Tag Archives: Rapa Nui

Persicaria acuminata (Kunth) M. Gómez.

Persicaria acuminata

Distribution:

Rapa Nui: Rapa Nui

local names:

tavari – Rapa Nui

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References:

[1] Georg Zizka: Flowering Plants of Easter Island. Palmarum Hortus Francofortensis 3. 1991

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Depiction from: ‘C. F. P. von Martius; A. W. Eichler; I. Urban: Flora Brasiliensis. Monachii et Lipsiae: R. Oldenbourg 1840-1906’

http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org

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.

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In Niue this butterfly is called pepe mahina lanu.

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References:

[1] R. H. Van Zwaluwenburg: The Insects of Canton Island. Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society 11(3): 300-312. 1943
[2] Alden D. Hinckley: Ecology of Terrestrial Arthropods on the Tokelau Atolls. Atoll Research Bulletin 124: 1-18. 1969
[3] Jaqueline Y. Miller; Lee D. Miller: The Butterflies of the Tonga Islands and Niue, Cook Islands, with the Descriptions of two new subspecies. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers 34: 1-24. 1993
[4] Brian Patrick; Hamish Patrick: Butterflies of Fiji. The Weta 24(1): 5-12. 2002
[5] Neal L. Evenhuis: Checklist of Fijian Lepidoptera. Bishop Museum Technical Report 38(13): 1-53. 2007
[6] Brian Patrick; Hamish Patrick: Butterflies of the South Pacific. Otago University Press 2012

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Photo: Antonio Machado; by courtesy of Antonio Machado

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edited: 18.08.2017

Microlepia strigosa (Thunb.) C. Presl

Lace Fern (Microlepia strigosa)

Distribution:

Fiji
Hawai’i Islands: Hawai’i, Kaua’i, Lana’i, Maui, Moloka’i, O’ahu
Rapa Nui: Rapa Nui
Society Islands: Tahiti

local names:

nehe nehe – Rapa Nui
palai – Hawai’i Islands
palapalai – Hawai’i Islands

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The Lace Fern is distributed in many parts of Asia, within the Polynesian region it occurs on Tahiti, Society Islands as well as on Rapa Nui. The species can also be found on the Hawaiian main islands, where on the island of Maui, an endemic variety, Microlepia strigosa var. mauiensis (W. H. Wagner) D. D. Palmer, is known to exist, which was formerly thought to be a distinct species, and which can be distinguished from the typical variety by its hairy fronds.

The Hawaiian name for this species is palai resp. palapalai, its fronds were used in ancient times to decorate the altars of laka, the hula goddess, as well as for making lei.

In Rapa Nui the species is named nehe nehe, a term that is used for almost all fern species.

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

http://www.starrenvironmental.com

Allodessus skottsbergi (Zimmermann)

Skottsberg’s Diving Beetle (Allodessus skottsbergi)

Distribution:

Rapa Nui: Rapa Nui

local names: –

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

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

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

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

***

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

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References:

[1] A. Zimmermann: Coeloptera-Dytiscidae von Juan Fernandez und der Osterinsel. in The Natural history of Juan Fernandez and Easter Island, edited by Carl Skottsberg. Vol. 3: 299-304., Zoology. Uppsala: Almqvist & Wiksells Boktryckeri, 1921-1940
[2] Michael Balke; Ignacio Ribera: Jumping across Wallace’s line: Allodessus Guignot and Limbodessus Guignot revisited (Coleoptera: Dytiscidae, Bidessini) based on molecular-phylogenetic and morphological data. Australian Journal of Entomology 43(2): 114-128. 2004
[3] Konjev Desender; Léon Baert: The Coleoptera of Easter Island. Bulletin de l’Institut royal des Sciences naturelles de Belgique. Entomologie 66: 27-50.1996
[4] M. Horrocks; M. Marra; W. T. Baisden; J. Flenley; D. Feek; L. González Nualart; S. Haoa-Cardinali; T. Edmunds Gorman: Pollen, phytoliths, arthropods and high-resolution 14C sampling from Rano Kau, Easter Island: evidence for late Quaternary environments, ant (Formicidae) distributions and human activity. Journal of Paleolimnology 50(4): 417-432. 2013

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edited: 23.06.2017, 11.12.2018

Ptychognathus easteranus Rathbun

Easter Island Crab (Ptychognathus easteranus)

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

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

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References:

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

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ptychognathus-easteranus-jp

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

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

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edited: 14.02.2017

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]

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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

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

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

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edited: 20.12.2018

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

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edited: 10.04.2019

Samolus repens (J. R. Forst. & G. Forst.) Pers.

Samolus repens

Distribution:

New Zealand: Rangatira Island (Chatham Islands); Great Barrier Island; Kapiti Island; Kermadec Islands; North Island; Aorangi Island (Poor Knights Islands); South Island; Stewart Island; Betsy Island, Big Island, Kundy Island, Poutama Island (Titi Islands)
Norfolk Islands: Nepean Island, Norfolk Island
Pitcairn Islands: Pitcairn Island
Rapa Nui: Rapa Nui

local names:

maakoako – New Zealand
makoako – New Zealand

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Two varieties are known to occur within the Polynesian region, the nominate from New Zealand, the Pitcairn Islands and Easter Island; and var. strictus Cockayne, which occur in New Zealand and on the Norfolk Islands.

Lachnagrostis filiformis (G. Forst.) Trin.

Lachnagrostis filiformis

Distribution:

Hawai’i Islands: Hawai’i, Kaho’olawe, Kaua’i, Lana’i, Maui, Moloka’i, O’ahu
New Zealand: Chatham Islands; Great Barrier Island; Kapiti Island; Aorangi Island (Poor Knights Islands); Tiritiri Matangi Island
Norfolk Islands: Norfolk Island
Rapa Nui: Motu Nui, Rapa Nui

local names: –

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lachnagrostis-filiformis-fks

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

http://www.starrenvironmental.com

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edited:

05.02.2017

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

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edited: 10.04.2019

Physiphora insulaepaschalis (Enderlein)

Easter Island Lance Fly (Physiphora insulaepaschalis)

This fly species is one of the few, still existing endemic animal species of Easter Island that survived the complete destruction of the island’s former ecosystem.

The fly is about 0,25 to 0,28 cm in length, its wings, which are yellowish brown colored and inconspicuous banded, reach a length of about 0,25 cm.

The head is black and shows a strong metallic blue gloss, the forehead is yellowish brown in color. The thorax is deep black in color and glossy metallic blue too. The abdomen is brownish red in color and glossy blue too. The legs are dark brown in color.

Males and females resemble each other.

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References:

[1] G. Enderlein: Die Dipterenfauna der Juan-Fernandez-Inseln und der Oster-Insel. in The Natural history of Juan Fernandez and Easter Island, edited by Carl Skottsberg. Vol. 3: 643-680., Zoology. Uppsala: Almqvist & Wiksells Boktryckeri, 1921-1940

Dichelachne crinita (L. f.) Hook. f.

Dichelachne crinita

Distribution:

New Zealand: Rangatira Island (Chatham Islands); Great Barrier Island; Sail Rock (Hen and Chicken Islands); Kapiti Island; Kermadec Islands; North Island; Aorangi Island (Poor Knights Islands); South Island; Stewart Island; Tiritiri Matangi Island; Womens Island (Titi Islands)
Norfolk Islands: Norfolk Island
Rapa Nui: Rapa Nui

local names:

patiti – New Zealand

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

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sapindus-saponaria-fks

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

http://www.starrenvironmental.com

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edited:

05.02.2017

Psydrax odorata (G. Forst.) A. C. Sm. & S. P. Darwin

Psydrax odorata

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Raivavae, Rapa, Rurutu
Fiji: Aiwa, Cikobia, Fulaga, Gau, Kabara, Kanacea, Lakeba, Moala, Munia, Nacula, Nairai, Nayau, Ovalau, Taveuni, Vanua Balavu, Vanua Levu, Viti Levu, Yadua Taba, Yasawa
Gambier Islands: Agakauitai, Aukena, Mangareva
Hawai’i Islands: Hawai’i, Kaua’i, Lana’i, Maui, Moloka’i, O’ahu
Marquesas: Eiao, Fatu Hiva, Hatuta’a, Hiva Oa, Mohotani, Nuku Hiva, Tahuata, Ua Huka, Ua Pou
Pitcairn Islands: Henderson Island, Pitcairn Island
Rapa Nui: Rapa Nui (ex)
Society Islands: Bora Bora, Mo’orea, Taha’a, Tahiti
Tonga: ‘Eua, Niuafo’ou, ‘Uiha

local names:

alahe’e – Hawai’i Islands
eua – Marquesas
hitoa – Society Islands
kofenua – Marquesas
kohenua – Marquesas
kotai – Marquesas
nioi – Austral Islands; Gambier Islands; Marquesas
‘ohe’e – Hawai’i Islands
olamaka – ‘Eua / Tonga
pakora – Tubuai Islands
pakoro – Tubuai Islands
toporo – Tubuai Islands
tutu – Gambier Islands
ua reka – Gambier Islands
walahe’e – Hawai’i Islands
yaduvu – Vanua Levu / Fiji

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psydrax-odorata-fks

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

http://www.starrenvironmental.com