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)

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

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]

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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)

Rhyncogonus caudatus Van Dyke

Tailed Rhyncogonus Weevil (Rhyncogonus caudatus)

This species is endemic to the island of Huahine, where it can be found on the leaves of several non-native and native plants, including nahe (Angiopteris evecta (G. Forst.) Hoffm.).

The animals are black in colour and bear some larger, white scales on the sides of the head, the body, and above all, the abdomen, where they build some kind of a short process.

The males reach a length of about 1,15 cm, the females, with 1,4 cm, are distinctly larger. [1]

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References:

[1] Edwin C. Van Dyke: Rhyncogonus of the Mangarevan Expedition. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers 13(11): 89-129. 1937

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]

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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

Philodila astyanor (Boisduval)

Tahitian Hawk Moth (Philodila astyanor)

As far as I know, this species occurs exclusively on the island of Tahiti. It was originally described in the year 1875 from a single specimen (the one shown here), whose origin was not known resp. was wrongly (Mexico) labelled.

The species was redescribed again in 1990, it is a monotypic genus, that means it is a genus that contains only a single species.

The Tahitian Hawk Moth reaches a wingspan of about 7 to 8 cm.

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There is a hybrid form of this species with the White-brow Hawk Moth (Gnathothlibus eras (Boisduval)), which had been described in the year 2002 as a distinct species (Papenoo Hawk Moth (Gnathothlibus collardi Haxaire)).

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References:

[1] J. Haxaire: Description d’un nouveau Sphingidae de l’ile de Tahiti: Gnathothlibus collardi (Lepidoptera Sphingidae). Lambillionea 102: 495-499. 2002

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

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

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