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

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Nacaduba dyopa (Herrich-Schäffer)

Owl-spotted Blue (Nacaduba dyopa)

The Owl-spotted Blue occurs with at least two subspecies from the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu in Melanesia to western Polynesia, where the nominate race is known from Fiji, Samoa and Tonga.

The species reaches a wingspan of about 1,9 to 2,5 cm. The underwings are greyish brown peppered with numerous white bands, the very large and conspicuous hindwing ocelli are prominently outlined in iridescent blue-green.

The caterpillars feed on the leaves of Dendrolobium umbellatum (L.) Benth., a widespread coastal tree.

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References:

[1] G. E. Tite: A synonomic list of the genus Nacaduba and allied genera (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae). Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) 13(4): 67-116. 1963
[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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nacaduba-dyopa-mob

Photo: Mark O’Brian

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

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.

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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

Catochrysops taitensis Boisduval

Tahitian Blue (Catochrysops taitensis)

The Tahitian Blue was described in the year 1832.

The species obviously occurs in parts of Melanesia and is distributed far into Polynesia, where it can be found in Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga as far as to the Cook- and Society Islands.

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Within the Polynesian region there are at least two subspecies, of which the ssp. hopkinsi Miller & Miller is endemic to the Tongan Islands, while the ssp. pepe Hopkins occurs on the Cook Islands and in Samoa.

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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

Nacaduba biocellata ssp. armillata (Butler)

Double-spotted Line Blue (Nacaduba biocellata ssp. armillata)

The Double-spotted Line Blue is distributed from Indonesia to Australia as well as Melanesia, where the ssp. armillata (Butler) occurs.

The species is known in Fiji from only two individuals of the Melanesian subspecies, that were collected at Lautoka, a city in the northwest of Viti Levu, and which possibly were vagrants.

~~~

The caterpillars feed on the flowers, buds, and shoots of several Acacia species.

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References:

[1] G. E. Tite: A synonomic list of the genus Nacaduba and allied genera (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae). Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) 13(4): 67-116. 1963
[2] Brian Patrick; Hamish Patrick: Butterflies of Fiji. The Weta 24(1): 5-12. 2002
[3] Brian Patrick; Hamish Patrick: Butterflies of the South Pacific. Otago University Press 2012