Tag Archives: Cook Islands

Ambassis miops Günther

Flag-tailed Glassy Perchlet (Ambassis miops)

The Flag-tailed Glassy Perchlet is a Indo-Pacific species that, within the Polynesian region, can be found in Fiji and Samoa.

The species inhabits clear freshwater streams within 20 kilometers of the sea or the lower reaches of rivers and streams, within freshwater, it may also be found in floodplain habitats, in mangroves, and in river estuaries.

The food habits depend upon the habitat, the perchlet takes more crustaceans and small fish in estuaries than in freshwater, where terrestrial insects and their larvae are dominant.

The reproduction system is not studied, but its wide distribution indicates that it has a marine larval phase.

In Samoa the Flag-tailed Glassy Perchlet is known as lafa.

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

References:

[1] David Boseto; Aaaron P. Jenkins: A checklist of freshwater and brackish water fishes of the Fiji Islands. Wetlands International-Oceana. Suva, Fiji 2006
[2] Johnson Seeto; Wayne J. Baldwin: A Checklist of the Fishes of Fiji and a Bibliography of Fijian Fishes. Division of Marine Studies Technical Report 1/2010. The University of the South Pacific. Suva, Fiji 2010

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

Photo: S. Hashizume, 2008

http://jocv183199.web.fc2.com

Advertisements

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.

Pisonia umbellifera (J. R. & G. Forst.) Seem.

Pisonia umbellifera

Distribution:

Cook Islands: ‘Atiu, Mangaia, Rarotonga
Fiji: Aiwa, Koro, Ovalau, Taveuni, Vanua Levu, Viti Levu, Yagasa
Hawai’i Islands: Hawai’i, Kaua’i, Lana’i, Maui, Moloka’i, O’ahu
Samoa: Ofu, Olosega, Savai’i, Ta’u, Tutuila, ‘Upolu
Tonga: ‘Eua

local names:

daiga – Fiji
papala – Hawai’i Islands
papala kepau – Hawai’i Islands
para para – Cook Islands
raro – Vanua Levu / Fiji
roro – Vanua Levu / Fiji

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

References:

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

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.

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

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

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

Photo: Antonio Machado; by courtesy of Antonio Machado

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

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.

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

References:

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

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.

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

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

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

Pteropus tonganus Quoy & Gaimard

Tongan Fruit-Bat (Pteropus tonganus)

The Tongan Fruit-Bat occurs with several subspecies in an area that stretches from New Guinea to the Cook Islands in Central Polynesia, whereby the form, that can be found in Polynesia, represents the nominate race.

These animals reach a wing span of more than one metre and spend the day more or less sleeping in roosting trees, where they sometimes form giant colonies.

In most parts of its geographic range the species is an important source of protein and is therefore heavily hunted, but also because the Fruit-Bats, being frugivores, can cause enormous damages in fruiting trees. Hence the species has become rare in some parts of its geographic range, in others it has even disappeared completely.

In the Kingdom of Tonga in contrast Tongan Fruit-Bats are considered as property of the royal family and therefore are protected from hunting – a very effective protection.

On the Cook Islands, the eastern most edge of its distribution area, the Tongan Fruit-Bat is called moa kirikiri, which means ‘leather chicken’. On the Fijian Islands it is called beka, bekua (in the west part of Viti Levu), beka dina or doli (on Kadavu).

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

References:

[1] Jorge M. Palmeirim; Alan Champion; Alivereti Naikatini, Jone Niukula; Marika Tuiwawa; Martin Fisher; Mere Yabaki-Gounder; Sólveig Thorsteinsdóttir; Stanley Qalovaki; Thomas Dunn: Distribution, Status, and Conservation of Bats in the Fiji Islands. Oryx 41(4): 509-519. 2006

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

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

http://www.ryanphotographic.com

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.

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

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: 17.12.2018

Cyperus macrophyllus (Brongn.) Boeckeler

Cyperus macrophyllus

Distribution:

Cook Islands: Rarotonga
Society Islands: Bora Bora, Mo’orea, Ra’iatea, Tahiti

local names:

mou’u ha’ari – Society Islands
mou uu – Society Islands

Ptilinopus goodwinii Holyoak

Lilac-crowned Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus goodwinii)

Distribution:

Cook Islands: ‘Atiu, Ma’uke

local names:

kukupa – ‘Atiu / Cook Islands

***

This Lilac-crowned Fruit Dove is officially treated as a subspecies of the Rarotongan Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus rarotongensis Hartlaub & Finsch) from the island of Rarotonga, Cook Islands, yet differs quite much from that species and can be separated as a distinct species.

The species is now restricted to the island of ‘Atiu, Cook Islands, but another subspecies, not yet formally described, formerly inhabited the neighboring island of Ma’uke.

***

Historical records of fruit doves from the islands of Aitutaki and Mangaia, Cook Islands, are most likely best regarded as distinct species as well.

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

edited: 01.01.2019

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.

Cranfillia vulcanica (Blume) Gasper & V. A. O. Dittrich

Cranfillia vulcanica

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Rapa, Tubuai
Cook Islands: Rarotonga
Marquesas: Fatu Hiva, Hiva Oa, Nuku Hiva, Tahuata, Ua Huka, Ua Pou
New Zealand: Chatham Islands; North Island; South Island; Stewart Island
Samoa: Olosega, Savai’i, Ta’u, Tutuila, ‘Upolu
Society Islands: Huahine, Mo’orea, Ra’iatea, Taha’a, Tahiti
Tonga: Kao, Late, Niuafo’ou, Tofua

local names:

korokio – New Zealand

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

References:

[1] André Luís Gasper; Vinícius Antonio de Oliveira Dittrich; Alan R. Smith; Alexandre Salino: A classification for Blechnaceae (Polypodiales: Polypodiopsida): New genera, resurrected names, and combinations. Phytotaxa 275(3): 191-227. 2016

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

Photo: John Barkla
http://www.inaturalist.org/people/john_barkla

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

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

edited: 03.02.2018

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

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

Ducula galeata (Bonaparte)

Nukuhiva Imperial Pigeon (Ducula galeata)

For a very long time this bird was thought to be endemic to the Marquesan island of Nuku Hiva – this, however, turned out to be far from the truth.

In fact, in historical times this species had a much wider geographical range, including the Cook Islands, as well as the Society Islands, and of course all of the Marquesan Islands as well. The birds were extirpated from most of their former range already by the Polynesian settlers, and had their last refuge on the island of Nuku Hiva – a situation that is called artificial endemism (… in fact, there are several other bird species within Polynesia that share the same situation …).

The Nukuhiva Imperial Pigeon is a huge bird, reaching about 55 cm from the tip of its bill to the tip of its tail, it is therefore the largest surviving pigeon species in Polynesia.

Nevertheless the bird is far from being flightless.

The endangered species was reintroduced to another of the Marquesasn islands, Ua Huka, were it is breeding since, and the future of this impressive species seems to be a good and save one.

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

Photo: Virginie & Fabien (fabvirge); by courtesy of Virginie & Fabien (fabvirge)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/virginieetfabien

Parablechnum procerum (G. Forst.) C. Presl

Parablechnum procerum

Distribution:

Cook Islands: Rarotonga
New Zealand: Antipodes Islands; Adams Island, Auckland Island, Enderby Island (Auckland Islands); Campbell Island (Campbell Islands); Chatham Islands; Great Barrier Island; Kapiti Island; North Island; Raoul Island (Kermadec Islands); Rangitoto Island; Big Solander Island (Solander Islands); South Island; Stewart Island; Tiritiri Matangi Island; Putauhina Island (Titi Islands)
Samoa: Savai’i

local names:

kiokio – New Zealand

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

References:

[1] André Luís Gasper; Vinícius Antonio de Oliveira Dittrich; Alan R. Smith; Alexandre Salino: A classification for Blechnaceae (Polypodiales: Polypodiopsida): New genera, resurrected names, and combinations. Phytotaxa 275(3): 191-227. 2016

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

edited: 03.02.2018

Digitaria stenotaphrodes (Nees ex Steud.) Stapf

Digitaria stenotaphrodes

Distribution:

Cook Islands: Pukapuka, Suwarrow
Society Islands: Tetiaroa
Tuamotu Archipelago: Anaa, Arutua, Faaite, Fakarava, Fangatau, Hao, Makatea, Makemo, Manihi, Nengonengo, Niau, Rangiroa, Raroia, Takapoto, Takume, Tenararo, Tikehau, Tureia
Tuvalu (?)

local names:

vayavaya – Pukapuka / Cook Islands

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

edited: 10.04.2019

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

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

Boerhavia tetrandra G. Forst.

Boerhavia tetrandra

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Maria, Raivavae, Rimatara, Tubuai
Cook Islands: Aitutaki, ‘Atiu, Manihiki, Manuae, Ma’uke, Miti’aro, Nassau, Palmerston, Pukapuka, Rakahanga, Rarotonga, Suwarrow, Takutea, Tongareva
Gambier Islands: Aukena, Gaioio, Kouaku, Mangareva, Tararua-Roa, Tauna, Tekava, Temoe, Totegegie, Vaiatekeue
Kiribati: Baker, Flint, Howland, Jarvis, Kiritimati, Nikumaroro, Orona, Palmyra, Tabuaeran, Teraina, Vostok
Pitcairn Islands: Henderson Island, Oeno, Pitcairn Island (?)
Samoa: Rose Atoll
Society Islands: Bora Bora, Huahine, Mai’ao, Manuae, Maupiha’a, Maupiti, Mo’orea, Motu One, Ra’iatea, Taha’a, Tahiti, Tetiaroa, Tupai
Tokelau: Atafu, Faka’ofo, Nukunonu, Olohega
Tuamotu Archipelago: Ahe, Ahunui, Anaa, Apataki, Arutua, Fakahina, Fakarava, Fangatau, Fangataufa, Hao, Hiti, Kauehi, Makatea, Manihi, Marutea Sud, Moruroa, Napuka, Niau, Nukutipipi, Paraoa, Rangiroa, Raraka, Raroia, Takapoto, Takaroa, Takume, Tatakoto, Tenarunga, Tepoto Nord, Tikehau, Tikei, Toau, Tureia, Vahanga, Vanavana
Tuvalu: Funafuti, Nui

local names:

katuri – Manihiki / Cook Islands
momoe – Nassau, Pukapuka / Cook Islands
naunau – Raraka / Cook Islands
runa – ‘Atiu / Cook Islands
tiale katuri – Tongareva / Cook Islands

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

edited: 10.04.2019

Ximenia americana L.

Ximenia americana

Distribution:

Cook Islands: ‘Atiu, Manihiki, Tongareva
Fiji: Beqa, Cikobia-i-lau, Gau, Lakeba, Makaluva, Moala, Nakuci, Nukulau, Nukulevu, Rotuma, Vanua Levu, Viti Levu
Kiribati: Karoraina
Samoa: Manono, Savai’i, Tutuila, ‘Upolu
Society Islands: Bora Bora, Maupiha’a, Ra’iatea, Tahiti
Tonga: ‘Ata, Malinoa, Monuafe, Motutapu, Onevai, Onevao, ‘Uta Vava’u
Tuamotu Archipelago: Anaa, Manihi, Mataiva, Niau, Rangiroa, Raroia, Takapoto
Tuvalu: Nanumanga, Nanumea, Niutao, Nui

local names:

misimisi – Fiji
molimoli – Fiji
moli tai – Samoa
rama – Tongareva / Cook Islands
somisomi – Fiji
sosomi – Fiji
tomitomi – Fiji
tumitumi – Fiji

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

edited: 10.04.2019

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

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

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

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

http://www.starrenvironmental.com

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

edited: 10.04.2019

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

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..

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

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

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

nervilia-concolor-rt

Photo: Ravahere Taputuarai; by courtesy of Ravahere Taputuarai

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

Cyclosorus subpectinatus (Copel.) Ching

Cyclosorus subpectinatus

Distribution:

Cook Islands: Rarotonga
Marquesas: Fatu Hiva, Tahuata, Ua Huka
Society Islands: Bora Bora, Huahine, Mo’orea, Ra’iatea, Tahiti

local names: –

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

References:

[1] Li-Juan He; Xian-Chun Zhang: Exploring generic delimination within the fern family Thelypteridaceae. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 65: 757-764. 2012

Dicranopteris linearis (Burm. f.) Underw.

Dicranopteris linearis

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Raivavae, Rapa, Rimatara, Rurutu, Tubuai
Cook Islands: ‘Atiu, Mangaia, Ma’uke, Rarotonga
Fiji: Lakeba, Nayau, Rotuma, Taveuni, Vanua Levu, Viti Levu
Gambier Islands: Agakauitai, Akamaru, Aukena, Kamaka, Mangareva, Taravai
Hawai’i Islands: Hawai’i, Kaua’i, Lana’i, Maui, Moloka’i, O’ahu
Marquesas: Eiao, Fatu Hiva, Hiva Oa, Mohotani, Nuku Hiva, Tahuata, Ua Huka, Ua Pou
New Zealand: North Island
Norfolk Islands: Norfolk Island
Pitcairn Islands: Pitcairn Island
Samoa: Ofu, Olosega, Savai’i, Ta’u, Tutuila, ‘Upolu
Society Islands: Bora Bora, Huahine, Mai’ao, Maupiti, Moorea, Raiatea, Tahaa, Tahiti
Tonga: ‘Eua, Kao, Niuafo’ou, Tafahi, Tofua
Wallis & Futuna: Futuna, ‘Uvea

local names:

asaua – Samoa
tuanu’e – Mangaia, Ma’uke, Raraka / Cook Islands
tuenu’e – ‘Atiu / Cook Islands
uluhe – Hawai’i Islands

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

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

http://www.starrenvironmental.com

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

edited: 10.04.2019

Phlegmariurus phlegmaria (L.) Holub.

Phlegmariurus phlegmaria

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Raivavae, Rurutu, Tubuai
Cook Islands: Rarotonga
Fiji: Rotuma, Vanua Levu, Viti Levu
Marquesas: Fatu Hiva, Hiva Oa, Nuku Hiva, Ua Pou
Niue
Samoa: Namu’a, Nu’utele, Olosega, Ta’u, Tutuila
Society Islands: Bora Bora, Huahine, Mo’orea, Ra’iatea, Taha’a, Tahiti
Tonga
Wallis & Futuna: Alofi, Futuna, ‘Uvea

local names:

mohemohe – Niue

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

References:

[1] F. Badré; M. Hoff: Les Ptéridophytes des Iles Wallis et Futuna (Pacifique Sud): écologie et répartition. Feddes Repertorium 106(3-4): 271-290. 1995
[2] Ashley R. Field; Peter D. Bostock: New and existing combinations in Palaeotropical Phlegmariurus (Lycopodiaceae) and lectotypification of the type species Phlegmariurus phlegmaria (L.) T. Sen & U. Sen. PhytoKeys 20: 33–51. 2013

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

edited: 18.02.2017

Callistopteris apiifolia (C. Presl) Copel.

Callistopteris apiifolia

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Rapa
Cook Islands: Rarotonga
Fiji: Kadavu, Vanua Levu, Viti Levu
Samoa: Olosega, Savai’i, Ta’u, Tutuila, ‘Upolu
Society Islands: Huahine, Mo’orea, Ra’iatea, Tahiti

local names: –

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

References:

[1] Atsushi Ebihara; Jean-Yves Dubuisson; Kunio Iwatsuki; Sabine Hennequin; Motomi Ito: A taxonomic revision of Hymenophyllaceae. Blumea 52(2): 1-60. 2006

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.

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

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

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

pandanus-tectorius-fks

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

http://www.starrenvironmental.com

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

edited: 13.02.2017

Alopecoenas nui (Steadman)

Giant Ground Dove (Alopecoenas nui)

The Giant Ground Dove is known only from subfossil bones which were found on the islands of Mangaia, Cook Islands; Kamaka, Gambier Islands; Hiva Oa, Tahuata and Ua Huka, Marquesas as well as Huahine, Society Islands.

The species was sympatric on the Cook-, Gambier- and Society Islands with the smaller Polynesian Ground Dove (Alopecoenas erythroptera (Gmelin)) and on the Marquesan Islands with the Marquesas Ground Dove (Alopecoenas rubescens (Vieillot)), and perhaps with additional, yet extinct species.

The Giant Ground Dove was no true giant, but was still larger than all its Polynesian congeners, reaching a size of about 36 cm.

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

References:

[1] David W. Steadman: Extinction and Biogeography of Tropical Pacific Birds. University Of Chicago Press 2006
[2] Jean-Claude Thibault; Alice Cibois: From early Polynesian settlements to present: bird extinctions in the Gambier Islands. Pacific Science 66(3): 1-26. 2011
[3] Knud A. Jønsson; Martin Irestedt; Rauri C. K. Bowie; Les Christidis; Jon Fieldså: Systematics and biogeography of Indo-Pacific ground-doves. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 59: 538-543. 2011

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.

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

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

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

edited: 05.01.2019

Macrobranchium lar (Fabricius)

Tahitian Prawn (Macrobranchium lar)

The Tahitian Prawn is a Indopacific species, its native area stretches from the rivers of the coastal regions of East Africa well into Central Polynesia.

The species shows some sexual dimorphism, with the males being larger than the females.

~~~

In Wallis and Futuna the species is cultivated commercially in taro fields.

~~~

On the Cook Islands the species is called koura-vai ti’aka, in Samoa all prawn species, including this one, are named ula vai.

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

References:

[1] Gérard Marquet: Freshwater crustaceans of French Polynesia: taxonomy, distribution and biomass (Decapoda). Crustaceana 61(2): 125-140. 1991
[2] N. Mary; A. Dutartre; P. Keith; G. Marquet; P. Sasal: Biodiversité des Eaux Douces de Wallis et Futuna; Mission d’Octobre 2004. Rapport Final, Ministère de l’Outre-Mer 2006

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

macrobranchium-lar-sh

Photo: S. Hashizume, 2008

http://jocv183199.web.fc2.com

Minidonta aroa Brook

Aroa Minidonta Snail (Minidonta aroa)

This species was described in the year 2010 from subfossil shells that were found in the sandy soil of the coastal plains between the villages of Aro’a and Arorangi on the southwest coast of the island of Rarotonga.

The shells reach an average size of 0,25 to 0,3 cm in diameter.

~~~

The species, which obviously was restricted to lowland areas, died out most probably already shortly after the colonization of the island by Polynesians.

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

References:

[1] F. J. Brook: Coastal landsnail fauna of Rarotonga, Cook Islands: systematics, diversity, biogeography, faunal history, and environmental influences. Tuhinga 21: 161-252. 2010

Nesofregetta fuliginosa (Gmelin)

Polynesian Storm-Petrel (Nesofregetta fuliginosa)

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Rapa
Cook Islands: Mangaia
Fiji:
Gambier Islands: Manui, Motu Teiku
Kiribati: Kiritimati, McKean, Rawaki
Marquesas: Ua Huka
Rapa Nui: Motu Motiro Hiva

local names:

kitai – Marquesas
korue – Tahanea / Tuamotu Archipelago
taio – Samoa
te bwebwe ni marawa – Phoenix Islands / Kiribati

***

This species is endemic to the tropical Pacific where it breeds in parts of Melanesia (Vanuatu) well into eastern Polynesia, it is, however, mostly seen far away from its breeding grounds at sea where it searches for food.

The Polynesian Storm-Petrel is an about 25 cm large seabird, of which several color morphs are known to exist of which some were even considered to represent distinct species in former times, for example a remarkably dark morph that appears to be restricted to Samoa was formerly named as Samoan Storm-Petrel.

The species appears to prefer to breed on smaller, uninhabited islands where it is still quite rare, the breeding population on the island of Rawaki, Kiribati, for example, consits of only about 20 pairs. One of the largest known populations with about 100 birds breeds on the small and uninhabited Motu Motiro Hiva (Sala y Gómez). [1][3]

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

References:

[1] Government of Kiribati: Phoenix Islands Protected Area, Kiribati, Nomination for a World Heritage Site 2009
[2] S. Waugh; J. Champeau; S. Cranwell; L. Faulquier: Seabirds of the Gambier Archipelago, French Polynesia, in 2010. Marine Ornithology 41: 7-12. 2013
[3] Marcelo A. Flores, Roberto P. Schlatter; Rodrigo Hucke-Gaete: Seabirds of Easter Island, Salas y Gómez Island and Desventuradas Islands, southeastern Pacific Ocean. Latin american Journal of Aquatic Research 42(4): 752-759. 2014

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

Photo: Diego Valverde
https://www.inaturalist.org/people/diego_valverde

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

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

edited: 20.12.2018

Agriocnemis exsudans Sélys

Narrow-winged Damselfly (Agriocnemis exsudans)

The genus Agriocnemis comprises about 40 species, two of which occur within the Polynesian region.

~~~

The Narrow-winged Damselfly shows a wide distribution, which stretches from Australia across Melanesia up to Polynesia, were it is found on the Norfolk Islands, in Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga, and on the Cook Islands. [1][2][3][4]

The species reaches a body length of about 3 cm.

The species mainly inhabits standing waters, but it can also be found at very slow flowing stream sections.

~~~

The name Agriocnemis vitiensis Tillyard is a synonym for this species.

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

References:

[1] N. Mary; A. Dutartre; P. Keith; G. Marquet; P. Sasal: Biodiversité des Eaux Douces de Wallis et Futuna; Mission d’Octobre 2004. Rapport Final, Ministère de l’Outre-Mer 2006
[2] C. Morrison; S. Nawadra; M. Tuiwawa: A rapid biodiversity assessment of the Nakorotubu Range, Ra and Tailevu Provinces, Fiji. RAP Bulletin of Biological Assessment 59. Conservation International, Arlington, VA, USA 2009
[3] Milen Marinov: Contribution to the Odonata of the Kingdom of Tonga. Faunistic Studies in South-East Asia and Pacific Island Odonata 1: 1-18. 2013
[4] 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

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

agriocnemis-exsudans-dmm

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

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

edited 03.03.2017

Utetheisa pulchelloides Hampson

Heliotrope Moth (Utetheisa pulchelloides)

This species occurs with several subspecies in many parts of the ‘Old World’ and has also colonized many island groups within the Indian – and the Pacific Ocean.

The subspecies occurring in Polynesia is Utetheisa pulchelloides ssp. marshallorum Rothschild (see photograph), it is found on the Fijian Islands, in Samoa and Tonga, in all parts of ‘French’ Polynesia up to the Pitcairn Islands.

The caterpillars of this species feed on the leaves of the beach heliotrope (Heliotropium foertherianum Diane & Hilger).

~~~

Another subspecies, Utetheisa pulchelloides ssp. vaga Jordan, regularly immigrates from Australia to New Zealand, where it has also already established temporary breeding colonies.

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

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] Gaden S. Robinson: The Genus Utetheisa Hübner in Fiji with a description of a new species (Lepidoptera, Arctiidae). Entomologist’s Record and Journal of Variation 83: 123-130. 1971
[4] G. W. Gibbs: A temporary breeding colony of Utetheisa pulchelloides vaga in New Zealand. New Zealand Entomologist 5(2): 162-163. 1973

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

utetheisa-p-marshallorum-dhg

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

http://www.parfaitimage.com

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

Chrysopogon aciculatus (Retz.) Trin.

Chrysopogon aciculatus

Distribution:

Cook Islands: Aitutaki, ‘Atiu, Mangaia, Ma’uke, Miti’aro, Rarotonga
Fiji: Batiki, Beqa, Gau, Kanacea, Koro, Mago, Matuku, Moala, Moturiki, Rotuma, Taveuni, Totoya, Vanua Balavu, Vanua Levu, Vatulele, Viti Levu
Hawai’i Islands: Kaua’i, Lana’i, West-Maui, Moloka’i, O’ahu
Samoa: ‘Aunu’u, Namu’a, Ta’u, Tutuila
Tokelau: Olohega
Tonga: ‘Eua, Niuafo’ou

local names:

kase – Fiji

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

References:

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

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

Cenchrus caliculatus Cav.

Cenchrus caliculatus

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Raivavae, Rapa
Cook Islands: Miti’aro, Rarotonga
Fiji: Batiki, Fulaga, Gau, Kabara, Koro, Mago, Matuku, Nairai, Ovalau, Taveuni, Totoya, Vanua Balavu, Vanua Levu, Vatulele, Viti Levu, Wakaya
Gambier Islands: Aukena, Mangareva, Manui, Motu Teiku
Marquesas: Eiao, Fatu Hiva, Nuku Hiva
New Zealand: Raoul Island (Kermadec-Inseln)
Norfolk Islands: Norfolk Island (ex)
Samoa: Savai’i (ex), Tutuila (ex), ‘Upolu (ex)
Society Islands: Bora Bora, Huahine, Mai’ao, Maupiti, Mo’orea, Ra’iatea, Tahiti
Tonga: ‘Eua, Nomuka, Tofua, ‘Uta Vava’u
Tuamotu Archipelago: Makatea

local names:

parango maori (?) – Miti’aro / Cook Islands
piripiri – Society Islands

Minidonta matavera Brook

Matavera Minidonta Snail (Minidonta matavera)

The Matavera Minidonta Snail from the island of Rarotonga was described in the year 2010.

This species is known only from empty shells, some of which are in a subfossil condition, while others appear relatively fresh, suggesting a relatively recent extinction date.

The shells reached a height of about 0,25 cm. [1]

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

References:

[1] Fred J. Brook: Coastal landsnail fauna of Rarotonga, Cook Islands: systematics, diversity, biogeography, faunal history, and environmental influences. Tuhinga 21: 161-252. 2010

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

Lepturus repens (J. R. Forst.) R. Br.

Lepturus repens

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Maria, Raivavae, Rimatara, Rurutu, Tubuai
Cook Islands: ‘Atiu, Mangaia, Manihiki, Manuae, Ma’uke, Miti’aro, Nassau, Palmerston, Pukapuka, Rakahanga, Rarotonga, Suwarrow, Takutea, Tongareva
Fiji: Aiwa, Batiki, Fulaga, Gau, Kabara, Kadavu, Kanacea, Koro, Mago, Matuku, Nasoata, Nayau, Nukulau, Ovalau, Rotuma, Taveuni, Toberua, Totoya, Vanua Balavu, Vanua Levu, Vatulele, Viti Levu
Gambier Islands: Agakauitai, Aukena, Akamaru, Kamaka, Mangareva, Taravai
Hawai’i Islands: French Frigate Shoals, Kure, Laysan, Lehua, Lisianski, Midway, Pearl and Hermes Reef
Kiribati: Abariringa, Baker Island, Enderbury Island, Flint Island, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Karoraina, Kiritimati, Manra, McKean Island, Nikumaroro, Orona, Palmyra Atoll, Starbuck Island, Tabuaeran, Teraina
New Zealand: North Chanter Island (Kermadec Islands)
Norfolk Islands: Norfolk Island
Pitcairn Islands: Henderson Island, Oeno, Pitcairn Island
Samoa: ‘Aunu’u, Fanuatapu, Namu’a, Nu’ulua, Nu’utele, Ofu, Olosega, Savai’i, Ta’u, Tutuila
Society Islands: Bora Bora, Huahine, Mai’ao, Manuae, Maupiti, Me’eti’a, Mo’orea, Mopelia, Ra’iatea, Taha’a, Tahiti, Tetiaroa, Tupai
Tokelau: Atafu, Fakaofo, Nukunonu, Olohega
Tonga: ‘Ata, ‘Eua, Makaha’a, Manima, Maninita, Monuafe, Oneata, Polo’a, Tongatapu, Velitoa Hihifo
Tuamotu Archipelago: Anaa, Makatea, Matureivavao, Niau, Nukutepipi, Rangiroa, Raroia, Takapoto, Takume, Tenararo, Tenarunga, Tepoto Nord, Tikehau, Toau, Vahanga, Vanavana
Tuvalu: Funafuti, Niutao, Nui, Vaitupu
Wallis & Futuna: Alofi, Futuna, ‘Uvea

local names: –

Vigna adenantha (G. F. W. Meyer) Maréchal, Mascherpa & Stainier

Vigna adenantha

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Rapa
Cook Islands: ‘Atiu, Miti’aro, Rarotonga
Fiji: Kadavu, Nukulau, Ovalau, Vanua Levu, Viti Levu
Hawai’i Islands: Hawai’i, O’ahu
Samoa: Ofu, Savai’i, Ta’u, Tutuila, ‘Upolu
Society Islands: Tahiti

local names:

wa doka – Fiji

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

References:

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

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.

~~~

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.

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

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

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

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

Ischnura aurora Brauer

Aurora Bluetail (Ischnura aurora)

The genus Ischnura is distributed nearly worldwide, within the Polynesian region it contains 13 described species, plus at least an additional ten hitherto undescribed species, which are known to await their description alone on the Society Islands.

~~~

The Aurora Bluetail is a wandering species, which occurs from India well into East Polynesia.

It is a smaller damselfly species, which reaches a wingspan of about 3 cm. The males are very colorful (see photograph), while the females are rather plain light brown in color.

~~~

The enigmatic Spinytail Forktail (Ischnura spinicauda (Brauer)), described in the year 1865 as a distinct species, is now known to be identical with the Aurora Bluetail. [7]

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

References:

[1] M. A. Lieftinck: Some Odonata of Rapa Island, with descriptions of three Polynesian species of Ischnura Charpentier. Tijdschrift voor Entomologie 109: 89-102. 1966
[2] Karin S. Kami; Scott E. Miller: Samoan Insects and related Arthropods: Checklist and Bibliography. Bishop Museum Technical Report 13. 1998
[3] N. Mary; A. Dutartre; P. Keith; G. Marquet; P. Sasal: Biodiversité des Eaux Douces de Wallis et Futuna; Mission d’Octobre 2004. Rapport Final, Ministère de l’Outre-Mer 2006
[4] R. Englund; D. A. Polhemus: A review of the damselfly fauna of the Austral Islands, French Polynesia, with descriptions of two new species (Odonata: Zygoptera: Coenagrionidae). Tijdschrift voor Entomologie 153(1): 25-40. 2010
[5] R. J. Rowe: Ischnura aurora (Brauer 1865) (Zygoptera: Coenagrionidae), an Australo-Pacific species. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 37(2): 189-192. 2010
[6] 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
[7] 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
[8] Milen Marinov; Odile Fossati-Gaschignard; Martin Schorr: On a dragonfly collection from Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Islands and Paea, Tahiti (French Polynesia) with taxonomic discussion of some Polynesian genera (Insecta: Odonata). Faunistic Studies in South-east Asian and Pacific Island Odonata 18: 1-12. 2016

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

ischnura-aurora-df

Photo: Dennis Farrell; by courtesy of Dennis Farrell

http://thaiodonata.blogspot.com

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

edited: 18.01.2017

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

Minidonta iota Brook

Dwarfed Minidonta Snail (Minidonta iota)

This species was described in the year 2010 from very few, badly preserved subfossil shells, which were found in the sandy soil of the coastal plain near the village of Aro’a on the southwest coast of the island of Rarotonga.

The shells of this species reached an average size of 0,13 to 0,15 cm in diameter, which makes it the smallest of all known Endodontidae species at all.

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

References:

[1] Fred J. Brook: Coastal landsnail fauna of Rarotonga, Cook Islands: systematics, diversity, biogeography, faunal history, and environmental influences. Tuhinga 21: 161-252. 2010

Atropis rarotongana Brook

Rarotongan Atropis Snail (Atropis rarotongana)

This species was described in the year 2010 on the basis of subfossil shells, which were found in the years 2005 to 2007 on several beach areas on the island of Rarotonga.

Some of these shells, which were found in the coral rubble at the ground of a small grove of Fish Poison Trees (Barringtonia asiatica (L.) Kurz) at Matavera in the east part of the island, where empty but, however, appeared relatively fresh, and the author (Fred J. Brook) in its species description assumes that this species may have survived at least until this time (2005 – 2007).

Because of the omnipresent rats (three species occur on Rarotonga: Rattus exulans (Peale), Rattus norvegicus (Berkenhout), Rattus rattus (L.)), a survival of this species, however, is very unlikely.

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

References:

[1] Fred J. Brook: Coastal landsnail fauna of Rarotonga, Cook Islands: systematics, diversity, biogeography, faunal history, and environmental influences. Tuhinga 21: 161-252. 2010

Simulium teruamanga Craig & Craig

Rarotongan Black Fly (Simulium teruamanga)

This species was described in the year 1986.

The animals reach sizes of 0,16 to 0,21 cm, they are completely brownish black in color.

The larvae live aquatically, as usual for this genus, they can be found attached to trailing roots, stones or to decomposing leaves, they use their mouth brushes to filter their food from the water.

The females have only rudimentary mouthparts and thus are not able to take any food.

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

References:

[1] D. A. Craig; R. E. G. Craig: Simuliidae (Diptera: Culicomorpha) of Rarotonga, Cook Islands, South Pacific. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 13(3): 357-366. 1986
[2] Douglas A. Craig; Nick Porch: Subfossils of extinct and extant species of Simuliidae (Diptera) from Austral and Cook Islands (Polynesia): anthropogenic extirpation of an aquatic insect? Zootaxa 3641(4): 448–462. 2013

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

edited: 21.09.2016

Cyclophyllum barbatum (G. Forst.) N. Hallé & J. Florence

Cyclophyllum barbatum

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Raivavae, Rapa, Rurutu, Tubuai
Cook Islands: ‘Atiu, Mangaia, Ma’uke, Miti’aro, Rarotonga
Fiji: Gau, Kabara, Lakeba, Munia, Nayau, Ovalau, Tuvuca, Vanua Levu, Viti Levu
Gambier Islands: Mangareva, Taravai
Marquesas: Fatu Hiva, Hiva Oa, Nuku Hiva, Tahuata, Ua Huka, Ua Pou
Pitcairn Islands: Henderson Island, Pitcairn Island
Samoa: Savai’i, Tutuila
Society Islands: Bora Bora, Huahine, Mo’orea, Ra’iatea, Taha’a, Tahiti
Tonga: ‘Eua, Kao, Tofua, Tongatapu, ‘Uta Vava’u
Tuamotu Archipelago: Anaa, Makatea, Niau

local names:

hihiteka – Tuamotu Archipelago
katoa – Marquesas
kohenua – Ua Pou / Marquesas
mariri – Mangaia / Cook Islands
matira – Rarotonga / Cook Islands
nioi – Austral Islands
o’oau – Marquesas
oro’e’a – Society Islands
orotea – Miti’aro / Cook Islands
‘orotea – ‘Atiu, Ma’uke / Cook Islands
putoro’te’a – Society Islands
toata – Marquesas
toauta – Marquesas
toporo – Austral Islands
torea – Austral Islands
toroea – Tahiti / Society Islands
toro’e’a – Society Islands; Tuamotu Archipelago
torotea – Tahiti / Society Islands
toro’te’a – Society Islands

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

References:

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

Santalum insulare Bertero ex A. DC.

Santalum insulare

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Raivavae, Rapa
Cook Islands: Miti’aro
Marquesas: Fatu Hiva, Hiva Oa, Nuku Hiva, Tahuata, Ua Pou
Pitcairn Islands: Henderson Island
Society Islands: Mo’orea, Ra’iatea, Tahiti

local names:

ahi – Raivavae, Rapa / Austral Islands; Tahiti / Society Islands
a’i – Rapa / Austral Islands; Miti’aro / Cook Islands
maramia – Miti’aro / Cook Islands
nonoia – Tahiti / Society Islands
puahi – Marquesas

~~~

There are about nine varieties, of which many are single island endemics.

Santalum insulare var. alticola Fosberg & Sachet
Santalum insulare var. deckeri Fosberg & Sachet
Santalum insulare var. hendersonense (F. Br.) Fosberg & Sachet
Santalum insulare var. insulare Bertero ex A. DC.
Santalum insulare var. marchionense (Skottsb.) Skottsb.
Santalum insulare var. margaretae (F. Br.) Skottsb.
Santalum insulare var. mitiaro Sykes
Santalum insulare var. raiateense (J. W. Moore) Fosberg & Sachet
Santalum insulare var. raivavense F. Br.

The species is known with a endemic variety from the island of Miti’aro. [1]

two varieties on the Marquesan Islands. [2]

~~~

The several Polynesian sandalwood species do not form a monophyletic clade, and thus dispersed repeatedly through the Pacific region. [3]

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

References:

[1] W. R. Sykes: Sandalwood in the Cook Islands. Pacific Science 34(1): 77-82. 1980
[2] J.-F. Butaud; P. Raharivelomanana; J.-P. Bianchini; V. Baron: A new chemotype of sandalwood (Santalum insulare Bertero ex A. DC.) from Marquesas Islands. Journal of Essential Oil Research 15 (5): 323-238. 2003
[3] Danica T. Harbaugh; Bruce G. Baldwin: Phylogeny and biogeography of the sandalwoods (Santalum, Santalaceae): repeated dispersals throughout the Pacific. American Journal of Botany. 94(6): 1030-1042. 2007

Histiopteris incisa (Thunb.) J. Sm.

Histiopteris incisa

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Raivavae, Rapa, Rurutu, Tubuai
Cook Islands: Rarotonga
Fiji: Viti Levu
Marquesas: Fatu Hiva, Hiva Oa, Nuku Hiva, Ua Huka, Ua Pou
New Zealand: Auckland Island (Auckland Islands); Campbell Island (Campbell Islands); Little Mangere Island, Rangatira Island (Chatham Islands); Great Barrier Island; Kapiti Island; North Island; Aorangi Island (Poor Knights Islands); Evening Island (Snares Islands); Big Solander Island (Solander Islands); South Island; Stewart Island; Tiritiri Matangi Island; Big Island, Chimneys Island, Kundy Island, Poutama Island, Putauhina Island, Womens Island (Titi Islands)
Norfolk Islands: Norfolk Island
Samoa: Olosega, Savai’i, Tutuila
Society Islands: Bora Bora, Huahine, Mo’orea, Ra’iatea, Tahiti
Wallis & Futuna: Futuna

local names:

mata – New Zealand

Asplenium caudatum G. Forst.

Asplenium caudatum

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Raivavae, Rapa, Tubuai
Cook Islands: Rarotonga
Gambier Islands: Mangareva
Hawai’i Islands: Hawai’i, Kaua’i, Lana’i, Maui, Moloka’i, O’ahu
Marquesas: Fatu Hiva, Hiva Oa, Nuku Hiva, Tahuata, Ua Huka, Ua Pou
Samoa: Ofu, Olosega, Savai’i, Ta’u, Tutuila, ‘Upolu
Society Islands: Bora Bora, Huahine, Mo’orea, Ra’iatea, Taha’a, Tahiti

local names: –

Glyphodes multilinealis Kenrick

Fig Tiger-Moth (Glyphodes multilinealis)

This species, like most of the larger Polynesian butterfly and moth species, occurs over a large geographical range, thus it can be found in North Australia and Melanesia, but also in India and Japan. In Polynesia it occurs from Fiji up to the Society Islands.

The adult moth reaches a wingspan of about 2,5 cm.

The caterpillars feed on the leaves of the very widespread Pacific Banyan (Ficus prolixa Forst. f.), but may also consume the leaves of other Ficus species.

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

glyphodes-multilinealis-jac

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

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

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

edited: 19.09.2016

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.

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

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

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

edited: 19.09.2016

Atylana rarotongae Eyles & Linnavuori

Rarotonga Plant Hopper (Atylana rarotongae)

This species, described in the year 1974, is endemic to Rarotonga, the largest of the Cook Islands.

It is a small, brownish coloured, chubby creature, about 0,5 cm long, its forewings are translucent and show two darker brown, curved bands, which, however, can sometimes be absent.

~~~

There are perhaps additional species on the other islands of the Cook Archipelago still awaiting their discovery.

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

References:

[1] 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

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

Photo: Auckland War Memorial Museum

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

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

edited: 18.12.2018

Asplenium schizotrichum Copel.

Asplenium schizotrichum

Distribution:

Cook Islands: Rarotonga

local names: –

~~~

This species is endemic to the island of Rarotonga, where it is restricted to only three localities on the island’s southern slopes. [2]

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

References:

[1] G. Brownlie; W. R. Philipson: Pteridophyta of the Southern Cook Group. Pacific Science 25(4): 502-511. 1971
[2] T. J. Martin: Survey of endemic flora of Rarotonga and preparation of IUCN threat assessment. Wildland Consultants Contract Report No. 2497. Prepared for Cook Islands Natural Heritage Trust. 2012

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

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

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

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

References:

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

Sapindus saponaria L.

Sapindus saponaria

Distribution:

Cook Islands: Mangaia, Ma’uke
Fiji: Beqa, Gau, Moturiki, Ovalau, Taveuni, Vanua Levu, Viti Levu
Gambier Islands: Akamaru, Kamaka, Mangareva
Hawai’i Islands: Hawai’i
Marquesas: Eiao, Fatu Hiva, Fatu Huku, Hiva Oa, Mohotani, Nuku Hiva, Tahuata, Ua Huka, Ua Pou
Pitcairn Islands: Pitcairn Island
Rapa Nui: Rapa Nui (?)
Samoa: Apolima, Nu’utele, Savai’i, Tutuila, ‘Upolu
Society Islands: Bora Bora, Huahine, Mai’ao, Mo’orea, Ra’iatea, Taha’a, Tahiti
Tonga: ‘Eua, Tongatapu, ‘Uta Vava’u
Wallis & Futuna: ‘Uvea

local names:

a’e – Hawai’i Islands
akeake – Ma’uke / Cook Islands
manele – Hawai’i Islands
ngatata hina – ‘Eua / Tonga

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

sapindus-saponaria-fks

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

http://www.starrenvironmental.com

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

edited:

05.02.2017

Adenostemma viscosum J. R. Forst. & G. Forst.

Adenostemma viscosum

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Raivavae, Rimatara, Rurutu
Cook Islands: Palmerston, Rarotonga
Fiji: Gau, Koro, Moturiki, Taveuni, Viti Levu
Gambier Islands: Mangareva
Hawai’i Islands: Hawai’i, Kaua’i, Lana’i, Maui, Moloka’i, O’ahu
Marquesas: Fatu Hiva, Hiva Oa, Nuku Hiva, Tahuata, Ua Huka, Ua Pou
Samoa: Ofu, Savai’i, Ta’u, ‘Upolu
Society Islands: Mo’orea, Tahiti
Tokelau: Olohega
Tonga: Kao, Tofua, Tongatapu, ‘Uta Vava’u

local names:

tahahavai – Marquesas
tatamako – Marquesas

~~~

This species was probably brought to many parts of Polynesia by the first Polynesian settlers, but is likely indigenous at least to the western part of Polynesia.

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

References:

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

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

adenostemma-viscosum-si-mnmh

Photo: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany

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

Phymatosorus powellii (Baker) Pic. Serm.

Phymatosorus powellii

Distribution:

Cook Islands: Rarotonga
Fiji
Pitcairn Islands: Pitcairn Islands
Samoa: Savai’i, ‘Upolu
Society Islands: Mo’orea (?), Tahiti (?)

local names: –

Anaciaeschna jaspidea (Burmeister)

Rusty Darner (Anaciaeschna jaspidea)

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Rurutu, Tubuai
Cook Islands: Rarotonga
Fiji:
Samoa: Savai’i, ‘Upolu
Society Islands: Huahine, Mo’orea, Ra’iatea, Taha’a, Tahiti

local names: –

***

This is a quite large dragonfly, reaching a wingspan of about 9 cm.  

It is indigenous from India to Australia and beyond to the eastern part of Central Polynesia, where it can be found from the Cook Islands to the Austral – and Society Islands.  

The Rusty Darner is not as colourful as other species and can be identified in the field by its extremely large head, which again seems to be made almost completely of the two giant eyes alone.  

*********************  

References:  

[1] Karin S. Kami; Scott E. Miller: Samoan Insects and related Arthropods: Checklist and Bibliography. Bishop Museum Technical Report 13. 1998 
[2] 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
[3] 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: Haomiao Zhang; by courtesy of Haomiao Zhang

*********************  

edited: 27.09.2019

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

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

canavalia-sericea-fks

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

http://www.starrenvironmental.com

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

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

angiopteris-evecta-fks

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

http://www.starrenvironmental.com

Peperomia blanda var. floribunda (Miq.) H. Huber

Peperomia blanda var. floribunda

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Raivavae, Rapa, Rimatara, Rurutu, Tubuai
Cook Islands: Aitutaki, ‘Atiu, Mangaia, Ma’uke, Miti’aro, Rarotonga
Fiji: Gau, Kadavu, Moala, Ovalau, Rotuma, Vanua Levu, Viti Levu, Waya
Gambier Islands: Agakauitai, Akamaru, Aukena, Kamaka, Makaroa, Mangareva, Manui, Mekiro, Taravai
Hawai’i Islands: Hawai’i, Kaua’i, Lana’i, Maui, Moloka’i, Ni’ihau, O’ahu
Marquesas: Fatu Hiva, Hiva Oa, Mohotani, Nuku Hiva, Tahuata, Ua Huka, Ua Pou
New Zealand: Raoul Island (Kermadec Islands)
Pitcairn Islands: Pitcairn Island
Samoa: Apolima, Manono, Namu’a, Nu’utele, Olosega, Savai’i, Ta’u, Tutuila, ‘Upolu
Society Islands: Bora Bora, Huahine, Mai’ao, Maupiti, Me’eti’a, Mo’orea, Ra’iatea, Taha’a, Tahiti
Tonga
Tuamotu Archipelago: Makatea

local names:

aa-va – Hiva Oa, Tahuata / Marquesas
auvavaaina – Hiva Oa, Tahuata / Marquesas
iupito – Rurutu / Austral Islands
nohoau – Tahiti / Society Islands
o’a – Rurutu / Austral Islands
pakii – Akamaru, Aukena, Mangareva / Gambier Islands
patoa – Tahiti / Society Islands
pikimato – Aitutaki, ‘Atiu, Mangaia, Ma’uke, Miti’aro, Rarotonga / Cook Islands
piripapa – Maupiti / Society Islands
pua pua marino – Taravai / Gambier Islands
kavai – Hiva Oa, Tahuata / Marquesas
kavaliki – Rapa / Austral Islands
kawa kawa iki – Nuku Hiva / Marquesas
vaianu ma’atea – Makatea / Tuamotu Archipelago
vao vai (?) – Samoa

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

peperomia-b-v-floribunda-fks

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

http://www.starrenvironmental.com