Category Archives: 2. Invertebrates

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.

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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

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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]

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References:

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

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edited: 30.12.2018

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]

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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

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]

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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.

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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.

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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

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Photo: K. J. Walker

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

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.

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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

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.

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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]

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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

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

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

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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

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Photo: The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

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

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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]

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References:

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

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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

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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]

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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

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.

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Photo: Antonio Machado; by courtesy of Antonio Machado

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).

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Powelliphanta spedeni ssp. lateumbilicata

Photo: D. Coetzee

(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.

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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

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.

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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.

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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

Hypolimnas bolina (L.)

Blue Moon Butterfly (Hypolimnas bolina)

The Blue Moon Butterfly, also known under the markedly ugly name Great Eggfly, was described in 1764.

The species has an exceptional wide area of distribution, which stretches from Madagascar over Asia and Australia into eastern Polynesia.

Three of the several subspecies occur within the Polynesian region, these are: Hypolimnas bolina ssp. otaheitae (Felder), which occurs on the Austral- and the Cook Islands, the Marquesas, the Society Islands, the Pitcairn Islands, and on Rapa Nui; Hypolimnas bolina ssp. pallescens (Butler), which is found in Fiji, in Tokelau, in Tonga, and in Samoa; Hypolimnas bolina ssp. rarik (Eschscholtz), which occurs in some parts of Kiribati as well as in Tuvalu. Another subspecies, Hypolimnas bolina ssp. nerina (Fabricius) is native to Australia and regularely visits New Zealand, but has not yet established a breeding population there, but probably will do so in time, and thus should be mentioned here too.

Males and females show a striking sexual dimorphism, males are always black with some white spots on the wings, which again are surrounded by a glossy dark blue ring. The females are much more variable in coloration, they furthermore produce several morphotypes, which, in appearance, often resemble other butterfly species, a phenomenon called mimicry.

The males are very territorial, while the females are wandering over wide ranges.

The larvae feed on plant species from the Acanthaceae, Amaranthaceae, Asteraceae, Malvaceae and the Urticaceae family.

~~~

In Niue this butterfly is called pepe mahina lanu.

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References:

[1] R. H. Van Zwaluwenburg: The Insects of Canton Island. Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society 11(3): 300-312. 1943
[2] Alden D. Hinckley: Ecology of Terrestrial Arthropods on the Tokelau Atolls. Atoll Research Bulletin 124: 1-18. 1969
[3] 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
[4] Brian Patrick; Hamish Patrick: Butterflies of Fiji. The Weta 24(1): 5-12. 2002
[5] Neal L. Evenhuis: Checklist of Fijian Lepidoptera. Bishop Museum Technical Report 38(13): 1-53. 2007
[6] Brian Patrick; Hamish Patrick: Butterflies of the South Pacific. Otago University Press 2012

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Photo: Antonio Machado; by courtesy of Antonio Machado

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edited: 18.08.2017

Xanthagrion erythroneurum Sélys

Red and Blue Damsel (Xanthagrion erythroneurum)

The Red and Blue Damsel is (as far as known) the only species in its genus.

It is distributed mainly in Australia including Tasmania, but occurs also on New Caledonia and the Loyalty Islands as well as on Fiji, where it seems to be quite rare, however. The species is said to occur in New Zealand as well, but I could not find any source yet to confirm this.

The Red and Blue Damsel is about 3 cm long, the sexes in this species are more or less identical in their colouration.

The ovoposition obviously takes place in standing water (?).

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Photo: Sandra Wallace; by courtesy of Sandra Wallace

http://www.flickr.com/photos/20973373@N08

Macrophthalmus convexus Stimpson

Convex Sentinel Crab (Macrophthalmus convexus)

The Convex Sentinel Crabs are very small crabs having an average carapace diameter of about 1 x 1,5 cm to 1,5 x 3 cm and exceedingly long eyestalks.

They live in the intertidal zone, where they can be found abundantly on muddy places near the outlets of small streams, and are therefore absent from islands without such freshwater streams, e.g. the Tuamotus. The crabs feed on smallest food particles, which they sift out from the sand.

These crabs dig their burrows in muddy sand, in which they flee at the slightest disturbance.

On Aitutaki the crabs are called papaka.

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Photo: J. Poupin; by courtesy of J. Poupin

http://decapoda.ecole-navale.fr/index.php
http://decapoda.free.fr

Hyposmocoma eliai Schmitz & Rubinoff

Elia’s Cosmet Moth (Hyposmocoma eliai)

This species was described in the year 2011, it is so far known only from the type locality near the Nawiliwili bay in the southeast of the island of Kaua’i.

It is one of the smallest species of its genus, males have a wingspan of only about 0,45 to 0,5 cm. The color of the forewings is blackish, except for three disconnected white stripes on each of the wings, and some dark grey scales, the hindwings are completely grey in color.

The larvae live on large barren volcanic rocks along the shoreline, which regularly getting sprayed with salty sea water. They build a bag-shaped, about 0,4 cm long larval case, made of fine sand interwoven with silk.

They obviously feed on algae. [1]

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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

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edited: 01.03.2016

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

 

Antipodochlora braueri Selys

Dusk Dragonfly (Antipodochlora braueri)

The Dusk Dragonfly was described in the year 1871, it is the sole member of its genus.

The species is endemic to New Zealand, both the larvae as well as the adult individuals are specialized forest dwellers, being widely distributed in various types of native forest.

The peak activity occurs in the few hours before dusk (hence its trivial name), at higher elevations, however, the species is active over a longer period of the day. [1]

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References:

[1] W. J. Winstanley: A preliminary account of the habitat of Antipodochlora braueri (Odonata: Corduliidae) in New Zealand. New Zealand Entomologist 7(2): 141-148. 1980

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Photo: Dr. Milen Marinov; by courtesy of Dr. Milen Marinov

Ocypode pallidula Hombron & Jacquinot

Common Ghost-Crab (Ocypode pallidula)

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Raivavae, Rurutu
Cook Islands: ‘Atiu, Aitutaki, Ma’uke, Mangaia, Manuae, Miti’aro, Nassau, Palmerston, Pukapuka, Rakahanga, Rarotonga, Tongareva
Gambier Islands: Aukena, Mangareva
Hawai’i Islands: Laysan, Midway, O’ahu
Norfolk Islands: Norfolk Island
Tuamotu Archipelago: Manihiki, Marutea (Sud), Moruroa, Raraka
Wallis & Futuna: Alofi

local names:

‘atike – Aitutaki / Cook Islands
kalami – Pukapuka / Cook Islands
kohiti – Rakahanga / Cook Islands
kohitihiti – Tongareva / Cook Islands
ko’iti – Rarotonga / Cook Islands
tike – Ma’uke / Cook Islands
tiketike – ‘Atiu, Miti’aro / Cook Islands
titorotai – Mangaia / Cook Islands

***

The Common Ghost-Crab is indigenous in the Indo-Pacific region, where it can be found running about the beaches in search for food, and digging burrows in the sand.

It is a rather small species, reaching a carapace size of about 2,5 cm in diameter.

On the Cook Islands, where the species seems to be very common, it is known by several names, including ‘atike, kalami, kohiti, kohitihiti, ko’iti, tike, tiketike and titorotai.

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References:

[1] Katsushi Sakai; Michael Türkay: Revision of the genus Ocypode with the description of a new genus, Hoplocypode (Crustacea: Decapoda: Brachyura). Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 56(2): 665-793. 2013

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Photo: J. Poupin; by courtesy of J. Poupin

http://decpoda.ecole-navale.fr/index.php
http://decapoda.free.fr

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edited: 17.12.2018

Hyposmocoma moopalikea Schmitz & Rubinoff

Palikea Water Cosmet Moth (Hyposmocoma moopalikea)

The Palikea Water Cosmet Moth was described in the year 2011.

The species is endemic to the island of Maui, it is so far known only from the vicinity of the Palikea stream in the Kipahulu valley.

The case-bearing caterpillars are aquatic, the larval cases are burrito-shaped and 0,5 to 0,7 cm in length.

The male moth reaches a wingspan of about 1 cm, the female is slightly larger. The forewings are mostly dark brown with some scattered off-white scales. [1]

~~~

The Palikea Water Cosmet Moth appears to be very rare. [1]

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References:

[1] Patrick Schmitz; Daniel Rubinoff: The Hawaiian amphibious caterpillar guild: new species of Hyposmocoma (Lepidoptera: Cosmopterigidae) confirm distinct aquatic invasions and complex speciation patterns. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 162(1): 15–42. 2011

Thyrocopa apatela (Walsingham)

Flightless Haleakala Moth (Thyrocopa apatela)

The Haleakala Flightless Moth, also named as Grasshopper Moth, lives in the alpine zones of the Haleakala volcano.

Both sexes of this unconspicuous, about 1,5 cm long moth species have short wings and are flighless. They flutter in the wind, resembling dried leaves and are blown to appropriate deposits of organic debris, that have accumulated in rock crevices, where they mate and lay eggs.

The larvae can be found under large rocks, where the build web nests and where they feed on dried leaves and other organic debris.

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

http://www.starrenvironmental.com

Comodica coarctata (Clarke)

Rapa Comodica Moth (Comodica coarctata)

This species was described in the year 1971, it is so far known only from the island of Rapa.

The moth reaches a wingspan of 0,8 to 1 cm.

The caterpillars feed on dead, dry fruits or dry leaves of the Screw Pine (Pandanus tectorius Parkinson ex Du Roi), they hide themselves in a cocoon, constructed of tightly cemented silk, plant fibers and frass.

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References:

[1] J. F. G. Clarke: The Lepidoptera of Rapa Island. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 56. 1971

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

http://nature.berkeley.edu/~poboyski/Lepidoptera/SocietyIslands.htm

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edited: 15.08.2017

Fautaua diagonalis Collenette

Diagonal-lined Owlet Moth (Fautaua diagonalis)

The Diagonal-lined Owlet Moth was described in the year 1928, it is the type species of the genus, that is restricted exclusively to the Society Islands archipelago.

This species occurs on the islands of Mo’orea and Tahiti, its biology, however, seems to be unknown so far.

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

http://nature.berkeley.edu/~poboyski/Lepidoptera/SocietyIslands.htm

Mumfordia spinata Van Dyke

Spined Scavenger Beetle (Mumfordia spinata)

This species was described in 1932.

The Spined Scavanger Beetle is endemic to the island of Hiva Oa, Marquesas.

The biology of this species is still completely unknown.

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References:

[1] E. C. Van Dyke: Two new Lathridiidae from the Marquesas. Bishop Museum Bulletin 98: 237-234. 1932

Haliophyle connexa (Warren)

Haliophyle connexa

This species is endemic to the island of Hawai’i, where it is known from the area around Olaa at an elevation of about 610 m, nothing else is known about this species.

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References:

[1] E. C. Zimmerman: Insects of Hawaii 7, Macrolepidoptera. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu 1958

Austrolestes colensonis White

New Zealand Blue Damselfly (Austrolestes colensonis)

The New Zealand Blue Damselfly, known by the Maori as kekewai, is a common species of small ditches, ponds, and swamps, its larvae are able to inhabit even shallow and temporary water bodies.

The species is capable of changing its coloration to aid thermoregulation, so it turns darker in cold weather and lighter in sunshine. [1]

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

References:

[1] W. Joy Crumpton: Notes on occurrence of Odonata in Canterbury and Westland (New Zealand). The New Zealand Entomologist 6(3): 302-304. 1977

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

Photo: Dr. Milen Marinov; by courtesy of Dr. Milen Marinov

Endodonta apiculata Ancey

Pointed Disc Snail (Endodonta apiculata)

The Pointed Disc Snail, which was restricted to the island of Kaua’i, Hawaiian Islands, was described in the year 1889.

The shells of this species reached an average size of 0,6 cm in diameter. [1]

~~~

The genus Endodonta contains a little more than 10 species, all, except probably for one, are now obviously extinct.

The destruction of large areas of the native lowland habitats led to their extinction, and introduced invasive species, especially several aggressive ant species (for example the Red Fire Ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren) or the Little Fire Ant (Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger))) are a very serious threat to the last remaining endemic snail species, and are blamed for the extinction of many island endemic species. [2]

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

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] Norine W. Yeung; Kenneth A. Hayes: Update on the status of the remaining Hawaiian land snail species Part 4: Punctidae and Endodontidae. 2016

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

edited: 23.03.2017

Thyrocopa kanaloa Medeiros

Kanaloa Thyrocopa Moth (Thyrocopa kanaloa)

The Kanaloa Thyrocopa Moth, which was described in the year 2009, is endemic to the highly devastated and desertificated small island of Kaho’olawe.

The species reaches a wingspan of only 1,4 to 1,6 cm, the forewings are mottled very light brown to black, sometimes they show one or more very small, faint black spots, the hindwings are very light brown.

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

References:

[1] Matthew J. Medeiros: A revision of the endemic Hawaiian genus Thyrocopa (Lepidoptera: Xyloryctidae: Xyloryctinae). Zootaxa 2202: 1-47. 2009

Asteia montgomeryi Hardy

Montgomery’s Asteiid Fly (Asteia montgomeryi)

This species was described in the year 1980, this is one of the few species within this genus, that seems to be endemic to a single island within the Hawaiian chain.

The larvae are known to develop inside the rotting stems of dead Wiliwili trees (Erythrina sandwichensis O. Deg.).

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

References:

[1] Patrick M. O´Grady; Karl Nicholas Magnacca: Studies in Hawaiian Diptera I: New distributional records for endemic Asteia (Asteiidae). Biodiversity Data Journal 2: e1010. doi: 10.3897/BDJ.2.e1010

Hyposmocoma domicolens (Butler)

House-dwelling Cosmet Moth (Hyposmocoma domicolens)

This species was described already in 1881, the type specimen was collected in a house – thus its species epithet.

The adult reaches a wingspan of about 1,3 cm.

The species is so far known only from the Makawao Forest Reserve, a habitat that is now rapidly declining due to damage from invasive ungulates. [1][2]

~~~

There are several specimens from other islands (Hawai’i, Lana’i, and Moloka’i), that were erroneously assigned to this species. [1]

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

References:

[1] Elwood C. Zimmerman: Insects of Hawaii 9; Microlepidoptera. Part II. Gelechioidea. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu 1978
[2] Akito Y. Kawahara; Daniel Rubinoff: Three new species of fancy case caterpillars from threatened forests of Hawaii (Lepidoptera, Cosmopterigidae, Hyposmocoma). ZooKeys 170: 1-20. 2012

Stigmella hakekeae Donner & Wilkinson

Hakeke Pigmy Moth (Stigmella hakekeae)

~~~

This species is known to inhabit the South Island as well as Stewart Island.

The Hakeke Pigmy Moth is quite large for its genus, it reaches a wingspan of about 0,6 cm.

The caterpillars of this species are adapted to endemic New Zealand tree asters like Olearia arborescens (G. Forst.) Cockayne & Laing, Olearia x macrodonta, Olearia nummularifolia (Hook. f.) Hook. f., and Olearia paniculata (J. R. Forst. & G. Forst.) Druce, they feed within the leaves, creating frass–filled tunnels with a typical vermiculated shape.

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

Reeferences:

[1] Hans Donner; Christopher Wilkinson: Nepticulidae (Insecta: Lepidoptera). Fauna of New Zealand 16. 1989

Partula otaheitana (Bruguière)

Otaheite Tree Snail (Partula otaheitana)

The Otaheite Tree-Snail, whose name refers to it as being endemic to the island of Tahiti (Otaheite is an old name of the island), was described in 1792.

This species is nowadays highly threatened with extinction, yet somehow managed to withstand the introduction of the Rosy Wolf Snail (Euglandia rosea (Férussac)) to Polynesia, that had cost the lives of so many other endemic snail species.

~~~

The Otaheite Tree-Snail is split into four so called anatomical forms, which overlap or are linked to each other by intermediate forms, and which are each restricted to certain parts of Tahiti. They may or may not be treated as subspecies, and are named as Partula otaheitana ssp. crassa Garrett (in the western part of Tahiti nui), Partula otaheitana ssp. otaheitana Bruguière (in the northern part of Tahiti nui), Partula otaheitana ssp. rubescens Reeve (in the eastern part of Tahiti nui as well the northern part of Tahiti iti), and finally Partula otaheitana ssp. sinistrorsa Garrett (in the largest part of Tahiti nui, including the center of the island and the southern part, as well as the most parts of Tahiti iti).

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

References:

[1] Justin Gerlach: Icons of Evolution: Pacific Island tree-snails, family Partulida, Phelsuma Press, Cambridge U.K. 2016

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

Photo: Antonio Machado; by courtesy of Antonio Machado

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

edited: 31.08.2017

Metrarga elinguis Ashlock

Mute Seed Bug (Metrarga elinguis)

The genus Metrarga currently consists of only five species, all of which are endemic to the Hawaiian archipelago.

~~~

This species was described in the year 1966.

The males are about 0,6 to 0,7 cm long, the females are slightly larger.

The Mute Seed Bug occurs exclusively on the island of Hawai’i, where it can be found on ‘ie’ie (Freycinetia arborea Gaudich.) and probably also on other native Hawaiian plant species.

Zealandofannia mystacina Domínguez & Pont

New Zealand Bat Fly (Zealandofannia mystacina)

This species was described in 2014.

The New Zealand Bat Fly is about 0,35 cm long and mainly black colored.

The larvae feed on the guano of the endemic New Zealand Short-tailed Bat (Mytscina tuberculata Gray). [1]

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

References:

[1] M. C. Domínguez; A. C. Pont: Fanniidae (Insecta: Diptera). Fauna of New Zealand 71. 2014

Ischnura haemastigma Fraser

Bloodstain Forktail (Ischnura haemastigma)

This species was described in the year 1927 on the basis of a single male specimen, which was collected in the center of the island of ‘Upolu, at an elevation of about 610 m.

The head is mainly bright lemon yellow colored. The thorax is also lemon yellow colored and marked with black, the abdomen is dirty black in color, the last three segments are marked with blue. The legs are bright blood red in color.

The Bloodstain Forktail reaches a wingspan of about 3 cm, the wings are transparent, the pterostigma (wing mark) of the forewings is nearly square-shaped and crimson in color.

The first female specimen of this species were described in the year 1953. [1][2]

~~~

The status of the Bloodstain Forktail, like those of almost all endemic Samoan Dragonflies, is completely unknown, it was not recorded during recent field surveys and may in fact be extinct. [3]

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

References:

[1] F. C. Fraser: Further notes on Samoan Odonata belonging to the ischnurine complex of species, with descriptions of two new species and some unknown females. Proceedings Royal Entomological Society London. Series B 22(7/8): 119-126. 1953
[2] M. Marinov; W. Chin; E. Edwards; B. Patrick; H. 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
[3] 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: 28.06.2017

Iolania koolauensis Giffard

Koolau Iolania Planthopper (Iolania koolauensis)

The Koolau Iolania Planthopper lives on the island of O’ahu, where it can be found in the northern Ko’olau Mountains at an elevation of 600 to 830 m. The habits of this species are nearly unknown.

The male reaches a length of 0,5 to 0,6 cm, the female is up to 0,7 cm long.

The genus Iolania is endemic to the main islands of the Hawaiian chain, and contains six (currently known) species.

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

References:

[1] Hannelore Hoch: Systematics and evolution of Iolania (Hemiptera: Fulguromorpha: Cixiidae) from Hawaii. Systematic Entomology 31: 302-320. 2006

Erechthias flavistriata (Walsingham)

Sugarcane Bud Moth (Erechthias flavistriata)

This species was described in the year 1907.

The larvae are known to feed on a wide range of plants including Coconut Palms, Screwpines, but also cultivated plants like Bananas, Pineapples, and Sugarcane.

The species may actually originate from Melanesia and may have been introduced to Polynesia accidently by man.

Anceyodonta andersoni Cooke & Solem

Anderson’s Disc Snail (Anceyodonta andersoni)

Anderson’s Disc Snail was described in the year 1976.

The species was originally known only based on specimens that had been collected in 1934 on the island of Mangareva, but was subsequently (in 2000) recorded in form of subfossil shells from Taravai, Mangareva’s neighbor island, as well.

The shells of the species reached an average size of 0,29 to 0,36 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

Nesotocus giffardi Perkins

Giffard’s Nesotocus Weevil (Nesotocus giffardi)

Giffard’s Nesotocus Weevil is found on the islands of Hawai’i, Kaua’i, Maui, and O’ahu.

~~~

The genus Nesotocus, which contains four species, is now placed within the subfamily Molytinae, with the most closely related species living in Australia and New Zealand.

The males of all species can easily be distinguished from the females by their longer legs, and especially by the position of their antennae, these are placed in the anterior third of the rostrum, while in the females the antennae are placed further towards the posterior third.

The larvae of all species bore in the wood of dead olapa trees (Cheirodendron trigynum (Gaudich.) Heller) on which they feed upon, the pupation takes place inside a chamber (pupal cell), which can be detected by a distinct hole on the outside of the wood.

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

References:

[1] John Colburn Bridwell: Notes on Nesotocus Giffardi Perkins (Coleoptera). Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society 4(1): 250-256. 1918
[2] Sadie A. Solomon: Systematics of the Hawaiian endemic weevil genus Nesotocus Perkins 1900 (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Student Competition Display Presentations, Section A. Systematics, Morphology, and Evolution 2003

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

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

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

Lathrecista asiatica (Fabricius)

Scarlet Grenadier (Lathrecista asiatica)

The Scarlet Grenadier, also known as Asiatic Blood Tail, is easily recognizable by its bright red abdomen.

The species is very widespread, occurring from Asia and Australia to western Polynesia, where it is known from Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga.

It breeds in ponds, marshes, swamp forests and shallow forest pools.

~~~

The Scarlet Grenadier is the sole member of its monotypic genus. The species is split into several subspecies, of which the nominate race is known to occur within the Polynesian region. The Samoan specimens, however, appear to be somewhat smaller than the nominate race, thus may represent a distinct subspecies. [1]

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

References:

[1] 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: André van Velsen; by courtesy of André van Velsen

Proterhinus adamsoni Perkins

Adamson’s Proterhinus (Proterhinus adamsoni)

This reddish colored species was described in the year 1932.

The species is known only from the island of Hatuta’a, where it lives among the stems of the Tomentose Waltheria (Waltheria tomentosa J. R. Forst. & G. Forst.)

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

References:

[1] ‘R. C. L. Perkins: On two new species of Proterhinus from the Marquesas and the Inclusion of this genus in the family Aglycyderidae. Bishop Museum Bulletin 98. 17-21. 1932

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

Depiction from: ‘R. C. L. Perkins: On two new species of Proterhinus from the Marquesas and the Inclusion of this genus in the family Aglycyderidae. Bishop Museum Bulletin 98. 17-21. 1932’

(This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.)

Thyrocopa subahenea Walsingham

Thyrocopa subahenea

This species inhabits the islands of Maui and Moloka’i.

The moth reaches a wingspan of about 1,6 to 2,4 cm, the forewings are mostly brown, but are quite variable in pattern, the hindwings are brown or light 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

Hippotion velox (Fabricius)

Swift Hawk Moth (Hippotion velox)

In January 2002 the small island of Maninita in the Tongan Vava’u group was hit by the cyclone Waka, one of the most destructive tropical cyclones ever to affect the Tongan islands. The island’s forest, dominated by three tree species, puopua (Guettarda speciosa L.), fao (Ochrosia oppositifolia (Lam.) K. Schum) and puko (Pisonia grandis R. Br.), was indeed badly damaged, but the trees appeared not to have been defoliated by the cyclone itself but by an immense outbreak of caterpillars following the disaster.

These caterpillars were identified as belonging to the Fijian Bee Hawk Moth (Cephonodes armatus Rothschild & Jordan) and to the Swift Hawk Moth (Hippotion velox), whose occurrence on the Tongan islands was verified thereby for the first time.

~~~

The Swift Hawk Moth is a middle-sized species, reaching a wingspan of 5,5 to 7,5 cm.

The species has a wide distribution and occurs from Asia and Australia to Polynesia, where it is now known from the Cook Islands, the Fijian Islands, from Samoa and the Tokelauan atolls. The Swift Hawk Moth has only recently begun to colonize New Zealand as well.

The caterpillars are able to use a wide range of plant species as food, including members from the Aroid family (Araceae), the Morning Glory family (Convolvulaceae), the Four O’Clock family (Nyctaginaceae) and the Coffee family (Rubiaceae).

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

References:

[1] Alden D. Hinckley: Ecology of Terrestrial Arthropods on the Tokelau Atolls. Atoll Research Bulletin 124: 1-18. 1969
[2] Karin S. Kami; Scott E. Miller: Samoan Insects and related Arthropods: Checklist and Bibliography. Bishop Museum Technical Report 13. 1998
[3] D. M. Houston: Eradicating rats from Maninita Island, Vava’u, Kingdom of Tonga August 2002. New Zealand Agency for International Development, Tonga Visitors Bureau, Ministry of Land, Survey and Natural Resources, Department of Environment, Kingdom of Tonga

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

Photo: John A. Clayton; by courtesy of John A. Clayton

http://www.usp.ac.fj/fijimoths

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

edited: 29.06.2017

Megalagrion blackburni McLachlan

Blackburn’s Hawaiian Damselfly (Megalagrion blackburni)

This species reaches a body length of slightly more than 6 cm and is thus the largest member of its family on the Hawaiian Islands.

The larvae of this species develop, like most other dragonfly species, in freshwater, the larvae of other members of this genus, which contains at least 30 species, however, sometimes live terrestrial (on ground) or arboreal (in trees). [1]

~~~

The adults of several species in this genus show the quite unusual behavior of feigning death when caught (see photograph). [2]

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

References:

[1] Elwood C. Zimmerman: Insects of Hawaii 2; Apterygota to Thysanoptera. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu 1948
[2] Francis G. Howarth; William P. Mull: Hawaiian Insects and Their Kin. University of Hawaii Press 1992

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

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

http://www.starrenvironmental.com

Coenobita perlatus H. Milne Edwards

Strawberry Hermit Land Crab (Coenobita perlatus)

This species is distributed throughout the whole tropical Indopacific region, from the coasts of Africa up to East Polynesia, where it can be found in large numbers especially on the atolls of the Tuamotu Archipelago.

The animals mostly stay close to the beaches, where they feed on all applicable things they can get, including seeds washed up to the beach or fallen coconuts, but also washed up fish and dead seabirds.

Strawberry Hermit Land Crabs prefer the shells of sea snails of the genus Turbo.

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

References:

[1] Alden D. Hinckley: Ecology of Terrestrial Arthropods on the Tokelau Atolls. Atoll Research Bulletin 124: 1-18. 1969
[2] J. C. Yaldwyn; Kasimierz Wodzicki: Systematics and ecology of the land crabs (Decapoda: Coenobitidae, Grapsidae and Gecarcinidae) of the Tokelau Islands, Central Pacific. Atoll Research Bulletin 235: 1-59. 1979
[3] S. A. Hathaway; K. McEachern; R. N. Fisher: Terrestrial Forest Management Plan for Palmyra Atoll: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2011-1007, 78 p. 2011

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

Photo: J. Poupin; by courtesy of J. Poupin

http://decapoda.ecole-navale.fr/index.php
http://decapoda.free.fr

Ischnura cardinalis Kimmins

Cardinal Forktail (Ischnura cardinalis)

Distribution:

Society Islands: Bora Bora, Ra’iatea, Taha’a

local names: –

***

The Cardinal Forktail was described in 1929, the species is endemic to the Society Islands, where it occurs on the islands of Bora Bora, Ra’iatea and Taha’a.  

The species is locally common to very abundant along smaller streams with dense vegetation.

The Cardinal Forktail is a very colorful species, especially the male: the eyes are bright red, the thorax is light yellowish green below and bright turquise blue above with black markings, the abdomen is dark yellow to orange-brown, the last terminal segments of the abdomen are light blue above. The legs are dark yellow to orange-brown in color. The wings bear dark red spots on their tips. The females are olive-green on their thorax and on the under side of the abdomen, the upper side of the abdomen is black, the wingspots are dark wine-colored.

The larvae reside in fast-flowing, clear forest creeks.  

********************    

References: 

[1] Milen Marinov; Frederic A. Jacq; Thibault Ramage; Crile Doscher: Contribution to the Odonata fauna of the Society Islands, French Polynesia (Insecta: Odonata). Journal of the International Dragonfly Fund 28: 1-37. 2019

********************    

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

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

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

edited: 27.09.2019

Powelliphanta marchanti (Powell)

Marchant’s Predatory Snail (Powelliphanta marchanti)

This species is restricted to the western Ruahine Ranges on the North Island of New Zealand, where it can be found amongst leaf litter in native forest.

Like its congeners, also this is a carnivorous species that feeds upon invertebrates, preferably on earthworms.

~~~

Marchant’s Predatory Snail is in decline and highly endangered.

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

Photo: V. Vercoe

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

Euploea schmeltzi Herrich-Schäffer

Samoan Crow (Euploea schmeltzi)

The Samoan Crow, which is sometimes regarded as a subspecies of the Long-branded Blue Crow (Euploea algae (Godart)), occurs exclusively on the Samoan archipelago.

The animals are quite variable in appearance as well as in their size, they have wingspans of 5,2 to 6,4 cm.

When disturbed they hide among the vegetation, where they are well camouflaged by their coloration, as long as they keep their wings closed.

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

Photo from: ‘Karl Rechinger: Botanische und zoologische Ergebnisse einer wissenschaftlichen Forschungsreise nach den Samoainseln, dem Neuguinea-Archipel und den Salomonsinseln von März bis Dezember 1905. Wien: In Kommission bei Alfred Hölder 1907-1914′

(not in copyright)

Alucita pselioxantha (Meyrick)

Tuamotu Many-plumed Moth (Alucita pselioxantha)

This species was described in the year 1929 based on material that had been collected on the Fakarava atoll in the Tuamotu archipelago.

The biology of this species is completely unknown.

Partula lutea (Lesson)

Yellow Tree Snail (Partula lutea)

This variably colored species was described in the year 1831.

The species was endemic to the island of Bora Bora, Society Islands, where it was the only member of its genus, and where it was still numerously found in the 19th century on the stems, branches, and leaves of the native vegetation.

The shells reached a height of nearly 2 cm and was usually pale yellowish to light brown with the apex being of the same color or slightly darker.

The Yellow Tree-Snail is now extinct. [1]

~~~

The same species was introduced to the island of Maupiti sometimes after 1929, from where it is known, however, only from subfossil shells, found and photographed in 2010, 2012 and 2017 by J.-F. Butaud, J. Gerlach and others.

The species is extinct on Maupiti as well. [1][2]

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

References:

[1] Justin Gerlach: Icons of Evolution: Pacific Island tree-snails, family Partulida, Phelsuma Press, Cambridge U.K. 2016
[2] Justin Gerlach: Partula survival in 2017, a survey of the Society Islands

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

Depiction from: ‘George W. Tryon; Henry A. Pilsbry; u.a.: Manual of Conchology. Second Series: Pulmonata Vol. 20, Caecilioides, Clessula and Partulidae. Index to Vols. 16-20. 1909-1910’

(public domain)

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

edited: 31.08.2017

Hemideina broughi Buller

West Coast Bush Weta (Hemideina broughi)

The West Coast Bush Weta is an about 8,5 cm large, rather aggressive weta species.

The species is endemic to the northwest part of New Zealand’s South Island, where it can be found at elevations of up to 1100 m in old, and partly hollowed southern beeches, namely tawhai raunui (Fuscospora fusca (Hook. f.) Heenan & Smissen) resp. tawhai rauriki (Fuscospora cliffortioides (Hook. f.) Heenan & Smissen).

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

Photo: Dr. Paddy Ryan; by courtesy of Dr. Paddy Ryan

http://www.ryanphotographic.com

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

edited: 03.03.2016

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.

~~~

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

~~~

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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)

Distribution:

Rapa Nui: Rapa Nui

local names: –

***

Skottsberg’s Diving Beetle was described in 1924, it is known only from the island of Rapa Nui.

The species reaches a body length of about 0,2 to 0,23 cm and is yellowish to ferruginous colored, males and females are superficially identical.

The beetle inhabits the crater lakes of Rapa Nui, where it lives among algae, it is a predacious species. [1][2]

***

The beetle is known already from subfossil core samples, where its remains can be found at a depth of about 15,5 m, in sediments that were deposited before the first Polynesian settlers appeared, which means that the species indeed is at least native to Rapa Nui, perhaps even endemic. [4]

***

Skottsberg’s Diving Beetle was apparently not recorded during recent field studies and may in fact already join the list of extinct species. [3]

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

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
[3] Konjev Desender; Léon Baert: The Coleoptera of Easter Island. Bulletin de l’Institut royal des Sciences naturelles de Belgique. Entomologie 66: 27-50.1996
[4] M. Horrocks; M. Marra; W. T. Baisden; J. Flenley; D. Feek; L. González Nualart; S. Haoa-Cardinali; T. Edmunds Gorman: Pollen, phytoliths, arthropods and high-resolution 14C sampling from Rano Kau, Easter Island: evidence for late Quaternary environments, ant (Formicidae) distributions and human activity. Journal of Paleolimnology 50(4): 417-432. 2013

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

edited: 23.06.2017, 11.12.2018

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.

~~~

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.

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

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

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

edited: 23.06.2017

Symmacra solidaria (Guenée)

Green Symmacra Geometer Moth (Symmacra solidaria)

Distribution:

Fiji: Nanuya Lailai, Naukacuvu, Ovalau, Vanua Levu, Viti Levu
Samoa: Tutuila, ‘Upolu

local names: –

***

The Green Symmacra Geometer Moth was described in 1858, it is a widespread Indo-pacific species that occurs from southeastern Asia and Australia to Melanesia and western Polynesia including Fiji and Samoa.

The form that inhabits the Polynesian region is considered a distinct subspecies, ssp. baptata (Warren), it is apparently endemic to that region.

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

Refrences:

[1] Louis B. Prout: Insects of Samoa and other Samoan terrestrial Arthropoda. Part III. Lepidoptera, Fasc. 3. Geometridae. London 1928
[2] John Adams Comstock: Lepidoptera of Amercian Samoa with particular reference to biology and ecology. Pacific Insects Monographs 11: 1-74. 1966
[3] Gaden S. Robinson: Macrolepidoptera of Fiji and Rotuma: a taxonomic and biogeographic study. Classey 1975

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

edited: 02.01.2019

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.

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

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.

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

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.

~~~

In Niue the species is called pepe lanu moana mama.

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

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

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

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

http://www.starrenvironmental.com

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

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.

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

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).

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

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

Dryadomorpha lais (Eyles & Linnavuori)

Rarotongan Dryad Leafhopper (Dryadomorpha lais)

The Rarotongan Dryad Leafhopper, originally described as a distinct species, is now often regarded as being identical with the Metrosideros Dryad Leafhopper (Dryadomorpha metrosideri (Osborn)).

I personally, however, doubt that these two species are identical.

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

References:

[1] Herbert Osborn: Cicadellidae of the Marquesas Islands. Bishop Museum Bulletin 114: 239-269. 1935
[2] A. C. Eyles; R. Linnavuori: Cicadellidae and Issidae (Homoptera) of Niue Island, and material from the Cook Islands. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 1(1): 29-44. 1974

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

edited: 23.06.2017

Septaria suffreni (Récluz)

Samoan Limpet Snail (Septaria suffreni)

Distribution:

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

local names: –

***

This species occurs from New Caledonia and Vanuatu, Melanesia to Fiji and Samoa in the westernmost Polynesia, where it inhabits tidal regions of rivers and streams but can also be found well inland.

The Samoan Limpet Snail is the most common member of its genus in the rivers of Samoa.

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

References:

[1] A. Haynes: A revision of the genus Septaria Férussac, 1803 (Gastropoda: Neritimorpha) Annalen des Naturhisorischen Museums Wien 103 B: 177-229. 2001

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

Photo: S. Hashizume, 2008
http://jocv183199.web.fc2.com

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

edited: 22.12.2018

Trioza alipellucida Klyver

Marquesan Jumping Louse (Trioza alipellucida)

Distribution:

Marquesas: Fatu Hiva, Hiva Oa, Nuku Hiva, Tahuata, Ua Pou

local names: –

***

This species is endemic to the Marquesas, where it is known from at least five islands.

The Marquesan Jumping Louse reaches a length of about 0,3 cm, it is generally dark chocolate brown to jet black colored, usually with a yellow brown stripe one-third as wide as the thorax extending from the median posterior margin of the scutellum to the tips of the genae, with the stripe lacking or imperfectly developed in the darker specimens, with a patch of similar color on the thorax at the base of the wings.

The species appears not to be restricted to a single host, since it is known to feed on several native plant species, including Ilex anomala Hook. & Arn., Metrosideros collina (J. R. Forst. & G. Forst.) A. Gray and Weinmannia marquesana F. Br.. [1][2]

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

References:

[1] F. D. Klyver: Anomoterga tahuata, new genus and new species, and other Chermidae from the Marquesas. Bishop Museum Bulletin 98: 93-101. 1932
[2] L. D. Tuthill: Psyllidae of Pacific Entomological Survey. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers 22(1): 1-5. 1956

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

edited: 16.12.2018

Hypothemis hageni Karsch

Hagen’s Skimmer (Hypothemis hageni)

This species was described in 1889, it is endemic to the Fijian Islands, where it is known only from Vanua Levu and Viti Levu.

The females lay their eggs near boulders into floating water with a strong current.

The species appears to be very shy, it perches only for few seconds, and then flies off again.

~~~

The genus Hypothemis is monotypic, that means it contains only a single species.

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

hypothemis-hageni-dmm

Photo: Dr. Milen Marinov; by courtesy of Dr. Milen Marinov

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

edited: 27.02.2017

Campsicnemus prestoni Evenhuis

Preston’s Long-legged Fly (Campsicnemus prestoni)

Distribution:

Hawai’i Islands: Hawai’i

local names: –

***

Preston’s Long-legged Fly was described in 2007, it is endemic to Hawai’i, where it apparently inhabits several kipuka near the saddle Road on the slopes of Mauna Loa.

The species reaches a length of up to 0,2 cm, its head is shining dark brown, the clypeus and face are brown, the thorax is brown throughout, the abdomen is brown as well and beras short hairs dorsally on each tergite, the legs are yellowish brown. The wings are up to o, 23 cm long and subhyaline. Males and females are similar. [1]

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

References:

[1] Neal L. Evenhuis: New Hawaiian Campsicnemus (Diptera: Dolichopodidae). Records of the Hawaii Biological Survey for 2006. Edited by Neal L. Evenhuis & Lucius G. Eldredge. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers 95: 9-16. 2007

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

edited: 24.12.2018

Nesoropupa fenua Gargominy

Fenua Whorl Snail (Nesoropupa fenua)

Distribution:

Society Islands: Tahiti

local names: –

***

The Fenua Whorl Snail, described in 2008, is known exclusively from its type location, the very summit of Mt. Aorai on the island of Tahiti, Society Islands, it is known so far only from three empty shells that were collected from the leaf litter.

The species is very likely arboreal like its three known congenerics.

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

References:

[1] Olivier Gargominy: Beyond the alien invasion: A recently discovered radiation of Nesopupinae (Gastropoda: Pulmonata: Vertiginidae) from the summits of Tahiti (Society Islands, French Polynesia). Journal of Conchology 39(5): 517-536. 2008

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

edited: 15.12.2018

Hypena longfieldae Collenette

Longfield’s Snout Moth (Hypena longfieldae)

Longfield’s Snout Moth was described in 1928.

The species is endemic to central Polynesia and can be found on the Austral Islands, the Marquesas and the Society Islands, where it is obviously restricted to higher elevations.

The moth reaches a wingspan of nearly 3 cm, it is extremely variable. [1]

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

References:

[1] J. F. G. Clarke: The Lepidoptera of Rapa Island. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 56. 1971

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

hypena-longfieldae-pto

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

http://nature.berkeley.edu/~poboyski/Lepidoptera/SocietyIslands.htm

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

edited: 03.03.2017

Nabis gagneorum Polhemus

Gagné’s Damsel Bug (Nabis gagneorum)

Distribution:

Hawai’i Islands: Maui, Moloka’i

local names: –

***

This species was described in 1999, it is known to occur on the islands of Maui and Moloka’i, Hawaiian Islands.

The males are 0,78 cm long, the females are slightly larger, both sexes are dark brown colored.

Gagné’s Damsel Bug has brachypetrous wings and is flightless, it is semiaquatic and strictly confined to riparian habitats, it inhabits wet surfaces of rocks along streams but also midstream rocks, where it apparently also breeds. [1]

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

References:

[1] Dan A. Polhemus: A new species of riparian Nabidae (Heteroptera) from the Hawaiian Islands. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 101: 868-874. 1999

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

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

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

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

edited: 15.12.2018

Euploea lewinii Felder & Felder

Crow Butterfly (Euploea lewinii)

This species, whose taxonomy is very confusing, occurs with several (?) subspecies within the Polynesian region, whereby, however, it seems not to be completely known, how far they are distributed here naturally.

Shown here is the Fijian subspecies (Euploea lewinii ssp. eschscholzii Felder & Felder).

Additional subspecies occur on the Samoan Islands (Euploea lewinii ssp. bourkei (Poulton)), on Tonga (Euploea lewinii ssp. mathewi (Poulton)) as well as on Niue and the Cook Islands (Euploea lewinii ssp. perryi (Butler)).

The caterpillars feed on the leaves of various fig species, including the Pacific Banyan (Ficus prolixa G. Forst.) and the Dye Fig (Ficus tinctoria G. Forst.).

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

References:

[1] Alden D. Hinckley: Ecology of Terrestrial Arthropods on the Tokelau Atolls. Atoll Research Bulletin 124: 1-18. 1969
[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] Brian Patrick; Hamish Patrick: Butterflies of Fiji. The Weta 24(1): 5-12. 2002
[4] Neal L. Evenhuis: Checklist of Fijian Lepidoptera. Bishop Museum Technical Report 38(13): 1-53. 2007

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

euploea-l-eschscholtzii-dhg

Photo: Donald H. Gudehus; by courtesy of Donald H. Gudehus

http://www.parfaitimage.com

Leptogryllus deceptor Perkins

Oahu Deceptor Bush Cricket (Leptogryllus deceptor)

This rather enigmatic species was described in the year 1910 from the island of O’ahu, Hawaiian Islands.

The whole genus seems to be only barely known and little investigated. But it is known, that related species (Leptogryllus fusconotatus Perkins from O’ahu, Leptogryllus nigrolineatus (Perkins) from Maui) live at the leaf bases of leaves of the ‘ie ‘ie liana (Freycinetia arborea Gaudich.). Several other species then again seem to be inhabitants of the leaf litter of the forest floor.

~~~

In the official international Red List the species is considered extinct in the wild. Its name can be found furthermore in the Internet in several lists, which deal with animals that are extinct in the wild, but are kept in zoos for species conservation. Most often these lists are copies of copies of copies of ….

However at least in the case of the Oahu Deceptor Bush Cricket this seems to be an error. This species is obviously not kept in any zoo and therefore must indeed be regarded as truly extinct. (pers. comm. P. Maas & Ph. D. K. C. Zippel (Amphibian Program Officer of the Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG)))

Nesolyncides io Fennah

Io Delphacid (Nesolyncides io)

This species, the only one in its genus, was described in the year 1958 on the basis of material, which was collected in 1934 by the entomologist Elwood C. Zimmerman on the island of Mangareva.

The Io Delphacid is very probably one of the few, at least historically known, endemic species of the island, however, whether the species is still extant is not known to me. [1]

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

References:

[1] R. G. Fennah: Fulgoroidea of south-eastern Polynesia. Transactions of the Royal Entomological Society of London 110(6): 117–220. 1958

Hyposmocoma eepawai Schmitz & Rubinoff

Eepa’s Water Cosmet Moth (Hyposmocoma eepawai)

This species was described in the year 2011.

The species is endemic to the island of Kaua’i, where it is known only from the drainage of the Kawaikoi stream on the north-western plateau of the Alaka’i swamp.

The amphibious caterpillars build bugle-shaped larval cases.

The moth reaches a wingspan of up to 1,6 cm, the forewings are mostly greyish-blue with pale tipped scales, with very few scattered rusty scales. [1]

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

References:

[1] Patrick Schmitz; Daniel Rubinoff: The Hawaiian amphibious caterpillar guild: new species of Hyposmocoma (Lepidoptera: Cosmopterigidae) confirm distinct aquatic invasions and complex speciation patterns. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 162(1): 15–42. 2011

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

edited: 29.01.2017

Coleotichus adamsoni Van Duzee

Adamson’s Shield Bug (Coleotichus adamsoni)

Adamson’s Shield Bug is about 1,5 cm long, and was described in the year 1932 on the basis of several specimens that have been collected on some islands in the Marquesan archipelago.

The species, however, is also occurring on the Society Islands, at least on the islands of Mo’orea and Tahiti.

One of the known food plants of this species is the native tiatia (Dodonaea viscosa Jacq.). [1]

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

References:

[1] E. P. Van Duzee: New Hemiptera-Heteroptera from the Marquesas. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers 98: 177-192. 1932

Miocalles maii Paulay

Maii Miocalles Weevil (Miocalles maii)

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Rapa

local names: –

***

The Maii Miocalles Weevil was described in 1985, it is endemic to the island of Rapa, Austral Islands, where it was found on the Ma’ii-Anatakuri ridge.

The species is about 0,2 cm long and 0,09 cm wide, it is black to dark reddish brown, some individuals have lighter, reddish-brown patches centrally on their elytra. The legs are reddish brown.

The host plant of this species are native tongue fern spp. (Elaphoglossum spp.). [1]

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

References:

[1] Gustav Paulay: Adaptive radiation on an isolated oceanic island: Cryptorhynchinae (Curculionidae) of Rapa revisited. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 26: 95-187. 1985

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

edited: 30.12.2018

Ocypode ceratophthalma (Pallas)

Horn-eyed Ghost-Crab (Ocypode ceratophthalma)

Distribution:

Cook Islands: Aitutaki, Pukapuka, Rakahanga, Rarotonga
Fiji: Kadavu, Makaluva, Viti Levu
Gambier Islands: Mangareva
Hawai’i Islands: O’ahu
Kiribati: Abariringa, Kiritimati, Palmyra, Tabuaeran
Marquesas: Eiao, Nuku Hiva
Norfolk Islands
Samoa: Tutuila, ‘Upolu
Society Islands: Bora Bora, Manuae, Mo’orea, Ra’iatea, Tahiti
Wallis & Futuna: Alofi, ‘Uvea
Tuamotu Archipelago: Fakarava, Makatea, Makemo, Marutea (Sud), Mataiva, Rangiroa, Raraka, Raroia, Taiaro, Takapoto, Tikehau

local names:

avi’ivi’i – Samoa
kalami wolomatua – Pukapuka / Cook Islands
kohite – Rakahanga / Cook Islands
pa’a – Samoa

***

The Horn-eyed Ghost-Crab is indigenous to the Indo-Pacific, where it occurs from the coasts of East Africa far into Polynesia, where the animals run about the beaches in search for edible things, including washed up dead fish, or dead sea birds, but also newly hatched sea turtles.

It is a quite large species with a carapace size of up to 8 cm in diameter. It can be distinguished from other related crabs by the eyestalks extending beyond the eyes into long points, those stalks are longer in males, and shorter or almost absent in females.

In Samoa, the species is called avi’ivi’i resp. pa’a.

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

References:

[1] Katsushi Sakai; Michael Türkay: Revision of the genus Ocypode with the description of a new genus, Hoplocypode (Crustacea: Decapoda: Brachyura). Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 56(2): 665-793. 2013

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

Photo: J. Poupin; by courtesy of J. Poupin

http://decpoda.ecole-navale.fr/index.php
http://decapoda.free.fr

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

edited: 19.12.2018

Elytrurus niuei Zimmerman

Niue Coconut Weevil (Elytrurus niuei)

This species was described in the year 1956, it reaches a length of about 1 cm, the females are slightly larger than males.

The larvae seem to feed on the bark or wood of coconut palm trunks (Cocos nucifera L.). [1]

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

References:

[1] Elwood C. Zimmerman: Description of a new species of Elytrurus and a catalogue of the known species (Colepotera: Curculionidae: Otiorhynchinae). Pacific Science 10: 286-295. 1956

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

elytrurus-niuei-padil-ch

Photo: Caroline Harding
http://www.padil.gov.au

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

Hyposmocoma tetraonella (Walsingham)

Tetraonella Cosmet Moth (Hyposmocoma tetraonella)

This species, which has been scientifically described in the year 1907, was found in the Kona region on the island of Hawai’i at an elevation of about 1200 m.

The biology of this species is completely unknown so far.

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

References:

[1] Elwood C. Zimmerman: Insects of Hawaii 9; Microlepidoptera Part 2; Gelechioidea. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu 1978

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

hyposmocoma-tetraonella-fh

Depiction from: ‘Fauna Hawaiiensis; being the land-fauna of the Hawaiian Islands. by various authors, 1899-1913. Cambridge [Eng.]: The University Press 1913′

Phazaca cythera (Swinhoe)

Cythera Urania Moth (Phazaca cythera)

Distribution:

Fiji: Vanua Levu, Viti Levu

local names: –

***

This species, which was described in 1902, occurs from southeastern Asia to the Fijian Islands.

The species reaches a wingspan of 1,7 to 2,4 cm. [1]

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

References:

[1] Gaden S. Robinson: Macrolepidoptera of Fiji and Rotuma: a taxonomic and biogeographic study. Classey 1975

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

Photo: John A. Clayton; by courtesy of John A. Clayton

http://www.usp.ac.fj/fijimoths

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

edited: 26.12.2018

Thyrocopa apikia Medeiros

Deceptive Thyrocopa Moth (Thyrocopa apikia)

The Deceptive Thyrocopa Moth, described in the year 2009, is endemic to the island of Moloka’i.

The moth has a wingspan of about 2,8 to 3,2 cm, the forewings are brown to dark brown to rich purplish brown, the hindwings are of a lighter brown.

The species is superficially similar to Thyrocopa subahenea Walsingham, with which it shares its habitat, both species can be separated by their genitalia.

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

References:

[1] Matthew J. Medeiros: A revision of the endemic Hawaiian genus Thyrocopa (Lepidoptera: Xyloryctidae: Xyloryctinae). Zootaxa 2202: 1-47. 2009

Mautodontha consobrina (Garrett)

Huahine Mautodontha Snail (Mautodontha consobrina)

This species, which comes from the island of Huahine, was described in the year 1884.

The shells reach an average size of 0,38 cm in diameter.

Andrew J. Garrett, the species’ author writes in the year 1884.:

Rare and peculiar to one valley.

This statement is all, that is known about this now extinct species, of which obviously only seven museum specimens are in existence.

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

References:

[1] Andrew J. Garrett: The terrestrial Mollusca inhabiting the Society Islands”. Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. 2nd series 9: 17-114. 1884
[2] Alan Solem: Endodontoid land snails from Pacific Islands (Mollusca: Pulmonata: Sigmurethra). Part I, Family Endodontidae. Field Museum of Natural History Chicago, Illinois 1976

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

mautodontha-consobrina-mc

Depiction from: ‘G. W. Tryon; H. A. Pilsbry; u.a.: Manual of Conchology. Second Series: Pulmonata Vol. 3, Helicidae Vol. 1. 1887’

http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org

Anomis samoana (Butler)

Samoan Anomis Moth (Anomis samoana)

This species is so far known from Fiji, the Samoan Islands as well as from Tokelau, but may well be more widely distributed.

The species is obviously restricted to primary forest, which does not exist on the Tokelauan atolls, so the record from there may refer to a vagrant or was a misidentification.

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

References:

[1] John Adam Comstock: Lepidoptera of American Samoa with particular reference to biology and ecology. Pacific Insects Monographs 11: 1-74. 1966
[2] Alden D. Hinckley: Ecology of Terrestrial Arthropods on the Tokelau Atolls. Atoll Research Bulletin 124: 1-18. 1969
[3] Gaden S. Robinson: Macrolepidoptera of Fiji and Rotuma: a taxonomic and biogeographic study. Classey 1975

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

anomis-samoana-jac

Photo: John A. Clayton; by courtesy of John A. Clayton

http://www.usp.ac.fj/fijimoths

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

edited: 27.02.2017

Partula fusca Pease

Brown Tree-Snail (Partula fusca)

The Brown Tree-Snail, whose shells were not always brown colored, but were as variable as the shells of most tree-snails, was endemic to the island of Ra’iatea.

The species was obviously not a tree dweller but terrestrial.

The Brown Tree-Snail, like most of its relatives from the island of Ra’iatea, died out at the end of the 20th century.

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

partula-fusca-mc

Depiction from: ‘George W. Tryon; Henry A. Pilsbry; u.a.: Manual of Conchology. Second Series: Pulmonata Vol. 20, Caecilioides, Clessula and Partulidae. Index to Vols. 16-20. 1909-1910’

http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org

Alucita objurgatella (Walsingham)

Alahee Many-plumed Moth (Alucita objurgatella)

This species was described in the year 1907, it reaches a wingspan of about 1 cm.

The Alahee Many-plumed Moth is thus far known only from the Hawaiian Islands, more precisely from the islands of Hawai’i, Kaua’i, Maui, and O’ahu – however, Elwood C. Zimmerman writes in 1958 in ‘Insects of Hawaii’: “I believe that this species is not a member of the native fauna and that it will some day be reported from its true home outside of Hawaii.”.

The larvae feed on the flower buds, fruits, and seeds of the native Alahe’e shrub (Psydrax odorata (G. Forst.) A. C. Sm. & S. P. Darwin), and are parasitized by various native parasitic wasp species, including the Metallic Eulophid Wasp (Euderus metallicus (Ashmead)) and the Hawaiian Ichneumon Wasp (Pristomerus hawaiiensis Perkins).

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References:

[1] Elwood C. Zimmerman: Insects of Hawaii; A Manual of the Insects of the Hawaiian Islands, including an Enumeration of the Species and Notes on their Origins, Distribution, Hosts, Parasites, etc.. Vol. 8, Lepidoptera: Pyralidae. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu 1958

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alucita-objurgatella-fhaw

Depiction from: ‘Fauna Hawaiiensis; being the land-fauna of the Hawaiian Islands. by various authors, 1899-1913. Cambridge [Eng.]: The University Press 1913′

Erechthias strangulata (Meyrick)

Entwined Fungus Moth (Erechthias strangulata)

The Entwined Fungus Moth was described in the year 1929 on the basis of material that was collected on the Fakarava atoll, however, the type specimen is practically denuded, lacking any scales on its wings, which again are highly damaged, the abdomen is missing, the thorax is merely a sceleton. [1][2]

~~~

The species is so far known only from the Fakarava atoll and may indeed be endemic.

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References:

[1] Edward Meyrick: The Micro-Lepidoptera of the “St. George” expedition. Transactions of the Royal Entomological Society of London 76(2): 489-521. 1929
[2] J. F. G. Clarke: The Lepidoptera of Rapa Island. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 56. 1971

Leialoha cajeta Fennah

Hivaoa Leialoha Planthopper (Leialoha cajeta)

This species was described in the year 1958.

The Hivaoa Leialoha Planthopper lives on the island of Hiva Oa, where it occurs on the Mt. Temetiu at an elevation of about 1120 to 1280 m.

The species is macropterous and volant, the males are up to 0,3 cm, the females up to 0,4 cm long, the species is obviously not specialized to a particular host plant species, as it can be found on a wide variety of native plant species, including Alstonia costata (G. Forst.) R. Br., Cheirodendron bastardianum (Decne.) Frodin, Cyrtandra spp., Metrosideros collina (J. R. Forst. & G. Forst.) A. Gray, Myrsine spp., Reynoldsia marchionensis F. Br., and Weinmannia spp..

~~~

Up to now, only this single species of this genus has been described from the Marquesas, but there is at least one additional, yet undescribed species on the island of Nuku Hiva. [1]

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References:

[1] R. G. Gillespie; G. K. Roderick; M. A. Arnedo; L. Shapiro; A. Bely; J. E. Garb; J. Spagna: Spiders, Planthoppers & Flies: Report on Research Conducted in French Polynesia, June – August 2000. University of California, Berkeley 2000

Ptychognathus easteranus Rathbun

Easter Island Crab (Ptychognathus easteranus)

The Easter Island Crab, described in the year 1907, was originally thought to be restricted to the waters around Easter Island, but was later found to occur on other Polynesian islands as well.

The species is restricted to estuaries and shallow stagnant waters, for example tide pools, but regularly enters freshwater streams and thus, is mentioned here.

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References:

[1] Gérard Marquet: Freshwater crustaceans of French Polynesia: taxonomy, distribution and biomass (Decapoda). Crustaceana 61(2): 125-140. 1991

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ptychognathus-easteranus-jp

Photo: J. Poupin; by courtesy of J. Poupin

http://decpoda.ecole-navale.fr/index.php
http://decapoda.free.fr

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edited: 14.02.2017

Agriocnemis interrupta Fraser

Samoan Narrow-winged Damselfly (Agriocnemis interrupta)

The Samoan Narrow-winged Damselfly was described in the year 1927 on the basis of a single specimen, which was found to be slightly larger than the Narrow-winged Damselfly (Agriocnemis exsudans (Sélys)).

The two do not differ in any other way, and are thus believed to represent a single taxon, which, however, has yet to be validated. [1]

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References:

[1] 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

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Photo: The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

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

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edited: 28.06.2017

Trupanea celaenoptera Hardy

Brown-winged Fruit Fly (Trupanea celaenoptera Hardy)

The Brown-winged Fruit Fly from the island of Hawai’i is related to the Black-winged Fruit Fly (Trupanea nigripennis Hardy).

The species reaches a length of about 0,42 cm and has about 0,44 cm long, almost completely brown colored wings.

The larvae of this species feed on the plant tissue of several (?) Dubautia spp., whereby they cause galls on the stems of the plants they afflict.

~~~

The larvae themselves again, are obviously parasitized by the native Metallic Glossy Eulophid Wasp (Euderus metallicus (Ashmead)).

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edited: 14.02.2017

Thyrocopa alterna Walsingham

Unarmed Thyrocopa Moth (Thyrocopa alterna)

This species is known to occur on the islands of Hawai’i and Maui.

The species reaches wingspans from 1,6 to 3 cm, with the individuals from Hawai’i generally being larger than those from Maui.

~~~

Following a revision of the genus in 2009 two forms formerly treated as distinct species are now included within this species, Thyrocopa adumbrata Walsingham and Thyrocopa inermis Walsingham.

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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

Callopistria maillardi (Guenée)

White Tangle Fern Moth (Callopistria maillardi)

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Rapa
Cook Islands: Rarotonga
Fiji: Leleuvia, Moce, Naukacuvu, Rotuma, Taveuni, Vanua Levu, Viti Levu, Viwa, Yasawa
New Zealand: Raoul Island (Kermadec Islands)
Norfolk Islands: Norfolk Island
Samoa: Savai’, Tutuila, ‘Upolu
Society Islands: Tahiti
Tonga

local names: –

***

The White Tangle Fern Moth was described in 1862, it is an Indo-pacific species that occurs in parts of Africa to Asia and Australia well into eastern Polynesia.

There are several synonyms that formerly were thought to constitute distinct species and subspecies, some of which were believed to be endemic to single islands or island groups.

The species reaches a wingspan of 2,7 to about 3 cm.

The caterpilars feed on several endemic, native or even introduced fern species including Adiantum, Asplenium, Lygodium, Microsorum, Nephrolepis and Pellaea spp.. [1][2]

***

The species is also known from the Hawaiian Islands, but is very likely not native to these islands.

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Refrences:

[1] Gaden S. Robinson: Macrolepidoptera of Fiji and Rotuma: a taxonomic and biogeographic study. Classey 1975
[2] Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Conservation International Pacific Islands Programme: Rapid Biodiversity Assessment of Key Biodiversity Areas: Falealupo Peninsula Coastal Rainforest, Central Savaii Rainforest, and Uafato-Tiavea Coastal Rainforest, Samoa. Apia, Samoa 2017

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edited: 05.01.2019