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.



[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]


[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

(under creative commons licence (3.0))

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]



[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))


edited: 23.08.2017

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]



[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


edited: 23.08.2017

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]



[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

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

Rhyncogonus submetallicus Van Dyke

Tahitian Metallic Rhyncogonus Weevil (Rhyncogonus submetallicus)

The Tahitian Metallic Rhyncogonus Weevil was described in 1933.

The species reaches a length of about 1,3 cm, the upper side is glossy black with metallic greenish bronze shining elytra, it is covered with gray to very light fulvous hair. [1]



[1] Edwin C. Van Dyke: Rhyncogonus submetallicus, new species, from Tahiti. Bishop Museum Bulletin 113: 51-52. 1933

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.



[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

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.



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