Justin Gerlach: Partula – Icons of Evolution

Justin Gerlach: Partula – Icons of Evolution

The genus Partula, extremely rich in Polynesian species, will soon get it’s newest monograph (I’m not sure, but it may be the first monograph at all).

The book, written by Justin Gerlach and named “Partula – Icons of Evolution”, is nearly ready to be published, but the project can still be supported.:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/507116283/partula-icons-of-evolution

 

Nesobasis angulicollis Tillyard

Angular-necked Fiji Damselfly (Nesobasis angulicollis)

This species was described in the year 1924.

The Angular-necked Fiji Damselfly species is obviously endemic to the island of Viti Levu, where it can be found at sunny places around medium-sized streams in the highlands, but also at lower elevations.

The sides of the thorax are almost entirely blue colored, males and females are similar in coloration, the females, however, are somewhat paler.

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The name Nesobasis subhumeralis Tillyard is a synonym of this species.

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The genus Nesobasis is endemic to the Fijian Islands, there are at least 11 additional species on the Fijian Islands, that still await their description, among them 10 on the island of Vanua Levu alone.

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References:

[1] T. W. Donnelly: The Fijian genus Nesobasis. Part 1: species of Viti Levu, Ovalau, and Kadavu (Odonata: Coenagrionidae). New Zealand Journal of Zoology 17: 87-117. 1990
[2] H. Van Gossum; C. Beatty; T. Sherratt: The Zygoptera of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, the two larger islands in the Fiji archipelago. IDF-Report 9: 1-14. 2006
[3] Neal L. Evenhuis; Dan A. Polhemus: Checklist of Odonata of Fiji. Bishop Museum Technical Report 38(15): 1-3. 2007
[4] C. D. Beatty; H. Van Gossum; T. N. Sherratt: Nesobasis species diversity and abundance: Notes on an endemic genus of the island group of Fiji (Zygoptera: Coenagrionidae). Odonatologica 36(1): 13-26. 2007

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Photo: Hans Van Gossum; by courtesy of Hans Van Gossum

Acraea andromacha ssp. polynesiaca Rebel

Polynesian Glasswing (Acraea andromacha ssp. polynesiaca)

The Glasswing is distributed from Australia and New Guinea to West Polynesia, the Polynesian subspecies lives on the Fijian Islands, however, it is now probably extinct in Samoa and Tonga.

The Polynesian Glasswing has black patterned, translucent wings with a wingspan of about 5,5 cm, the sexes appear to be superficially identical.

The species lays its eggs on the underside of the leaves of the native Golden Passionflower (Passiflora aurantia G. Forst.) and certainly also on those of other, introduced passionflower species.

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References:

[1] Brian Patrick; Hamish Patrick: Butterflies of Fiji. The Weta 24(1): 5-12. 2002
[2] Neal L. Evenhuis: Checklist of Fijian Lepidoptera. Bishop Museum Technical Report 38(13): 1-53. 2007
[3] Brian Patrick; Hamish Patrick: Butterflies of the South Pacific. Otago University Press 2012

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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)

Allodessus skottsbergi (Zimmermann)

Skottsberg’s Diving Beetle (Allodessus skottsbergi)

This species, which is endemic to Easter Island, was described in the year 1942.

Skottsberg’s Diving Beetle reaches a body length of about 0,2 to 0,23 cm and is yellowish to ferruginous colored, males and females are identically colored.

The beetle inhabits the crater lakes of Rapa Nui, where it lives among. [1][2]

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References:

[1] A. Zimmermann: Coeloptera-Dytiscidae von Juan Fernandez und der Osterinsel. in The Natural history of Juan Fernandez and Easter Island, edited by Carl Skottsberg. Vol. 3: 299-304., Zoology. Uppsala: Almqvist & Wiksells Boktryckeri, 1921-1940
[2] Michael Balke; Ignacio Ribera: Jumping across Wallace’s line: Allodessus Guignot and Limbodessus Guignot revisited (Coleoptera: Dytiscidae, Bidessini) based on molecular-phylogenetic and morphological data. Australian Journal of Entomology 43(2): 114-128. 2004

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edited: 23.06.2017

Dichaetomyia taveuniana Pont & Evenhuis

Taveuni House Fly (Dichaetomyia taveuniana)

The Taveuni House Fly was described in the year 2006, it was found during the sorting of insect trap material from the islands of Taveuni and Viti Levu.

It is a small, orange colored fly with a dark pattern on the dorsal side of the thorax.

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The species belongs to a quite large genus, of which, however, only three species are known to occur on the Fijian Islands. Beside the new species these are the Elegant House Fly (Dichaetomyia elegans Malloch), which is known from the islands of Ovalau, Vanua Levu and Viti Levu, and the Orange House Fly (Dichaetomyia vicaria (Walker)), which is widely distributed, and which may not be native to the Fijian Islands.

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References:

[1] Adrian C. Pont; Neal Evenhuis: A New Species of Dichaetomyia Malloch (Diptera: Muscidae) from the Fijian Islands. Fiji Arthropods VI. Edited by Neal L Evenhuis & Daniel J. Bickel. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers 90: 3-7. 2006

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edited: 23.06.2017

Hydrotetrix aspera Uvarov

Rough Water Pygmy Grasshopper (Hydrotetrix aspera)

The Rough Water Pygmy Grasshopper was described in 1926.

The species is known to inhabit wet places near streams, both on Mo’orea and Tahiti, Society Islands.

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Photo: Anne Duplouy
http://www.mooreabiocode.org

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

Trupanea bidensicola Hardy & Delfinado

Beggarticks Fruit Fly (Trupanea bidensicola)

The Beggarticks Fruit Fly comes from the island of Kaua’i and was described in the year 1980.

It closely resembles the Thick-legged Fruit Fly (Trupanea crassipes (Thomson)) and was considered identical with it for some time.

The larvae of this species feed on the developing seeds of the Cosmosflower Beggarticks (Bidens cosmoides (A. Gray) Sherff), and probably also on other species from that genus.

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edited: 23.06.2017

Zizina otis ssp. labradus (Godart)

Lesser Grass Blue (Zizina otis ssp. labradus)

The Lesser Grass Blue, a very small, blue butterfly with a wingspan of only about 1,5 cm, is a widely distributed species, that is still expanding its range, so for example the species has reached the Hawaiian Islands by 2008.

The formerly recognized subspecies ssp. cheesmanae (Poulton & Riley), ssp. mangoensis (Butler) are now obviously included in the ssp. labradus (Godart), which occurs in the Polynesian region and beyond, however, the taxonomical position of this species and its subspecies varies from author to author.

The caterpillars feed on a wide variety of legume species.

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In Niue the species is called pepe lanu moana mama.

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References:

[1] John Adam Comstock: Lepidoptera of American Samoa with particular reference to biology and ecology. Pacific Insects Monographs 11: 1-74. 1966
[2] Jaqueline Y. Miller; Lee D. Miller: The Butterflies of the Tonga Islands and Niue, Cook Islands, with the Descriptions of two new subspecies. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers 34: 1-24. 1993
[3] Karin S. Kami; Scott E. Miller: Samoan Insects and related Arthropods: Checklist and Bibliography. Bishop Museum Technical Report 13. 1998
[4] Brian Patrick; Hamish Patrick: Butterflies of Fiji. The Weta 24(1): 5-12. 2002
[5] Brian Patrick; Hamish Patrick: Butterflies of the South Pacific. Otago University Press 2012

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

http://www.starrenvironmental.com

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edited: 18.01.14

Thyrocopa megas Walsingham

Large Thyrocopa Moth (Thyrocopa megas)

The Large Thyrocopa Moth is endemic to the island of Maui, where it is known to inhabit the Haleakala volcano area.

The species reaches a wingspan of about 2,6 to 3,6 cm, the forewings are very light whitish brown with some brown scales, the hindwings are very light whitish brown with an almost white fringe.

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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

Hasora chromus ssp. bilunata Butler

Pacific Awl Skipper (Hasora chromus ssp. bilunata)

The subspecies that occurs on the Fijian Islands furthermore occurs in New Guinea, on the Solomon Islands as well as in Vanuatu.

The butterflies reach a wingspan of 3,6 to 4,5 cm.

The caterpillars feed on the leaves of the Pongamia (Millettia pinnata (L.) Panigrahi).

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References:

[1] Brian Patrick; Hamish Patrick: Butterflies of Fiji. The Weta 24(1): 5-12. 2002
[2] Neal L. Evenhuis: Checklist of Fijian Lepidoptera. Bishop Museum Technical Report 38(13): 1-53. 2007
[3] Brian Patrick; Hamish Patrick: Butterflies of the South Pacific. Otago University Press 2012