften 1986
[3] H. D. Pratt; P. L. Bruner; D. G. Berrett: A Field Guide to the Birds of Hawaii and the Tropical Pacific. Princeton University Press 1987
[4] E. Fuller: Extinct Birds. Penguin Books (England) 1987
[5] H. D. Pratt: The Hawaiian Honeycreepers: Drepanidinae. Oxford Univ. Pr. 2005

*********************

Depiction from: ‘W. Rothschild: The Avifauna of Laysan and the neighbouring islands with a complete history to date of the birds of the Hawaiian possession. 1893-1900’

by courtesy of Erin Clements Rushing

http://www.sil.si.edu

Veronica pubescens Benth.

Coromandel Koromiko (Veronica pubescens)

Distribution:

New Zealand: Great Barrier Island; Little Barrier Island; Mokohinau Islands; North Island; Pakihi Island; Rotoroa Island

local names:

koromiko – New Zealand

~~~

This hebe species grows as an up to 2 m tall shrub and has light – to bright violet flowers.

The Coromandel Koromiko is often associated with pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa Sol. ex Gaertn.) forest, but is also commonly found at open places.

The species contains three subspecies: the nominate form occurs on the Coromandel Peninsula, North Island and some of its offshore islands like Pakihi- and Rotoroa Island; Veronica pubescens ssp. rehuarum (Bayly & de Lange) Garn.-Jones is endemic to Great Barrier Island; Veronica pubescens ssp. sejuncta (Bayly & de Lange) Garn.-Jones occurs on Great Barrier-, Little Barrier Island, and on the Mokohinau Islands.

*********************

Veronica pubescens ssp. rehuarum

Photo: Jack Warden
http://www.inaturalist.org/people/jack4

(under creative commons license (4.0))
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0

Orobophana musiva (Gould)

Mosaic Orobophana Snail (Orobophana musiva)

This species was described in 1847, it is found in Fiji, in Samoa, and obviously in Tuvalu as well.

The Mosaic Orobophana Snail is found under decaying vegetation at low elevations, very often near the coast.

It is a very small species, the shells reach heights of only about 0,2 cm, they vary in color from several shades of yellow and orange to reddish-brown.

*********************

References:

[1] Robert H. Cowie; Rebecca J. Rundell: The land snails of a small tropical island, Aunu’u, American Samoa. Pacific Science 56(2): 143-147. 2002

Haliophyle flavistigma (Warren)

Haliophyle flavistigma

This species appears to be restricted to the island of Maui, at least one other, closely related, but not yet described species occurs on the nearby island of Moloka’i. [2]

There is obviously still not much known about the biology of this species, a situation that is shared with so many other Polynesian insect species …. [1]

*********************
References:

[1] E. C. Zimmerman: Insects of Hawaii 7, Macrolepidoptera. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu 1958
[2] F. G. Howarth; W. P. Mull: Hawaiian Insects and Their Kin. University of Hawaii Press 1992

*********************

Photo: Hank L. Oppenheimer
http://hear.smugmug.com

(under creative commons licence (3.0))
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0

Acacia simplex (Sparrman) Pedley

Acacia simplex

Distribution:

Fiji: Beqa, Fulaga, Katafaga, Komo, Lakeba, Leleuvia, Makaluva, Matuku, Moturiki, Naigani, Nayau, Nukulau, Nukulevu, Ovalau, Rabi, Taveuni, Totoya, Vanua Balavu, Vanua Levu, Viti Levu, Yacata, Yanucalailai
Samoa: Savai’i, ‘Upolu
Tonga: ‘Ata, ‘Eua, Fafa, Makaha’a, Malinoa, Manima, Maninita, Monuafe, Motutapu, Nuku, Oneata, Onevai, Onevao, Pangaimotu, Tau, Tongatapu, Tufaka, ‘Uiha, ‘Uta Vava’u
Wallis & Futuna: Futuna, ‘Uvea

local names:

tatagia – Fiji
tataqia – Fiji

*********************

References:

[1] Albert C. Smith: Flora Vitiensis Nova: A new flora of Fiji (Spermatophytes only). Vol. 3. Lawai, Kauai, Hawaii 1985

Ambassis miops Günther

Flag-tailed Glassy Perchlet (Ambassis miops)

The Flag-tailed Glassy Perchlet is a Indo-Pacific species that, within the Polynesian region, can be found in Fiji and Samoa.

The species inhabits clear freshwater streams within 20 kilometers of the sea or the lower reaches of rivers and streams, within freshwater, it may also be found in floodplain habitats, in mangroves, and in river estuaries.

The food habits depend upon the habitat, the perchlet takes more crustaceans and small fish in estuaries than in freshwater, where terrestrial insects and their larvae are dominant.

The reproduction system is not studied, but its wide distribution indicates that it has a marine larval phase.

In Samoa the Flag-tailed Glassy Perchlet is known as lafa.

*********************

References:

[1] David Boseto; Aaaron P. Jenkins: A checklist of freshwater and brackish water fishes of the Fiji Islands. Wetlands International-Oceana. Suva, Fiji 2006
[2] Johnson Seeto; Wayne J. Baldwin: A Checklist of the Fishes of Fiji and a Bibliography of Fijian Fishes. Division of Marine Studies Technical Report 1/2010. The University of the South Pacific. Suva, Fiji 2010

*********************

Photo: S. Hashizume, 2008

http://jocv183199.web.fc2.com

Pacificagrion dolorosa Fraser

Sorrowful Damselfly (Pacificagrion dolorosa)

The Sorrowful Damselfly was described in the year 1953 on the basis of a male, that had been collected on the island of ‘Upolu, Samoa.

The species is almost unknown.

~~~

The Sorrowful Damselfly was not found during recent field studies, however, the exatct locality appears to be only insufficiently known. [2]

~~~

There obviously is at least one other, not yet described species on the island of Tutuila. [1][2]

*********************

References:

[1] Milen Marinov; Warren Chin; Eric Edwards; Brian Patrick; Hamish Patrick: A revised and updated Odonata checklist of Samoa (Insecta: Odonata). Faunistic Studies in South-East Asian and Pacific Island Odonata 5: 1-21. 2013
[2] Milen Marinov; Mark Schmaedick; Dan Polhemus; Rebecca L. Stirnemann; Fialelei Enoka; Pulemagafa Siaifoi Fa’aumu; Moeumu Uili: Faunistic and taxonomic investigations on the Odonata fauna of the Samoan archipelago with particular focus on taxonomic ambiguities in the “Ischnurine complex”. Journal of the International Dragonfly Fund 91: 1-56. 2015

*********************

Photo: The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

(under creative commons license (4.0))
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

*********************

edited: 23.08.2017

Thelymitra pulchella Hook. f.

Beautiful Sun Orchid (Thelymitra pulchella)

Distribution:

New Zealand: Chatham Islands; Great Barrier Island; North Island; South Island; Stewart Island; Ulva Island

local names: –

Anthophila chelaspis (Meyrick)

Marquesan Metalmark Moth (Anthophila chelaspis)

The Marquesan Metalmark Moth was described in the year 1929.

This species is endemic to the Marquesas, where it occurs with at least two subspecies (a third one seems to exist but hasn’t been described yet), of which the nominate race lives on Fatu Hiva and Hiva Oa, while the other two are found on Nuku Hiva and Ua Pou respectively.

The moth reaches a wingspan of about 1,4 cm.

The biology is not known, however, the caterpillars probably feed on the only native fig species, the aoa (Ficus prolixa G. Forst.). [1]

*********************

References:

[1] J. F. Gates Clarke: Pyralidae and Microlepidoptera of the Marquesas Archipelago. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 416. 1986

*********************

ssp. chelaspis (Meyrick) from Fatu Hiva and Hiva Oa

ssp. euthenia (Clarke) from Nuku Hiva

Photo: Peter T. Oboyski; by courtesy of Peter T. Oboyski

Moths of French Polynesia
http://nature.berkeley.edu/~poboyski/Lepidoptera/SocietyIslands.htm

*********************

edited: 23.08.2017

Davallia pentaphylla Blume

Davallia pentaphylla

Distribution:

Fiji: Vanua Levu, Viti Levu

local names: –

~~~

Indonesia to Melanesia and Fiji

*********************

References:

[1] H. P. Nooteboom: Notes on Davalliaceae II. A revision of the genus Davallia. Blumea 39: 151-214. 1994

Peperomia pallida (G. Forst.) A. Dietr.

Peperomia pallida

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Raivavae, Rapa, Rimatara, Rurutu, Tubuai
Cook Islands: ‘Atiu, Mangaia, Ma’uke, Miti’aro, Rarotonga
Marquesas: Fatu Hiva, Hiva Oa, Nuku Hiva, Tahuata, Ua Huka, Ua Pou
Niue
Samoa: Savai’i, Tutuila, ‘Upolu
Society Islands: Bora Bora, Huahine, Maupiti, Me’eti’a, Mo’orea, Ra’iatea, Taha’a, Tahiti
Tonga: Niuatoputapu, Tafahi, ‘Uta Vava’u
Tuamotu Archipelago: Anaa, Makatea, Niau
Wallis & Futuna: Alofi, Futuna

local names: –

~~~

There are some forms of hybrid origin, Peperomia x abscondita and Peperomia pallida x societatis J. W. Moore.

… self-fulfilling prophecies …

… self-fulfilling prophecies …

When I wrote my article: “The genus Hoya in Polynesia” about a year ago, I typed in the following words.:

“All of these ‘taxa’ are from Samoa alone, and there are probably more to come.”

~~~

Well, here they are, all described by the same author, all from Samoa, and all described in 2017 (and the year 2017 is now only 42 days old!!!)

Hoya artwhistlerii Kloppenb.
Hoya corollamarginata Kloppenb.
Hoya corollamarginata ssp. magiagiensis Kloppenb.
Hoya corollamarginata ssp. upoluensis Kloppenb.
Hoya fetuana ssp. sigaeleensis Kloppenb.
Hoya fetuana ssp. tutuilensis Kloppenb.
Hoya lanataiensis Kloppenb.
Hoya luatekensis Kloppenb.
Hoya olosegaensis Kloppenb.
Hoya patameaensis Kloppenb.
Hoya samoaalbiflora Kloppenb.
Hoya samoensis ssp. savai’iensis Kloppenb.
Hoya uafatoensis Kloppenb.
Hoya whistleri ssp. faleuluensis Kloppenb.

~~~

Please keep in mind: The abovementioned ‘species’ do not exist, they are willfully misidentified Hoya australis R. Br. ex J. Traill, Hoya betchei (Schltr.) W. A. Whistler, Hoya chlorantha Rech. and so on! The ‘author’ obviously describes the same three or four species again and again, and ends up with a mess of names … I’m still sure that there is much more to come.

Why scientific names?

Why scientific names?

Today I was looking for a certain kind of grass, when I found the website of a nursery, where I could read the following lines.:

„There was a time in the not too distant past, when life was simple and this gorgeous ornamental grass was simply known as Pheasant’s Tail Grass or, for those that had been to college, Stipa arundinacea.
Now, life is that bit more complicated and its new name is Anemanthele lessoniana, which is apparently pronounced ăn-e-man-thee-le less-o-nee-ana – and is so much harder to remember not to mention a bit of a mouthful! “

~~~

Well, I don’t know where to start … first, no one needs to go to a college to remember a simple name, may it be Anemanthele lessoniana or Stipa arundinacea or whatsoever.

By the way, it doesn’t actually matter how You pronounce these scientific names …, and, the correct way to use this names actually is Anemanthele lessoniana (Steud.) Veldkamp and Stipa arundinacea (Hook. f.) Benth. – and they always refer to the same, one and only species!

The first is the valid name, the other one is a synonym not used for the plant any longer, yet still valid, but just as a synonym.

That’s all.

Wait, there’s one thing more: scientific names, genus and species names are always written in italics, that’s just an international rule (it doesn’t harm You to do so).

~~~

Common names or vernacular names in contrast can be used for whatever You wish, the grass discussed here is commonly known as Gossamer Grass, New Zealand Wind Grass, Pheasant’s Tail Grass, and probably as many other grassy things more.

Gossamer Grass fits very well to this species, as it fits to many other grass species as well, in numerous cases even more then to this species; New Zealand Wind Grass is even more bad, it doesn’t say anything aside from that we talk about a grass that probably comes from New Zealand and that is sweeping in the wind (do You know how many grass species are found in New Zealand – and all of them are sweeping in the wind); Pheasant’s Tail Grass, um, the grass discussed here doesn’t look like the tail of a pheasant at all, so …?

I think it is much easier to keep a single scientific name in mind than the numerous vernacular ones that a single species can have.

Now You see what scientific names are for: they can always be assigned to a certain species (subspecies, variety or forma, if You wish), leaving no doubt which species someone is talking about.

Don’t be afraid, use them!   🙂

*********************

After all, my words are not meant to criticize the nursery from whom the abovementioned citation comes!

Pouzolzia australis (Endl.) Friis & Wilmot-Dear

Pouzolzia australis

Distribution:

New Zealand: Macauley Island (ex), Raoul Island (Kermadec Islands)
Norfolk Islands: Norfolk Island

local names: –

Geranium microphyllum Hook. f.

Geranium microphyllum

Distribution:

New Zealand: Auckland Islands; Campbell Island (Campbell Islands)

local names: –

~~~

This species is strictly restricted to the subantarctic Auckland- and Campbell Islands, plants from the New Zealand mainland, referred to this taxon, do in fact represent at least one distinct, up to now undescribed species.

*********************

Photo: Jon Sullivan
https://www.inaturalist.org/people/jon_sullivan

(under creative commons license (4.0))
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0

*********************

edited: 18.09.2017

Veronica leiophylla Cheeseman

Veronica leiophylla

Distribution:

New Zealand: South Island

local names: –

*********************

Photo: memopob
http://naturewatch.org.nz/people/memopob

(under creative commons license (4.0))
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0

*********************

edited: 07.02.2018

Aglaia basiphylla A. Gray

Aglaia basiphylla

Distribution:

Fiji: Kadavu, Ovalau, Taveuni, Vanua Levu, Viti Levu

local names:

cavucavu – Viti Levu / Fiji
dawadawa – Viti Levu / Fiji
kabi ni koro – Viti Levu / Fiji
kaunicina – Viti Levu / Fiji
kau toa – Fiji
kula – Fiji
lagakali – Vanua Levu / Fiji
maladamu – Viti Levu / Fiji
misi – Fiji
tawatawa – Viti Levu / Fiji
tobuce – Viti Levu / Fiji
towiwi – Viti Levu / Fiji
viti naboro – Viti Levu / Fiji
waicavucavu – Viti Levu / Fiji

*********************

References:

[1] Albert C. Smith: Flora Vitiensis Nova: A new flora of Fiji (Spermatophytes only). Vol. 3. Lawai, Kauai, Hawaii 1985

Ostodes exasperatus Girardi

Large Ostodes Snail (Ostodes exasperatus)

This species was described in 1978.

The species is known from the islands of Savai’i and ‘Upolu, however, these two populations differ from each other in so far that the males from ‘Upolu are larger than the females, while the situation is reversed in Savai’i.

The shells reach a height of about 0,9 to 1,3 cm and a width of up to 1,3 cm. [1][2]

*********************

References:

[1] E. L. Girardi: The Samoan land snail genus Ostodes (Mollusca: Prosobranchia: Poteriidae). The Veliger 20(3): 191-246. 1978
[2] Robert H. Cowie: Catalog of the nonmarine snails and slugs of the Samoan Islands. Bishop Museum Bulletin in Zoology 3. 1998

Veronica corriganii (Carse) Garn.-Jones

Veronica corriganii

Distribution:

New Zealand: North Island

local names: –

*********************

Photo: Leon Perrie
http://www.inaturalist.org/people/leonperrie

(under creative commons license (4.0))
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0

*********************

edited: 07.02.2018

Misumenops rapaensis Berland

Austral Crab Spider (Misumenops rapaensis)

This species is obviously the only native species within the crab spider family, that is known to occur on the Austral Islands, where it is endemic to. As far as it is known, this species occurs on the islands of Rapa, Raivavae, Rurutu and Tubuai, where it can be found at all elevations and in nearly all suitable habitats.

Compared with other species of the family, the Austral Crab Spider isn’t much variable in coloration.

It is quite possible, that the several island populations represent distinct species, furthermore the placement of the species within the genus Misumenops seems to be doubtful.

*******************

Photo: Antonio Machado; by courtesy of Antonio Machado

Ficus barclayana (Miq.) Summerh.

Ficus barclayana

Distribution:

Fiji: Kadavu, Koro, Namuka, Nasoata, Naviti, Nukulau, Ovalau, Taveuni, Vanua Levu, Viti Levu, Waya, Yasawa

local names:

drau ni va masi – Fiji
lose – Fiji
loselose – Fiji
losilosi – Fiji
masi – Fiji
masimasi – Fiji
vuaitamona – Fiji

*********************

References:

[1] Albert C. Smith: Flora Vitiensis Nova: A new flora of Fiji (Spermatophytes only). Vol. 2. Lawai, Kauai, Hawaii 1981

Dendrobium sladei J. J. Wood & P. J. Cribb

Dendrobium sladei

Distribution:

Fiji: Viti Levu
Samoa: Savai’i, Ta’u, Tutuila, ‘Upolu

local names: –

*********************

References:

[1] Albert C. Smith: Flora Vitiensis Nova: A new flora of Fiji (Spermatophytes only). Vol. 5. Lawai, Kauai, Hawaii 1991

Leptinella squalida Hook. f.

Leptinella squalida

Distribution:

New Zealand: Rangatira Island (Chatham Islands); Great Barrier Island; North Island; South Island; Stewart Island

local names: –

~~~

Leptinella squalida ssp. mediana (D. G. Lloyd) D. G. Lloyd & C. J. Webb

Pisonia umbellifera (J. R. & G. Forst.) Seem.

Pisonia umbellifera

Distribution:

Cook Islands: ‘Atiu, Mangaia, Rarotonga
Fiji: Aiwa, Koro, Ovalau, Taveuni, Vanua Levu, Viti Levu, Yagasa
Hawai’i Islands: Hawai’i, Kaua’i, Lana’i, Maui, Moloka’i, O’ahu
Samoa: Ofu, Olosega, Savai’i, Ta’u, Tutuila, ‘Upolu
Tonga: ‘Eua

local names:

daiga – Fiji
papala – Hawai’i Islands
papala kepau – Hawai’i Islands
para para – Cook Islands
raro – Vanua Levu / Fiji
roro – Vanua Levu / Fiji

*********************

References:

[1] Albert C. Smith: Flora Vitiensis Nova: A new flora of Fiji (Spermatophytes only). Vol. 2. Lawai, Kauai, Hawaii 1981

Psychotria reineckei K. Schum.

Psychotria reineckei

Distribution:

Samoa: Savai’i, ‘Upolu

local names: –

*********************

References:

[1] W. A. Whistler: A revision of Psychotria (Rubiaceae) in Samoa. Journal of the Arnold Arboreum 67: 341-370. 1986

*********************

Photo from: ‘Karl Rechinger: Botanische und Zoologische Ergebnisse einer wissenschaftlichen Forschungsreise nach den Samoa-Inseln, dem Neuguinea-Archipel und den Salomonsinseln. Wien: In Kommission bei Alfred Hölder 1907-1914’

(not in copyright)

Phyllanthus podocarpus Müll. Arg.

Phyllanthus podocarpus

Distribution:

Fiji

local names: –

~~~

This species is known only from a single collection without further data. [1]

*********************

References:

[1] Albert C. Smith: Flora Vitiensis Nova: A new flora of Fiji (Spermatophytes only). Vol. 2. Lawai, Kauai, Hawaii 1981
[2] Warren L. Wagner; David H. Lorence: A nomenclator of Pacific oceanic island Phyllanthus (Phyllanthaceae), including Glochidion. In: Lorence DH, Wagner WL (Eds) Botany of the Marquesas Islands: new taxa, combinations, and revisions. PhytoKeys 4: 67-94. 2011

Boehmeria virgata (Forst. f.) Guillemin

Boehmeria virgata

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Rapa
Fiji: Gau, Kadavu, Koro, Ovalau, Taveuni, Vanua Levu, Viti Levu
Marquesas: Fatu Hiva, Hiva Oa, Nuku Hiva, Tahuata, Ua Huka, Ua Pou
Samoa: Savai’i, Tutuila, ‘Upolu
Society Islands: Mo’orea, Ra’iatea, Taha’a, Tahiti
Tonga

local names:

ake – Tahuata / Marquesas
dogosele – Fiji
dredre – Fiji
kalolo – Fiji
kaulolo – Fiji
ona – Tahuata / Marquesas
pute – Marquesas
rabe – Fiji
rabi – Fiji
roa – Raiatea / Society Islands
tautau – Fiji
vairoa – Tahiti / Society Islands

*********************

References:

[1] Albert C. Smith: Flora Vitiensis Nova: A new flora of Fiji (Spermatophytes only). Vol. 2. Lawai, Kauai, Hawaii 1981

Powelliphanta spedeni (Powell)

Speden’s Predatory Snail (Powelliphanta spedeni)

This species, described in 1932, is endemic to the South Island of New Zealand.

The shell reaches a size of about 4 cm in diameter.

This species is thought to contain two subspecies, the nominate, Powelliphanta spedeni ssp. spedeni (Powell), and Powelliphanta spedeni ssp. lateumbilicata (Powell).

*********************

Powelliphanta spedeni ssp. lateumbilicata

Photo: D. Coetzee

(public domain)

Coprosma macrocarpa Cheeseman

Coprosma macrocarpa

Distribution:

New Zealand: Great Barrier Island; North Island; Three Kings Islands

local names: –

~~~

Two subspecies, the nominate confined to the Three Kings Islands, the other subspecies, Coprosma macrocarpa ssp. minor R. O. Gardner & Heads ex A. Druce (see photo), to northern North Island and its offshore islands.

*********************

Photo: Peter de Lange
http://www.inaturalist.org/people/pjd1

(public domain)

Thyrocopa geminipuncta Walsingham

Twinspotted Thyrocopa Moth (Thyrocopa geminipuncta)

The Twinspotted Thyrocopa Moth obviously occurs on the islands of Maui and Moloka’i.

The species reaches a wingspan of about 2 to 2,2 cm.

********************

References:

[1] Elwood C. Zimmerman: Insects of Hawaii 9; Microlepidoptera Part 2; Gelechioidea. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu 1978
[2] Matthew J. Medeiros: A revision of the endemic Hawaiian genus Thyrocopa (Lepidoptera: Xyloryctidae: Xyloryctinae). Zootaxa 2202: 1-47. 2009

Phyllanthus raiateaensis W. L. Wagner & Lorence

Phyllanthus raiateaensis

Distribution:

Society Islands: Ra’iatea

local names: –

*********************

References:

[1] Warren L. Wagner; David H. Lorence: A nomenclator of Pacific oceanic island Phyllanthus (Phyllanthaceae), including Glochidion. In: Lorence DH, Wagner WL (Eds) Botany of the Marquesas Islands: new taxa, combinations, and revisions. PhytoKeys 4: 67-94. 2011

Doodia aspera R. Br.

Doodia aspera

Distribution:

New Zealand: North Island (ex)
Norfolk Islands: Norfolk Island

local names: –

*********************

References:

[1] André Luís Gasper; Vinícius Antonio de Oliveira Dittrich; Alan R. Smith; Alexandre Salino: A classification for Blechnaceae (Polypodiales: Polypodiopsida): New genera, resurrected names, and combinations. Phytotaxa 275(3): 191-227. 2016

*********************

edited: 03.02.2018

Coprosma wallii Petrie

Coprosma wallii

Distribution:

New Zealand: North Island; South Island; Stewart Island

local names: –

*********************

Photo: John Barkla
http://www.inaturalist.org/people/john_barkla

(under creative commons license (4.0))
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0

Veronica hookeriana Walp.

Veronica hookeriana

Distribution:

New Zealand: North Island

local names: –

*********************

Photo: Shirley Kerr
http://inaturalist.ca/people/shirleykerr

(under creative commons license (4.0))
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0

Cyrtandra futunae Kraenzl.

Cyrtandra futunae

Distribution:

Wallis & Futuna: Alofi, Futuna

local name:

suka – Futuna / Wallis & Futuna

*********************

References:

[1] Harold St. John; Albert C. Smith: The Vascular Plants of the Horne and Wallis Islands. Pacific Science 25(3): 313-348. 1971

Abutilon sachetianum Fosberg

Abutilon sachetianum

Distribution:

Marquesas: Eiao, Hatuta’a, Hiva Oa, Mohotani, Nuku Hiva

local name:

fautea – Marquesas

*********************

References:

[1] F. Raymond Fosberg; Marie-Hélène Sachet: Polynesian Plant Studies 6-18. Smithsonian Institution 1981
[2] Jacques Flores: Flore de la Polynésie française Vol 1 & 2. IRD Éditions, Publications Scientifiques du Muséum 2004

Mentha cunninghamii Benth.

Mentha cunninghamii

Distribution:

New Zealand: Chatham Islands; North Island; South Island; Stewart Island

local names:

hioi – New Zealand

*********************

Photo: Rowan Hindmarsh Walls
http://www.inaturalist.org/people/rowan_hindmarsh_walls

(under creative commons license (4.0))
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0

Dryophthorus distinguendus Perkins

Hawaiian Driftwood Weevil (Dryophthorus distinguendus)

The Hawaiian Driftwood Weevil was described in the year 1900.

The species was found first on the island of Laysan, namely in wooden boxes that came from the main islands. It was subsequently found also on nearly all of the other Hawaiian Islands (Hawai’i, Kure, Lana’i, Maui, Midway, Moloka’i, and O’ahu), but appears in lists of extinct species, which, in my opinion, is quite strange.

*********************

References:

[1] R. C. L. Perkins: Coleoptera, Weevils. Bishop Museum Bulletin 31: 53-66. 1926

Minidonta extraria Cooke & Solem

Strange Disc Snail (Minidonta extraria)

This species was described in the year 1976 from three specimens, of which one was found on the island of Akamaru, one on the island of Mangareva, and one on the island of Taravai.

The shells reach an average size of 0,29 cm in diameter.

*********************

References:

[1] Alan Solem: Endodontoid land snails from Pacific Islands (Mollusca: Pulmonata: Sigmurethra). Part I, Family Endodontidae. Field Museum of Natural History Chicago, Illinois 1976
[2] Ahmed Abdou; Philippe Bouchet: Nouveaux gastéropodes Endodontidae et Punctidae (Mollusca, Pulmonata) récemment éteints da l’archipel des Gambier (Polynésie). Zoosystema 22(4): 689-707. 2000