Category Archives: Niue

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

Peperomia pallida

Distribution:

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

local names: –

~~~

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

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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

Fimbristylis cymosa R. Br.

Hurricane-Grass (Fimbristylis cymosa)

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Rimatara, Rurutu, Tubuai
Cook Islands: ‘Atiu, Mangaia, Manihiki, Manuae, Ma’uke, Miti’aro, Nassau, Palmerston, Pukapuka, Rakahanga, Rarotonga, Suwarrow, Tongareva
Fiji: Rotuma, Viti Levu
Gambier Islands: Mangareva, Taravai, Totegegie
Hawai’i Islands: French Frigate Shoals, Hawai’i, Kaua’i, Kure, Lana’i, Laysan, Lehua, Maui, Midway, Moloka’i, Ni’ihau, O’ahu
Kiribati: Abariringa, Baker Island, Enderbury Island, Jarvis Island, Kiritimati, Manra, Nikumaroro, Orona, Palmyra-Atoll, Tabuaeran, Teraina
Marquesas: Eiao, Ua Huka
Niue
Pitcairn Islands: Henderson Island
Samoa: ‘Aunu’u, Fanuatapu, Nu’ulua, Nu’utele, Ofu, Olosega, Savai’i, Ta’u, Tutuila
Society Islands: Bora Bora, Huahine, Maiao, Me’eti’a, Mo’orea, Ra’iatea, Taha’a, Tahiti, Tetiaroa, Tupai
Tokelau: Atafu, Fakaofo, Nukunonu, Olohega
Tonga: ‘Eua, Fafa, Fukave, Malinoa, Manima
Tuamotu Archipelago: Apataki, Hao, Makatea, Manihi, Niau, Rangiroa, Takapoto, Tenarunga, Tikehau, Toau
Tuvalu: Nui
Wallis & Futuna: Futuna, ‘Uvea

local name:

mati upoo – Tuamotu Archipelago
mauku – ‘Atiu, Manihiki, Rakahanga, Tongareva / Cook Islands
mau’u’aki’aki – Hawai’i Islands
mouku – Tuamotu Archipelago
kukuti – Tuamotu Archipelago
pako pako – Tahiti / Society Islands
papa ‘enua – Ma’uke / Cook Islands
pupu – Rotuma / Fiji
te uteute ni mane – Kiribati
tuise – Tokelau
tumu ‘enua – Palmerston / Cook Islands
uti’uti hu’a – Society Islands
vayavaya – Nassau, Pukapuka / Cook Islands

~~~

Two of three accepted subspecies of this species are known to occur within the Polynesian region, Fimbristylis cymosa ssp. cymosa R. Br. and Fimbristylis cymosa ssp. umbellatocapitata (Hillebr.) T. Koyama.

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References:

[1] Albert C. Smith: Flora Vitiensis Nova: A new flora of Fiji (Spermatophytes only). Vol. 1. Lawai, Kauai, Hawaii 1979

Boerhavia repens L.

Boerhavia repens

Distribution:

Hawai’i Islands: French Frigate Shoals, Hawai’i, Kaho’olawe, Kaua’i, Ka’ula, Kure, Lana’i, Laysan, Lehua, Lisianski, Maui, Midway, Moloka’i, Ni’ihau, O’ahu, Pearl and Hermes
Kiribati: Karoraina, Kiritimati, Malden Island, Starbuck Island, Vostok Island
Marquesas: Mohotani, Nuku Hiva, Ua Huka
Niue (?)
Samoa: Ofu, Olosega, Ta’u, Tutuila

local names:

alena – Hawai’i Islands
anena – Hawai’i Islands
nena – Hawai’i Islands
te wao – Kiribati

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

http://www.starrenvironmental.com

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.

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References:

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

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

http://www.starrenvironmental.com

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edited: 18.01.14

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.).

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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

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euploea-l-eschscholtzii-dhg

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

http://www.parfaitimage.com

Pisonia grandis R. Br.

Pisonia grandis

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Maria, Raivavae, Rimatara, Rurutu, Tubuai
Cook Islands: Aitutaki, ‘Atiu, Mangaia, Manihiki, Ma’uke, Miti’aro, Nassau, Palmerston, Pukapuka, Rakahanga, Rarotonga, Takutea, Tongareva
Fiji: Aiwa, Kadavu, Mabualau, Nayabo, Rotuma, Vanua Levu
Hawai’i Islands: Lisianski, Maui
Kiribati: Abariringa, Enderbury, Flint, Karoraina, Kiritimati, Malden, Manra, McKean, Nikumaroro, Orona, Palmyra, Starbuck, Tabuaeran, Teraina, Vostok
Marquesas: Eiao, Fatu Hiva, Fatu Huku, Hatu Iti, Hatuta’a, Hiva Oa, Mohotani, Nuku Hiva, Tahuata, Ua Huka, Ua Pou
Niue
Pitcairn Islands: Henderson Island, Oeno
Samoa: Apolima, ‘Aunu’u, Fanuatapu, Namu’a, Nu’ulua, Nu’utele, Ofu, Olosega, Rose-Atoll, Savai’i, Ta’u, Tutuila
Society Islands: Bora Bora, Huahine, Mai’ao, Maupiha’a, Maupiti, Me’eti’a, Mo’orea, Motu One, Ra’iatea, Taha’a, Tahiti, Tetiaroa, Tupai
Tokelau: Atafu, Faka’ofo, Nukunonu, Olohega
Tonga: Alakipeau, ‘Ata, ‘Eua, Fukave, Lifuka, Makaha’a, Malinoa, Maninita, Mokotu’u, Motutapu, Nomuka, Onevai, Onevao, Tau, Toketoke, Tongatapu, ‘Uta Vava’u, Velitoa Hahake
Tuamotu Archipelago: Anaa, Fangatau, Kaukura, Makatea, Mataiva, Napuka, Niau, Nukutipipi, Pukapuka, Rangiroa, Raroia, Takapoto, Takaroa, Takume, Tenararo, Tepoto Nord, Tikehau, Tikei, Toau, Vanavana
Tuvalu: Funafuti, Nanumanga, Nanumea, Nui, Niulakita, Niutao, Nukufetau, Nukulaelae, Vaitupu
Wallis & Futuna: Motu Faioa, ‘Uvea

local names:

buka – Fiji
puka – Cook Islands
puka avarua – Mangaia / Cook Islands
pukatea – Cook Islands
pu’avai – Samoa
talatalabia – Fiji

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

http://www.starrenvironmental.com

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edited: 10.04.2019

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]

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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

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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

Phreatia matthewsii Rchb.f.

Phreatia matthewsii

Distribution:

Fiji: Viti Levu
Niue
Samoa: Apolima, Ofu, Olosega, Savai’i, Ta’u, Tutuila, ‘Upolu
Society Islands: Bora Bora, Mo’orea, Ra’iatea, Tahiti
Tonga: Tafahi

local names: –

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References:

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

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phreatia-matthewsii-tt

Photo: Tavita Togia
http://www.inaturalist.org/people/tavita_togia2016

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

Nervilia concolor (Blume) Schltr.

Unicoloured Nervilia (Nervilia concolor)

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Raivavae, Tubuai
Cook Islands: ‘Atiu, Mangaia, Ma’uke, Miti’aro
Fiji: Ovalau, Vanua Levu, Viti Levu
Niue
Samoa: Ofu, Savai’i, Tutuila, ‘Upolu
Society Islands: Bora Bora, Mai’ao, Mo’orea, Taha’a, Tahiti, Tetiaroa
Tuamotu Archipelago: Anaa, Makatea, Motutunga, Niau, Takapoto, Tikehau
Wallis & Futuna: Alofi

local names:

lautaha – Niue
pia rautahi – Austral Islands; Society Islands
pia rau-ta’i – ‘Atiu / Cook Islands
pia ruatahi – Austral Islands
pua rautahi – Austral Islands; Society Islands

~~~

This species occurs from Southeast Asia into Polynesia, where it can be found on Fiji, Niue, Samoa, Wallis and Futuna, as well as on the Austral-, the Cook-, and the Society Islands, and even on some of the atolls of the Tuamotu Archipelago. [1][2][3][4]

~~~

The species is perhaps better known by the synonym Nervilia aragoana Gaudich..

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References:

[1] T. G. Yuncker: The flora of Niue. Bishop Museum Bulletin 178: 1-126. 1943
[2] T. G. Yuncker: Plants of Tonga. Bishop Museum Bulletin 220: 1-283. 1959
[3] Harold St. John; Albert C. Smith: The Vascular Plants of the Horne and Wallis Islands. Pacific Science 25(3): 313-348. 1971
[4] Albert C. Smith: Flora Vitiensis Nova: A new flora of Fiji (Spermatophytes only). Vol. 5. Lawai, Kauai, Hawaii 1991

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nervilia-concolor-rt

Photo: Ravahere Taputuarai; by courtesy of Ravahere Taputuarai

http://moorea.berkeley.edu/content/rava-taputuarai

Caesalpinia bonduc (L.) Roxb.

Caesalpinia bonduc

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Rapa
Fiji: Leleuvia, Makaluva, Nasoata, Nayau, Nukuci, Nukulau, Nukulevu, Rotuma, Sawa-i-lau, Vanua Balavu, Vanua Levu, Viti Levu, Yasawa
Gambier Islands: Kamaka
Hawai’i Islands: Hawai’i, Kaua’i, Laysan, Maui, Moloka’i, Ni’ihau, O’ahu
Marquesas: Hatuta’a, Hiva Oa, Mohotani, Nuku Hiva, Tahuata, Ua Huka, Ua Pou
Niue
Norfolk Islands: Norfolk Island
Pitcairn Islands: Henderson Island
Samoa: Apolima, ‘Aunu’u, Manono, Namu’a, Nu’ulua, Nu’utele, Savai’i, ‘Upolu
Tonga: ‘Ata, Fafa, Foa, Niuatoputapu, Oneata, Onevai, Pangaimotu, Tongatapu

local names:

anaoso – Samoa
hihikolo – Hawai’i Islands
kakalaioa – Hawai’i Islands
soni – Vanua Levu / Fiji
tartar mann – Rotuma / Fiji

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References:

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

Geniostoma rupestre J. R. Forst. & G. Forst.

Geniostoma rupestre

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Rapa, Rurutu (?)
Fiji: Fulaga, Gau, Kadavu, Koro, Lakeba, Nasoata, Nayau, Ovalau, Rotuma, Taveuni, Vanua Balavu, Vanua Levu, Viti Levu, Waya
Marquesas: Fatu Hiva, Hiva Oa, Nuku Hiva, Tahuata, Ua Pou
New Zealand: Great Barrier Island; Kapiti Island; North Island; Aorangi Island (Poor Knights Islands); Rangitoto Island; South Island; Manawa Tawhi Island, South West Island (Three Kings Islands); Tiritiri Matangi Island
Niue
Pitcairn Islands: Henderson Island
Samoa: Fanuatapu, Namu’a, Nu’ulua, Nu’utele, Savai’i, Ta’u, Tutuila, ‘Upolu
Society Islands: Mo’orea, Tahiti
Tonga: ‘Eua, Ha’apai, Kao, Motutapu, Onevai, Tafahi, Tofua, Tongatapu, ‘Uta Vava’u
Wallis & Futuna: Alofi, Futuna, ‘Uvea

local names:

age – Rurutu / Austral Islands
ange – Rapa / Austral Islands
faipuu – Society Islands
hangehange – New Zealand
taipoipoi – Samoa

~~~

The species is split into several varieties, of which at least four occur within the Polynesian region, Geniostoma rupestre var. crassum (Cheeseman) Conn (endemic to New Zealand), Geniostoma rupestre var. glaberrimum (Benth.) Conn (most parts of Polynesia, especially French Polynesia), the nominate Geniostoma rupestre var. rupestre (western Polynesia), and Geniostoma rupestre var. tongense (A. C. Sm. & Stone) Conn (Fiji, Niue and Tonga).

Many of these varieties include synonyms that formerly were treated as distinct species. [1]

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References:

[1] Barry J. Conn: A taxonomic revision of Geniostoma Subg. Geniostoma (Loganiaceae). Blumea 26: 245-364. 1980

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geniostoma-r-v-rupestre-tt

nominate variety

Photo: Tavita Togia
http://www.inaturalist.org/people/tavita_togia2016

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

Pandanus tectorius Parkinson ex Du Roi

Screw Pine (Pandanus tectorius)

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Maria, Raivavae, Rapa, Rimatara, Rurutu, Tubuai
Cook Islands: Aitutaki, ‘Atiu, Mangaia, Manihiki, Manuae, Ma’uke, Miti’aro, Nassau, Palmerston, Pukapuka, Rakahanga, Rarotonga, Suwarrow, Takutea, Tongareva
Fiji: Aiwa, Dravuni, Fulaga, Gau, Kadavu, Koro, Lakeba, Laucala, Mabualau, Makaluva, Matamanoa, Matuku, Moala, Monuriki, Nagigia, Namenalala, Namuka, Nananu, Nasoata, Naviti, Nayau, Nukulau, Nukulevu, Qamea, Rotuma, Solkope, Taveuni, Vanua Balavu, Vanua Levu, Vatoa, Vatulele, Viti Levu, Wayasewa, Yanucalailai, Yanucalevu
Gambier Islands: Agakauitai, Akamaru, Aukena, Kamaka, Makapu, Makaroa, Mangareva, Manui, Mekiro, Taravai
Hawai’i Islands: Kaua’i, Lana’i, Maui, Moloka’i, Ni’ihau, O’ahu
Kiribati: Flint Island, Karoraina, Nikumaroro, Orona, Palmyra Atoll, Tabuaeran, Teraina
Marquesas: Eiao, Fatu Hiva, Mohotani, Nuku Hiva, Tahuata, Ua Huka, Ua Pou
Niue
Pitcairn Islands: Henderson Island, Oeno, Pitcairn Island
Samoa: Apolima, ‘Aunu’u, Fanuatapu, Manono, Namu’a, Nu’ulua, Nu’utele, Ofu, Olosega, Savai’i, Ta’u, Tutuila, ‘Upolu
Society Islands: Bora Bora, Mai’ao, Me’eti’a, Mo’orea, Motu Nono, Motu Puuru, Ra’iatea, Taha’a, Tahiti, Tetiaroa, Tupai
Tokelau: Atafu, Fakaofo, Nukunonu, Olohega
Tonga: Alakipeau, ‘Ata, ‘Eua, Fafa, Foa, Fukave, Kao, Makaha’a, Malinoa, Manima, Maninita, Monuafe, Motutapu, Mounu, Niuatoputapu, Nuku, Oneata, Onevai, Onevao, Pangaimotu, Polo’a, Tafahi, Tau, Tofua, Toketoke, Tongatapu, Tufaka, ‘Uiha, ‘Uta Vava’u, Velitoa Hahake, Velitoa Hihifo
Tuamotu Archipelago: Akiaki, Anaa, Aratika, Hao, Katiu, Makatea, Makemo, Manihi, Mataiva, Morane, Mururoa, Napuka, Niau, Nukutepipi, Rangiroa, Raroia, Tahanea, Taiaro, Takapoto, Takaroa, Takume, Tatakoto, Temoe, Tikehau, Tikei, Toau, Vahitahi
Tuvalu: Funafuti, Nanumanga, Nanumea, Niulakita, Niutao, Nui, Nukufetau, Nukulaelae, Vaitupu
Wallis & Futuna: Alofi, Faioa, Fenua Fo’ou, Futuna, Nukuatea, Nukuloa, Nukutapu, ‘Uvea

local names:

‘ara – Aitutaki / Cook Islands
‘ara pepe – ‘Atiu, Ma’uke / Cook Islands
‘ara-ta’atai – Rarotonga / Cook Islands
‘ara-tai – ‘Atiu, Mangaia, Ma’uke, Miti’aro / Cook Islands
balawa – Fiji
draudreka – Fiji
fa – Niue; Tonga
fa’a mei – Marquesas
fa feutu – Niue
fa fi – Niue
fa ivi – Niue
fala – Samoa
falavao – Olohega / Tokelau
fala vao – Tokelau
fara – Manihiki, Palmerston, Rakahanga / Cook Islands; Tupai / Society Islands; Raroia / Tuamotu Archipelago
fara moa – Tahiti / Society Islands
fara moua – Tahiti / Society Islands
fara uteute – Tahiti / Society Islands
fasa – Samoa
hala – Hawai’i Islands
hala kilipaki – Hawai’i Islands (spineless clone)
hara – Tongareva / Cook Islands
hat – Rotuma / Fiji
hata – Rotuma / Fiji
hosoa – Rotuma / Fiji
kiakia – Rotuma / Fiji
kie – Tonga (spineless clone)
lau fala – Samoa (spineless clone)
pandana – Palmerston / Cook Islands
pu hala – Hawai’I Islands
sa’aga – Rotuma / Fiji
te kaina – Kiribati
teou – Nui / Tuvalu
teto – Nui / Tuvalu
tima – Raroia / Tuamotu Archipelago
uea – Tupai / Society Islands
vadra – Fiji
varawa – Fiji
voivoi – Fiji
wala – Nassau, Pukapuka / Cook Islands

~~~

The Screw Pine is a geographically widespread and exceptionally morphologically variable species (or maybe a species complex). In the Polynesian region this plant is found almost everywhere, except for climatically inappropriate areas like New Zealand or Rapa Nui.

The Screw Pine was once one of the most important plants for the Polynesians, and Screw Pine saplings, together with saplings of Breadfruit Trees, Coconut Palms, Taro and several others, were transported by the Polynesian settlers on their boats during inter-island migration – to be planted out at their new island homes.

The Polynesians, over time, reared numerous cultivars, among them such whose leaves are lacking spines on their margins, and which therefore are very well-suited for weaving.

The exceptional variability of the wild and cultivated forms lead to the description of countless species, subspecies and varieties. So, Harold St. John alone described in his “Revision of the Genus Pandanus” various female plants as distinct species – in many cases from geographically very localized populations. In a biological sense, all of these ‘species’ are part of the same population, and furthermore, it is impossible to designate male plants to such ‘species’.

Some of the morphologically distinct forms that are seemingly restricted to the higher elevations of larger islands, like Pandanus papenooensis H. St. John on Tahiti or Pandanus temehaniensis J. W. Moore on Ra’iatea, are often still referred to as distinct species.

(I personally, however, see all of these forms as Pandanus tectorius.)

Nevertheless, the genus is in urgent need of a proper revision!

~~~

As already mentioned, in virtually all parts of Polynesia the leaves were and are used for weaving, among other things, for elaborate mats, especially in Tonga, or boat sails (in former times on the Hawai’i Islands), right up to roofs and walls of houses (!). The stilt roots were used, for example, on the Cook Islands, for house building (as abutment walls) too.

The fruits are fruit heads comprising an aggregate of many tightly bunched phalanges or drupes that are edible. In some cultivars, these drupes reach the size of an apple. They are eaten especially in parts of Kiribati, Tokelau, and in Tuvalu.

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References:

[1] Sven Buerki; Martin W. Callmander; Dion S. Devey; Lauren Chappell; Timothy Gallaher; Jérôme Munzinger; Thomas Haevermans Félix Forest: Straightening out the screw-pines: A first step in understanding phylogenetic relationships within Pandanaceae. Taxon 61(5): 1010-1020. 2012
[2] Timothy Gallaher; Martin W. Gallmander; Sven Buerki; Sterling C. Keeley: A long distance dispersal hypothesis for the Pandanaceae and the origins of the Pandanus tectorius complex. Molecular Phylogenetis and Evolution 83: 20-32.2015

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pandanus-tectorius-fks

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

http://www.starrenvironmental.com

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edited: 13.02.2017

Portulaca lutea Sol. ex G. Forst.

Portulaca lutea

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Marotiri Rocks, Raivavae, Rapa, Rimatara, Rurutu, Tubuai
Cook Islands: ‘Atiu, Mangaia, Manuae, Ma’uke, Miti’aro, Rarotonga, Suwarrow, Tongareva
Fiji: Bacon Island, Mabualau, Rotuma
Gambier Islands: Akamaru, Aukena, Gaioio, Kouaku, Makaroa, Mangareva, Taravai, Taraururoa, Tekava, Temoe, Vaiatekeue
Hawai’i Islands: French Frigate Shoals, Gardner Pinnacles, Hawai’i, Ka’ula, Lana’i, Laysan, Lisianski, Maui, Midway, Moloka’i, Molokini, Necker, Nihoa, O’ahu
Kiribati: Abariringa, Baker, Birnie, Enderbury, Howland, Jarvis, Karoraina, Kiritimati, Malden, Manra, McKean, Nikumaroro, Orona, Rawaki, Starbuck, Tabuaeran
Marquesas: Eiao, Fatu Hiva, Hatuta’a, Hiva Oa, Mohotani, Motu Iti, Nuku Hiva, Tahuata, Ua Huka, Ua Pou
Niue
Pitcairn Islands: Henderson Island, Pitcairn Island
Rapa Nui: Motu Motiro Hiva
Samoa: Namu’a (?), Nu’ulua, Ofu, Olosega, Rose Atoll, Savai’i, Ta’u, Tutuila, ‘Upolu
Society Islands: Bora Bora, Huahine, Mai’ao, Manuae, Maupiha’a, Maupiti, Me’eti’a, Mo’orea, , Motu One, Ra’iatea, Tahiti, Tetiaroa, Tupai
Tokelau: Atafu
Tonga: Tafahi, Tongatapu
Tuamotu Archipelago: Ahe, Ahunui, Anaa, Apataki, Arutua, Fakahina, Fakarava, Fangatau, Fangataufa, Hao, Makatea, Manihi, Maria, Moruroa, Napuka, Niau, Nukutipipi, Paraoa, Pukapuka, Rangiroa, Raroia, Reao, Takapoto, Takaroa, Takume, Tenarunga, Tepoto Nord, Tikehau, Tikei, Toau, Vahanga, Vanavana
Tuvalu: Nui

local names:

katuri – Tongareva / Cook Islands
pokea – Aitutaki, ‘Atiu, Ma’uke, Rarotonga / Cook Islands
pokea muramura – Miti’aro / Cook Islands

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

edited: 10.04.2019

Hypolimnas antilope (Cramer)

Yellow Eggfly (Hypolimnas antilope)

This species occurs in Southeast Asia and Australia, the subspecies discussed here (Hypolimnas antilope ssp. lutescens (Butler)) occurs from Melanesia up to West Polynesia.

The butterfly reaches a wingspan of up to 8 cm, and is mainly dark ochre-brown in color, and bears some lighter spots on all four wings.

The caterpillars feed, among other things, on the leaves of the Hairy Pipturus (Pipturus argenteus var. lanosus Skottsb.).

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

References:

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

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

hypolimnas-a-lutescens-sh

Foto / Photo: S. Hashizume, 2008

http://jocv183199.web.fc2.com

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

edited: 28.01.2017

Planchonella torricellensis (K. Schum.) H. J. Lam

Planchonella torricellensis

Distribution:

Fiji: Rotuma
Niue
Samoa: Ofu, Savai’i, ‘Upolu, Ta’u, Tutuila
Wallis & Futuna: Alofi, Futuna

local names: –

Emoia cyanura (Lesson)

Coastal Blue-tailed Skink (Emoia cyanura)

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Raivavae, Rapa, Rimatara, Rurutu, Tubuai
Cook Islands: Nassau, Pukapuka, Rarotonga, Tongareva
Fiji: Taveuni, Viti Levu
Gambier Islands: Mangareva
Kiribati: Flint Island, Tabuaeran
Marquesas: Fatu Hiva, Hiva Oa, Mohotani, Nuku Hiva
Niue
Pitcairn Islands: Henderson Island, Oeno, Pitcairn Island
Samoa: Fanuatapu, ‘Upolu, Namu’a, Nu’ulua, Nu’utele, Ofu, Olosega, Tutuila
Society Islands: Huahine, Maupiha’a, Me’eti’a, Mo’orea, Tahiti
Tokelau: Atafu, Fakaofo, Nukunonu
Tonga: ‘Eua; Niuatoputapu; Lifuka (Ha’apai Islands); Tongatapu; ‘Euakafa, Kapa, Kenutu, Mafana, Maninita, Nuku, Pangaimotu, Taula, ‘Umuna, ‘Uta Vava’u, Vaka’eitu (Vava’u Islands)
Tuamotu Archipelago: Ahe, Anaa, Aratika, Fakarava, Hao, Katiu, Makemo, Manihi, Mataiva, Niau, Nihiru, Pukapuka, Rangiroa, Raraka, Raroia, Takaroa, Takume, Tureia
Tuvalu: Funafuti
Wallis & Futuna: Futuna, ‘Uvea

local names:

moko – Aitutaki, Miti’aro, Pukapuka, Tongareva / Cook Islands
moko kakara – Ma’uke / Cook Islands
moko sari – Fiji
motukutuku – Mangaia / Cook Islands

***

This ‘species’ in fact isn’t a species in the common sense, it is most probably not monophyletic, that means the species’ name covers more than one species.

The Polynesian populations extend from Fiji into central Polynesia (Cook Islands, Society Islands) and east Polynesia (Tuamotu Archipelago). The western populations may be native, the central and eastern, however, were most probably imported by early Polynesian settlers.

There is still a lot to discover …. [1][2][3][4][5]

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

References:

[1] Walter C. Brown: Lizards of the genus Emoia (Scincidae) with observations on their evolution and biogeography. California Academy of Sciences 1991
[2] B. J. Gill: The land reptiles of Western Samoa. Journal of the Royal Society of new Zealand 23(2): 79-89. 1993
[3] B. J. Gill: Notes on the land reptiles of Wallis and futuna, South-West pacific. Records of the Auckland Institute and Museum 32: 55-61.1995
[4] Emilio M. Bruna; Robert N. Fisher; Ted J. Case: Morphological and genetic evolution appear decoupled in Pacific skinks (Squamata: Scincidae: Emoia). Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. B 263: 681-688. 1996
[5] Robert Fisher; Moeumu Uili; Czarina Lese; Fialelei Enoka: Reptiles of the Aleipata Islands: Surveys 2009–2010. In: Alan Tye, David J. Butler: Restoration of Nu’utele and Nu’ulua Islands (Aleipata Group), Samoa, through the management of introduced rats and ants. Conservation International Pacific Islands Program 2013

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

emoia-cyanura-dpr

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

http://www.ryanphotographic.com

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

edited: 01.01.2019

Argyrodes samoensis O. Pickard-Cambridge

Samoan Dewtrop Spider (Argyrodes samoensis)

Ditribution:

Niue
Samoa: ‘Upolu
Society Islands: Mo’orea, Tahiti
Tonga

local names: –

***

The Samoan Dewtrop Spider was described in 1880.

The species occurs from New Caledonia and Vanuatu in Melanesia to western – and central Polynesia, where it is known from Niue, Samoa, the Society Islands and Tonga.

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

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

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

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

edited: 14.12.2018

Canavalia rosea (Sw.) DC.

Canavalia rosea

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Raivavae, Rimatara, Rurutu, Tubuai
Fiji: Kadavu, Makaluva, Nasoata, Nayau, Nukulau, Nukulevu, Ovalau, Rotuma, Toberua, Vanua Levu, Viti Levu, Waya, Yasawa
Marqueseas: Fatu Hiva, Hiva Oa, Nuku Hiva, Tahuata, Ua Huka, Ua Pou
New Zealand: Kermadec Islands
Niue
Norfolk Islands: Norfolk Island, Phillip Island
Pitcairn Islands: Henderson Island, Pitcairn Island
Samoa: ‘Aunu’u, Fanuatapu, Namu’a, Ofu, Savai’i, Ta’u, Tutuila, ‘Upolu
Society Islands: Tahiti
Tonga: Alakipeau, Fafa, Fukave, Makaha’a, Malinoa, Manima, Monuafe, Onevai, Onevao, Pangaimotu, Polo’a, Tongatapu, Tufuka, Velitoa Hahake, Velitoa Hihifo
Wallis & Futuna: Futuna, ‘Uvea

local names:

dralawa – Fiji
drautolu – Fiji

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

References:

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

Nacaduba niueensis Lachlan

Niuean Blue (Nacaduba niueensis)

This species, which is strictly restricted to the island of Niue, is actually known since 1979, when the first specimen, a female, was collected. The specimen was recognized as something new, but was not described, since only the type specimen was available.

It was, however, only described in 2012. [1][3]

The male is more or less completely blackish brown coloured on the upper side, and bears on its wings some very few glossy blue scales, giving the wings a somewhat glimmering appearance.

The caterpillars feed on the leaves of toi (Alphitonia zizyphoides (Solander) A. Gray).

This is the only endemic day-flying lepidopteran species of Niue.

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

References:

[1] Jacqueline 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
[2] Brian Patrick; Hamish Patrick: Butterflies of the South Pacific. Otago University Press 2012
[3] R. B. Lachlan: A new species of Nacaduba Moore (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) from Niue, southwestern Pacific Ocean. Australian entomologist, 39(2): 49-54. 2012

Solanum americanum Mill.

Solanum americanum Mill.

Distribution:

Cook Islands: Aitutaki, ‘Atiu, Mangaia, Ma’uke, Miti’aro, Palmerston, Rakahanga, Rarotonga
Fiji: Fulaga, Kadavu, Rotuma, Taveuni, Viti Levu, Yageta
Hawai’i Islands (?): Hawai’i, Kaho’olawe, Kaua’i, Ka’ula, Kure, Lana’i, Laysan, Lehua, Lisianski, Maui, Midwayi, Moloka’i, Nihoa, Ni’ihau, O’ahu, Pearl and Hermes Reef
New Zealand: Chatham Islands; Great Barrier Island, Sail Rock (Hen and Chicken Islands), Kapiti Island, Kermadec Islands, North Island, Aorangi Island (Poor Knights Islands), South Island, Three Kings Islands, Tiritiri Matangi Island
Niue
Norfolk Islands: Norfolk Island, Phillip Island
Samoa: Fanuatapu (?), Nu’ulua (?), Ofu, Savai’i, Ta’u, Tutuila, ‘Upolu
Tonga: Tongatapu

 

local names:

akari pipiro (?) – Rakahanga / Cook Islands
poporo– New Zealand
poroporo– Aitutaki, Mangaia, Rarotonga / Cook Islands; New Zealand
poroporo puaka– Ma’uke / Cook Islands
poro puaka– ‘Atiu, Mitiaro / Cook Islands
raupeti– New Zealand
remuroa– New Zealand

~~~

This species can be found in the tropical regions almost worldwide, though its native range probably comprises the coastal areas along the tropical Pacific of the Americas, Australia, Melanesia, and probably parts of Polynesia. [1]

The very variable species is about 1,5 m tall and bears small white flowers and glossy black berries.

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

References:

[1] Tiina Särkinen; Peter Poczai; Gloria E. Barboza; Gerard M. van der Weerden; Maria Baden; Sandra Knapp: A revision of the Old World Black Nightshades (Morelloid clade of Solanum L., Solanaceae). PhytoKeys 106: 1-223. 2018

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

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

http://www.starrenvironmental.com

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

edited: 25.09.2018

Egretta sacra (Gmelin)

Pacific Reef-Egret (Egretta sacra ssp. sacra)

The Pacific Reef-Egret is an about 60 cm large, rather short-legged egret, that lives predominantly in coastal areas.

The birds occur in mangrove-filled estuaries or along rocky shores, where they feed on small fish, mollusks and crustaceans.

The nominate race of this species occurs from South and Southeast Asia to Australia and into almost the whole pacific region (with the exception of New Caledonia, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, where the ssp. albolineata (G. R. Gray) occurs).

In some regions of Polynesia the Pacific Reef-Egret is nowadays the only surviving of the native bird species.

There are three color morphs, dark slate grey colored birds, pure white birds as well as an intermediate phase that is mottled white with dark slate grey. It is a somewhat strange fact, that in some areas, for example New Zealand and Samoa, only birds of one of these morphs (in both cases the dark morph) are breeding, while in other places all three morphs live together.

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

egretta-s-sacra-ps

Photo: Phil Swanson; by courtesy of Ross Silcock

http://www.rosssilcock.com

Asplenium nidus L.

Asplenium nidus

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Maria, Raivavae, Rapa, Rurutu, Tubuai
Cook Islands: ‘Atiu, Mangaia, Manihiki, Ma’uke, Miti’aro, Nassau, Palmerston, Pukapuka, Rakahanga, Rarotonga, Takutea
Fiji: Fulaga, Koro, Lakeba, Mabualau, Moturiki, Namuka, Nasoata, Nayau, Nukulau, Nukulevu, Ovalau, Qamea, Rotuma, Taveuni
Gambier Islands: Mangareva
Hawai’i Islands: Hawai’i, Kaua’i, Lana’i, Maui, Moloka’i, O’ahu; Kiribati: Palmyra, Teraina
Niue
Pitcairn Islands: Henderson, Oeno, Pitcairn
Samoa: ‘Aunu’u, Fanuatapu, Manono, Namu’a, Nu’ulua, Nu’utele, Ofu, Olosega, Savai’i, Ta’u, Tutuila, ‘Upolu
Society Islands: Bora Bora, Huahine, Mai’ao, Manuae, Maupiha’a, Maupiti, Me’eti’a, Mo’orea, Ra’iatea, Taha’a, Tahiti, Tetiaroa, Tupai
Tokelau: Atafu, Faka’ofo, Nukunonu, Olohega
Tonga: Fafa, Oneata, Pangaimotu, Tafahi, Tongatapu
Tuamotu Archipelago: Anaa, Makatea, Manihi, Mururoa, Niau, Rangiroa, Raroia, Taiaro, Takapoto, Tikehau, Toau
Tuvalu: Funafuti, Nanumea, Niulakita, Nui, Nukufetau, Nukulaelae, Vaitupu
Wallis & Futuna: Alofi, Futuna, Motu Faioa, Motu Nukuhifalo, Motu Nukuhione, Motu Nukulua, ‘Uvea

local names:

ekaha – Hawai’i Islands
kota’a
– Ma’uke, Miti’aro, Rarotonga / Cook Islands
kota’a tua-rua – Mangaia / Cook Islands
kota’a panau – ‘Atiu, Ma’uke, Miti’aro / Cook Islands
kota’a roroa – ‘Atiu / Cook Islands
laugapapa – Samoa
laukotawa – Nassau, Pukapuka / Cook Islands
raukotaha – Manihiki, Raraka / Cook Islands

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

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

http://www.starrenvironmental.com

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

edited: 10.04.2019

Ipomoea pes-caprae ssp. brasiliensis (L.) Ooststr.

Ipomoea pes-caprae ssp. brasiliensis

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Rimatara, Rurutu, Tubuai
Cook Islands: Aitutaki, ‘Atiu, Mangaia, Manihiki, Palmerston, Rakahanga, Rarotonga, Tongareva
Fiji: Beqa, Cicia, Gau, Kabara, Kadavu, Lakeba, Nayau, Nukulevu, Yanucalailai, Nacula, Nukulau, Makaluva, Moturiki, Nasoata, Rotuma, Taveuni, Vanua Balavu, Vanua Levu, Vatulele, Viti Levu, Vomo, Vomo Lailai, Waya
Gambier Islands: Agakauitai, Akamaru, Aukena, Kamaka, Mangareva, Mekiro, Taravai, Totegegie
Hawai’i Islands: French Frigate Shoals, Green Island, Hawai’i, Kaho’olawe, Kaua’i, Ka’ula, Lana’i, Laysan, Lehua, Lisianski, Maui, Midway, Moloka’i, Nihoa, Ni’ihau, O’ahu
Kiribati: Abariringa, Orona, Palmyra Atoll, Starbuck Island, Tabuaeran, Teraina
Marquesas: Eiao, Fatu Hiva, Hiva Oa, Nuku Hiva, Tahuata, Ua Huka, Ua Pou
New Zealand: Raoul Island (Kermadec Islands), North Island
Niue
Norfolk Islands: Norfolk Island
Rapa Nui
Samoa: ‘Aunu’u, Fanuatapu, Manono, Namu’a, Nu’ulua, Nu’utele, Ofu, Olosega, Savai’i, Ta’u, Tutuila, ‘Upolu
Society Islands: Mai’ao, Me’eti’a, Mo’orea, Ra’iatea, Taha’a, Tahiti
Tokelau: Atafu, Fakaofo, Nukunonu
Tonga: ‘Eua, Fafa, Foa, Fukave, Malinoa, Manima, Monuafe, Motutapu, Nomuka, Nuku, Oneata, Onevai, Onevao, Pangaimotu, Tau, Tufaka, Velitoa Hihifo
Tuamotu Archipelago: Fangataufa, Hao, Hereheretue, Makatea
Wallis & Futuna: Futuna

local names:

fue moa – Samoa
fue tahi– Tonga
kaka – Rarotonga / Cook Islands
kaka pae-tai – Mangaia / Cook Islands
lawere – Fiji
lauivi – Fiji
lauwere – Fiji
pohue – Tongareva / Cook Islands
poue – Palmerston / Cook Islands
ra-pohue – Raraka / Cook Islands
rau-pohue tarona – Manihiki / Cook Islands
wa vui – Fiji
wa vulavula – Fiji
yale – Fiji
yaleyale – Fiji

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

edited: 10.04.2019

Piper puberulum Benth. ex Seem.

Piper puberulum

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Rapa
Fiji: Cicia, Cikobia-i-lau, Fulaga, Gau, Kadavu, Koro, Lakeba, Matuku, Moala, Ovalau, Qamea, Rabi, Rotuma, Taveuni, Totoya, Vanua Balavu, Vanua Levu, Viti Levu, Wakaya, Waya, Yacata
Niue
Samoa: Ofu, Olosega, Savai’i, Ta’u, Tutuila, ‘Upolu
Tonga: ‘Ata, ‘Eua, Fukave, Makaha’a, Motutapu, Pangaimotu, Tongatapu
Wallis & Futuna: Alofi, ‘Uvea

local names:

gakawa – Fiji
kava – Niue
kavakava’uli – Tonga
kakatua – Rapa / Austral Islands
kava vao – Niue
naqonanaqona – Fiji
qonamerasari – Fiji
qonaqonarau – Fiji
sasa – Rotuma / Fiji
yaqona mereserari – Fiji
yaqona meriseri – Fiji

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

References:

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

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

piper-puberulum-fks

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

http://www.starrenvironmental.com

Operculina turpethum (L.) Silva Manso

Operculina turpethum

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Rurutu
Cook Islands: ‘Atiu, Mangaia, Ma’uke, Miti’aro, Rarotonga
Fiji: Gau, Matuku, Moce, Ovalau, Taveuni, Vanua Levu, Viti Levu
Marquesas: Eiao, Hiva Oa, Nuku Hiva, Tahuata, Ua Huka
Niue
Pitcairn Islands: Henderson Island, Pitcairn Island
Samoa: Fanuatapu, Namu’a, Nu’utele, Ofu, Savai’i, Ta’u, Tutuila, ‘Upolu
Society Islands: Mo’orea, Taha’a, Tahiti
Tonga: Niuatoputapu, Tongatapu, ‘Uta Vava’u
Tuamotu Archipelago: Anaa, Makatea, Niau, Tikehau

local names:

fue – Niue
fue vao – Niue
pohue ute – Society Islands
ta’uri’au – Ma’uke / Cook Islands
taurihau – Society Islands
wa buco – Fiji
wa damudamu – Fiji
wa ika – Fiji
wa kai – Fiji
wa sala – Fiji
wa uvi – Fiji
wa vulavula – Fiji

~~~

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

References:

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

Didymoplexis micradenia (Rchb. f.) Hemsl.

Didymoplexis micradenia

Distribution:

Fiji: Kadavu, Nayau, Ovalau, Taveuni, Vanua Levu, Viti Levu
Niue
Samoa: Nu’utele, Ofu, Olosega, Savai’i, Ta’u, Tutuila, ‘Upolu
Tonga: Tongatapu
Wallis & Futuna: Alofi, ‘Uvea

local names: –

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

References:

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

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

didymoplexis-micradenia-tt

Photo: Tavita Togia
http://www.inaturalist.org/people/tavita_togia2016

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

Solanum repandum G. Forst.

Pacific Tomato (Solanum repandum)

Distribution:

Cook Islands: Mangaia, Rarotonga
Fiji: Ovalau, Rabi, Viti Levu
Marquesas: Fatu Hiva, Nuku Hiva
Niue
Samoa: Olosega (ex), ‘Upolu (ex)
Society Islands: Ra’iatea, Tahiti
Tonga: ‘Eua (ex)
Wallis & Futuna: Futuna, ‘Uvea

local names:

boro sou – Fiji
huou – Marquesas
kokou – Marquesas
lokumoka – Niue
moreirei – Mangaia / Cook Islands
rerei – Rarotonga / Cook Islands
sou – Fiji
sousou – Fiji
sou vuti – Fiji
tauloku – Futuna, ‘Uvea / Wallis & Futuna
taulo’u – Samoa
touolku – Tonga
vuani – Fiji

~~~

This species is native to Asia or Melanesia and is obviously found in the Polynesian region exclusively in association with human disturbances and is thus most probably not native to Polynesia.

The Polynesian plants were originally described as Solanum repandum G. Forst., but appear to be a cultivated form of the Asian Solanum ferox L., and are now sometimes named as Solanum ferox var. repandum (G. Forst.) Bitter. [1][2]

~~~

There is, however, still very much confusion about the origin of the Polynesian plants, since they may be a spineless form of the Asian Solanum lasiocarpum Dunal or may originate from the American Solanum sessiliflorum Dunal, which seems to be quite similar to it – thus, I prefer to call it by its first name until its identity is fully resolved.

~~~

The species is now extinct in large parts of its former range, for example in Samoa and Tonga. [2]

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

References:

[1] Albert C. Smith: Flora Vitiensis Nova: A new flora of Fiji (Spermatophytes only). Vol. 5. Lawai, Kauai, Hawaii 1991
[2] Art Whistler: Biodiversity Conservation Lessons Learned Technical Series. 2: The Rare Plants of Samoa. Conservation International 2011

Spathoglottis plicata Blume

Spathoglottis plicata

Distribution:

Cook Islands: ‘Atiu, Mangaia, Rarotonga
Fiji: Taveuni, Vanua Levu, Viti Levu
Niue
Samoa: ‘Aunu’u, Ofu, Olosega, Savai’i, Ta’u, Tutuila, ‘Upolu
Tonga: ‘Eua, Kao, Niuafo’ou, Tofua
Wallis & Futuna: Futuna

local names: –

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

edited: 13.12.2018

Phaius tankervilleae (Banks) Blume

Phaius tankervilleae

Distribution:

Cook Islands: Mangaia, Rarotonga
Fiji: Gau, Vanua Levu, Viti Levu
Niue
Samoa: Ofu (?), Olosega, Savai’i, Ta’u, ‘Upolu
Tonga: ‘Eua, Niuafo’ou, Tofua
Wallis & Futuna: ‘Uvea

local names: –

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

References:

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

Cordia subcordata Lam.

Kou (Cordia subcordata)

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Raivavae, Rimatara, Rurutu, Tubuai
Cook Islands: Aitutaki, ‘Atiu, Mangaia, Manihiki, Manuae, Ma’uke, Miti’aro, Nassau, Palmerston, Pukapuka, Rakahanga, Rarotonga, Suwarrow, Tongareva
Fiji: Beachcomber Island; Beqa, Fulaga, Gau, Kadavu, Koro, Lakeba, Mabualau, Macuata, Makaluva, Matuku, Moala, Monuriki, Moturiki, Nanuya Lailai, Nasoata, Navo, Nayau, Nukulau, Nukulevu, Ovalau, Rotuma, Taveuni, Vanua Balavu, Vanua Levu, Vatulele, Viti Levu, Wakaya, Yadua Taba, Yanucalailai
Gambier Islands: Akamaru, Kamaka, Mangareva, Taravai
Hawai’i Islands: Hawai’i, Kaua’i, Lana’i, Maui, Ni’ihau
Kiribati: Abariringa, Baker Island, Birnie Island, Enderbury Island, Flint Island, Howland Island, Karoraina, McKean Island, Malden Island, Manra, Nikumaroro, Orona, Palmyra Atoll, Rawaki, Starbuck Island, Tabuaeran, Teraina
Marquesas: Eiao, Fatu Hiva, Hiva Oa, Mohotani, Nuku Hiva, Tahuata, Ua Huka, Ua Pou
Niue
Pitcairn Islands (?): Henderson Island
Samoa: ‘Aunu’u, Namu’a, Nu’ulua, Ofu (?), Olosega, Savai’i, Ta’u, Tutuila, ‘Upolu
Society Islands: Bora Bora, Huahine, Mai’ao, Manuae, Maupiti, Me’eti’a, Moorea, Mopelia, Motu One, Tahaa, Tahiti, Tetiaroa, Tupai
Tokelau: Atafu, Faka’ofo, Nukunonu, Olohega
Tonga: ‘Eua, Makaha’a, Malinoa, Manima, Maninita, Monuafe, Oneata, Onevai, Pangaimotu, Polo’a, Tongatapu, ‘Uta Vava’u
Tuamotu Archipelago: Anaa, Fakarava, Makatea, Manihi, Mataiva, Matureivavao, Mururoa, Niau, Rangiroa, Raroia, Takapoto, Takume, Tenarunga, Tikehau, Vahanga
Tuvalu: Funafuti, Nanumea, Niutao, Nui, Vaitupu
Wallis & Futuna: ‘Uvea

local names:

bakanawa – Fiji
ilima – Kiribati
kanava – Tokelau; Nui, Vaitupu / Tuvalu; Futuna, ‘Uvea / Wallis & Futuna
kanave – Nukunonu / Tokelau
kiripoa – Tuamotu Archipelago
kou – Hawai’i Islands
man’ao – Rotuma / Fiji
marupua – Tuamotu Archipelago
motou – Niue
nawanawa – Fiji
pua – Tuamotu Archipelago
pua taukanave – ‘Eua / Tonga
taiuli – Olohega / Tokelau
tauanave – Samoa
te kanawa – Kiribati
tou – Austral Islands; Aitutaki, Atiu, Mangaia, Manihiki, Mauke, Mitiaro, Palmerston, Rakahanga, Rarotonga, Tongareva / Cook Islands; Marquesas; Society Islands; Raroia / Tuamotu Archipelago
wakanava – Nassau, Pukapuka / Cook Islands

~~~

The kou is an about 7 to 15 m tall tree with a broad densely leaved crown.

This species occurs over a wide geographical range, as it can be found on the islands of the Indian Ocean up to almost all of the islands in the Pacific Ocean. In Polynesia this species can be found on all island groups, except for New Zealand and Easter Island.

The wood of the tree was (and still is) used for various carvings, and also for the production of canoes or paddles, as long as a large enough tree could be found.

On the Hawai’i Islands the tannin-containing leaves were used to dye bark cloth tan, but also to colour fishing lines, to make them less visible to the fishes. In Kiribati again the leaves were primarily used as pig fodder.

The bright orange flowers are often used for floral wreaths, and the seeds have been eaten in times of famine.

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cordia-subcordata-rt

Photo: Ravahere Taputuarai

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

cordia-subcordata-akk1

floral wreath, made of kou flowers

Photo: Dr. Angela K. Keppler; by courtesy of Dr. Angela K. Keppler

http://www.pbif.org

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edited: 19.09.2016

Oberonia equitans (G. Forst.) Mutel

Oberonia equitans

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Raivavae, Rapa, Rimatara, Rurutu, Tubuai
Cook Islands: Mangaia, Rarotonga
Fiji: Ovalau, Vanua Balavu, Vanua Levu, Viti Levu
Niue
Samoa: Namu’a, Nu’utele, Ofu, Olosega, Savai’i, Tutuila, ‘Upolu
Society Islands: Bora Bora, Huahine, Maupiti, Me’eti’a, Mo’orea, Ra’iatea, Taha’a, Tahiti
Tonga
Tuamotu Archipelago: Makatea
Wallis & Futuna: Alofi, Futuna, ‘Uvea

local names:

hoe – Austral Islands
rima rima – Society Islands

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

References:

[1] Phillip Cribb; W. Arthur Whistler: Orchids of Samoa. Kew Publishing 1996
[2] Albert C. Smith: Flora Vitiensis Nova: A new flora of Fiji (Spermatophytes only). Vol. 5. Lawai, Kauai, Hawaii 1991

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oberonia-equitans-rt

Photo: Ravahere Taputuarai

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

Entada phaseoloides (L.) Merr.

Entada phaseoloides

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Rurutu, Tubuai
Cook Islands: Aitutaki, ‘Atiu, Mangaia, Rarotonga
Fiji: Gau, Kabara, Kadavu, Koro, Lakeba, Leleuvia, Matuku, Moala, Moce, Nasoata, Nayau, Nukulau, Ovalau, Taveuni, Vanua Levu, Vatulele, Vanua Balavu, Vanua Levu, Viti Levu, Waya, Yanuca, Yanucalailai, Yanucalevu
Hawai’i Islands: Kaua’i
Kiribati: Palmyra Atoll
Marquesas: Tahuata
Niue

Samoa: Savai’i, Ta’u, Tutuila, ‘Upolu
Society Islands: Taha’a
Tonga: ‘Eua, Tongatapu, ‘Uta Vava’u
Wallis & Futuna: Alofi, Futuna, ‘Uvea

local name:

soni ni veikau – Fiji
wa damu – Fiji
wa lai – Fiji
wa taqiri – Fiji
wa tiqiri – Fiji

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References:

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

Gallirallus huiatua Steadman, Worthy, Anderson & Walter

Niue Rail (Gallirallus huiatua)

This species was described in the year 2000 on the basis of subfossil bone remains.

The Niue Rail was slightly smaller than the Buff-banded Rail (Gallirallus philippensis ssp. goodsoni Mathews), which still inhabits Niue, but unlike the Buff-banded Rail, the Niue Rail was flightless.

The species was extirpated by the Polynesian inhabitans of the island at around 1500 A.D..

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References:

[1] David W. Steadman, Trevor H. Worthy, Atholl J. Anderson, Richard Walter: New species and records of birds from prehistoric sites on Niue, Southwest Pacific. The Wilson Bulletin 112(2): 165-186. 2000
[2] David W. Steadman: Extinction and Biogeography of Tropical Pacific Birds. University Of Chicago Press 2006

Gynochthodes epiphytica (Rech.) A. C. Sm. & S. P. Darwin

Gynochthodes epiphytica

Distribution:

Fiji: Fulaga, Lakeba, Nayau, Vanua Levu, Viti Levu, Yacata
Niue
Samoa: Savai’i, Ofu, Olosega, Ta’u, Tutuila
Tonga: ‘Eua, Tongatapu

local names:

coro – Viti Levu / Fiji
sererakavona – Viti Levu / Fiji

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

References:

[1] Albert C. Smith: Flora Vitiensis Nova: A new flora of Fiji (Spermatophytes only). Vol. 4. Lawai, Kauai, Hawaii 1988

Canavalia sericea A. Gray

Canavalia sericea

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Raivavae, Rapa, Rimatara, Rurutu, Tubuai
Cook Islands: ‘Atiu, Rarotonga
Fiji: Aiwa, Fulaga, Kadavu, Koro, Leleuvia, Makaluva, Malolo, Moturiki, Nairai, Nasoata, Navutu-i-loma, Nayau, Nukulau, Nukulevu, Ogea Driki, Ogea Levu, Ovalau, Vanua Balavu, Vanua Levu, Vatulele, Viti Levu, Waya, Yacata
Gambier Islands: Agakauitai, Akamaru, Aukena, Kamaka, Makaroa, Mangareva, Motu Teiku, Taravai
Niue
Samoa: Olosega, Savai’i, ‘Upolu
Society Islands: Huahine
Tonga: Alakipeau, ‘Ata, ‘Eua, Fafa, Fukave, Makaha’a, Malinoa, Manima, Monuafe, Onevai, Onevao, Pangaimotu, Polo’a, Tau, Toketoke, Tongatapu, Tufaka, ‘Uta Vava’u, Velitoa Hahake, Velitoa Hihifo
Tuamotu Archipelago: Anaa, Hao, Makemo, Niau
Wallis & Futuna: Alofi, Futuna

local names:

dralawa – Fiji
wa vue – Koro / Fiji

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

References:

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

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canavalia-sericea-fks

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

http://www.starrenvironmental.com

Cyperus seemannianus Boeckeler

Cyperus seemannianus

Distribution:

Fiji: Moala, Nairai, Vanua Levu, Viti Levu
Niue
Samoa: Fanuatapu, Namu’a, Nu’utele, Savai’i, Ofu, Olosega, Ta’u, Tutuila, ‘Upolu
Tonga
Wallis & Futuna: Alofi, Futuna

local names:

tube ni waqa – Fiji

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

References:

[1] Albert C. Smith: Flora Vitiensis Nova: A new flora of Fiji (Spermatophytes only). Vol. 1. Lawai, Kauai, Hawaii 1979

Angiopteris evecta (G. Forst.) Hoffm.

Angiopteris evecta

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Raivavae, Rapa, Rimatara, Rurutu, Tubuai
Cook Islands: ‘Atiu, Mangaia, Ma’uke, Rarotonga
Fiji: Kadavu, Lakeba, Ovalau, Rotuma, Taveuni, Vanua Levu, Viti Levu
Niue
Samoa: Ofu, Olosega, Savai’i, Ta’u, Tutuila, ‘Upolu
Society Islands: Bora Bora, Huahine, Maupiti, Mo’orea, Ra’iatea, Taha’a, Tahiti
Tonga: ‘Eua, Late, Tafahi, Tongatapu
Wallis & Futuna: Alofi, Futuna, ‘Uvea

local names:

ana’e – ‘Atiu / Cook Islands
‘ana’e – Rarotonga / Cook Islands
hulufe vai – Tonga
mbalambala – Rotuma / Fiji
na’e – Mangaia / Cook Islands
nahe – Tahiti / Society Islands
nase – Samoa
palatao – Niue
rau na’e – Mangaia / Cook Islands

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angiopteris-evecta-fks

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

http://www.starrenvironmental.com