Tag Archives: Society Islands

Crepidomanes kurzii (Bedd.) Tagawa & K. Iwats.

Crepidomanes kurzii

Distribution:

Society Islands: Mo’orea

local names: –

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References:

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

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Partula citrina Pease

Light Yellow Tree-Snail (Partula citrina)

This species was described in the year 1866.

The Light Yellow Tree-Snail occurred only in the Uparu valley on the west coast of the island of Ra’iatea.

The shell reached a height of about 2,3 cm.

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.

Boehmeria virgata (Forst. f.) Guillemin

Boehmeria virgata

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Rapa
Fiji: Gau, Kadavu, Koro, Ovalau, Taveuni, Vanua Levu, Viti Levu
Marquesas: Fatu Hiva, Hiva Oa, Nuku Hiva, Tahuata, Ua Huka, Ua Pou
Samoa: Savai’i, Tutuila, ‘Upolu
Society Islands: Mo’orea, Ra’iatea, Taha’a, Tahiti
Tonga

local names:

ake – Tahuata / Marquesas
dogosele – Fiji
dredre – Fiji
kalolo – Fiji
kaulolo – Fiji
ona – Tahuata / Marquesas
pute – Marquesas
rabe – Fiji
rabi – Fiji
roa – Raiatea / Society Islands
tautau – Fiji
vairoa – Tahiti / Society Islands

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References:

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

Phyllanthus raiateaensis W. L. Wagner & Lorence

Phyllanthus raiateaensis

Distribution:

Society Islands: Ra’iatea

local names: –

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References:

[1] Warren L. Wagner; David H. Lorence: A nomenclator of Pacific oceanic island Phyllanthus (Phyllanthaceae), including Glochidion. In: Lorence DH, Wagner WL (Eds) Botany of the Marquesas Islands: new taxa, combinations, and revisions. PhytoKeys 4: 67-94. 2011

Hypolimnas bolina (L.)

Blue Moon Butterfly (Hypolimnas bolina)

The Blue Moon Butterfly, also known under the markedly ugly name Great Eggfly, was described in 1764.

The species has an exceptional wide area of distribution, which stretches from Madagascar over Asia and Australia into eastern Polynesia.

Three of the several subspecies occur within the Polynesian region, these are: Hypolimnas bolina ssp. otaheitae (Felder), which occurs on the Austral- and the Cook Islands, the Marquesas, the Society Islands, the Pitcairn Islands, and on Rapa Nui; Hypolimnas bolina ssp. pallescens (Butler), which is found in Fiji, in Tokelau, in Tonga, and in Samoa; Hypolimnas bolina ssp. rarik (Eschscholtz), which occurs in some parts of Kiribati as well as in Tuvalu. Another subspecies, Hypolimnas bolina ssp. nerina (Fabricius) is native to Australia and regularely visits New Zealand, but has not yet established a breeding population there, but probably will do so in time, and thus should be mentioned here too.

Males and females show a striking sexual dimorphism, males are always black with some white spots on the wings, which again are surrounded by a glossy dark blue ring. The females are much more variable in coloration, they furthermore produce several morphotypes, which, in appearance, often resemble other butterfly species, a phenomenon called mimicry.

The males are very territorial, while the females are wandering over wide ranges.

The larvae feed on plant species from the Acanthaceae, Amaranthaceae, Asteraceae, Malvaceae and the Urticaceae family.

~~~

In Niue this butterfly is called pepe mahina lanu.

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References:

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

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Photo: Antonio Machado; by courtesy of Antonio Machado

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edited: 18.08.2017

Fimbristylis cymosa R. Br.

Hurricane-Grass (Fimbristylis cymosa)

Distribution:

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

local name:

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

~~~

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

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References:

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

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.

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

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

Cheilanthes tenuifolia (Burm. f.) Sw.

Cheilanthes tenuifolia

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Raivavae, Rapa
Fiji: Viti Levu
Gambier Islands: Akamaru, Makaroa
Marquesas: Nuku Hiva
Samoa
Society Islands: Bora Bora, Mai’ao, Me’eti’a, Mo’orea, Ra’iatea, Tahiti

local names: –

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

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

~~~

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

Partula otaheitana (Bruguière)

Otaheite Tree Snail (Partula otaheitana)

The Otaheite Tree-Snail, whose name refers to it as being endemic to the island of Tahiti (Otaheite is an old name of the island), was described in 1792.

This species is nowadays highly threatened with extinction, yet somehow managed to withstand the introduction of the Rosy Wolf Snail (Euglandia rosea (Férussac)) to Polynesia, that had cost the lives of so many other endemic snail species.

~~~

The Otaheite Tree-Snail is split into four so called anatomical forms, which overlap or are linked to each other by intermediate forms, and which are each restricted to certain parts of Tahiti. They may or may not be treated as subspecies, and are named as Partula otaheitana ssp. crassa Garrett (in the western part of Tahiti nui), Partula otaheitana ssp. otaheitana Bruguière (in the northern part of Tahiti nui), Partula otaheitana ssp. rubescens Reeve (in the eastern part of Tahiti nui as well the northern part of Tahiti iti), and finally Partula otaheitana ssp. sinistrorsa Garrett (in the largest part of Tahiti nui, including the center of the island and the southern part, as well as the most parts of Tahiti iti).

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References:

[1] Justin Gerlach: Icons of Evolution: Pacific Island tree-snails, family Partulida, Phelsuma Press, Cambridge U.K. 2016

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Photo: Antonio Machado; by courtesy of Antonio Machado

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edited: 31.08.2017

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

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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

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

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

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edited: 03.02.2018

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.

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References:

[1] Alden D. Hinckley: Ecology of Terrestrial Arthropods on the Tokelau Atolls. Atoll Research Bulletin 124: 1-18. 1969
[2] 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

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

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

Ischnura cardinalis Kimmins

Cardinal Forktail (Ischnura cardinalis)

Distribution:

Society Islands: Bora Bora, Ra’iatea, Taha’a

local names: –

***

The Cardinal Forktail was described in 1929, the species is endemic to the Society Islands, where it occurs on the islands of Bora Bora, Ra’iatea and Taha’a.  

The species is locally common to very abundant along smaller streams with dense vegetation.

The Cardinal Forktail is a very colorful species, especially the male: the eyes are bright red, the thorax is light yellowish green below and bright turquise blue above with black markings, the abdomen is dark yellow to orange-brown, the last terminal segments of the abdomen are light blue above. The legs are dark yellow to orange-brown in color. The wings bear dark red spots on their tips. The females are olive-green on their thorax and on the under side of the abdomen, the upper side of the abdomen is black, the wingspots are dark wine-colored.

The larvae reside in fast-flowing, clear forest creeks.  

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References: 

[1] 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

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

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

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edited: 27.09.2019

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.

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

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

Phyllanthus taitensis (Baill. ex Müll. Arg.) Müll. Arg.

Phyllanthus taitensis

Distribution:

Society Islands: Mo’orea, Tahiti

local names: –

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References:

[1] Warren L. Wagner; David H. Lorence: A nomenclator of Pacific oceanic island Phyllanthus (Phyllanthaceae), including Glochidion. In: Lorence DH, Wagner WL (Eds) Botany of the Marquesas Islands: new taxa, combinations, and revisions. PhytoKeys 4: 67-94. 2011

Partula lutea (Lesson)

Yellow Tree Snail (Partula lutea)

This variably colored species was described in the year 1831.

The species was endemic to the island of Bora Bora, Society Islands, where it was the only member of its genus, and where it was still numerously found in the 19th century on the stems, branches, and leaves of the native vegetation.

The shells reached a height of nearly 2 cm and was usually pale yellowish to light brown with the apex being of the same color or slightly darker.

The Yellow Tree-Snail is now extinct. [1]

~~~

The same species was introduced to the island of Maupiti sometimes after 1929, from where it is known, however, only from subfossil shells, found and photographed in 2010, 2012 and 2017 by J.-F. Butaud, J. Gerlach and others.

The species is extinct on Maupiti as well. [1][2]

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References:

[1] Justin Gerlach: Icons of Evolution: Pacific Island tree-snails, family Partulida, Phelsuma Press, Cambridge U.K. 2016
[2] Justin Gerlach: Partula survival in 2017, a survey of the Society Islands

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Depiction from: ‘George W. Tryon; Henry A. Pilsbry; u.a.: Manual of Conchology. Second Series: Pulmonata Vol. 20, Caecilioides, Clessula and Partulidae. Index to Vols. 16-20. 1909-1910’

(public domain)

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edited: 31.08.2017

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

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edited: 10.04.2019

Hydrotetrix aspera Uvarov

Rough Water Pygmy Grasshopper (Hydrotetrix aspera)

The Rough Water Pygmy Grasshopper was described in 1926.

The species is known to inhabit wet places near streams, both on Mo’orea and Tahiti, Society Islands.

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

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

Huperzia serrata (Thunb. ex Murray) Trevis.

Huperzia serrata

Distribution:

Fiji: Viti Levu
Hawai’i Islands: Hawai’i, Kaua’i, Lana’i, O’ahu, Moloka’i
Samoa: Savai’i
Society Islands: Tahiti

local names: –

Zizina otis ssp. labradus (Godart)

Lesser Grass Blue (Zizina otis ssp. labradus)

The Lesser Grass Blue, a very small, blue butterfly with a wingspan of only about 1,5 cm, is a widely distributed species, that is still expanding its range, so for example the species has reached the Hawaiian Islands by 2008.

The formerly recognized subspecies ssp. cheesmanae (Poulton & Riley), ssp. mangoensis (Butler) are now obviously included in the ssp. labradus (Godart), which occurs in the Polynesian region and beyond, however, the taxonomical position of this species and its subspecies varies from author to author.

The caterpillars feed on a wide variety of legume species.

~~~

In Niue the species is called pepe lanu moana mama.

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References:

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

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

http://www.starrenvironmental.com

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edited: 18.01.14

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

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edited: 10.04.2019

Nesoropupa fenua Gargominy

Fenua Whorl Snail (Nesoropupa fenua)

Distribution:

Society Islands: Tahiti

local names: –

***

The Fenua Whorl Snail, described in 2008, is known exclusively from its type location, the very summit of Mt. Aorai on the island of Tahiti, Society Islands, it is known so far only from three empty shells that were collected from the leaf litter.

The species is very likely arboreal like its three known congenerics.

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References:

[1] Olivier Gargominy: Beyond the alien invasion: A recently discovered radiation of Nesopupinae (Gastropoda: Pulmonata: Vertiginidae) from the summits of Tahiti (Society Islands, French Polynesia). Journal of Conchology 39(5): 517-536. 2008

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edited: 15.12.2018

Hypena longfieldae Collenette

Longfield’s Snout Moth (Hypena longfieldae)

Longfield’s Snout Moth was described in 1928.

The species is endemic to central Polynesia and can be found on the Austral Islands, the Marquesas and the Society Islands, where it is obviously restricted to higher elevations.

The moth reaches a wingspan of nearly 3 cm, it is extremely variable. [1]

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References:

[1] J. F. G. Clarke: The Lepidoptera of Rapa Island. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 56. 1971

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hypena-longfieldae-pto

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

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

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edited: 03.03.2017

Astronidium ligulatum (J. W. Moore) J. Maxwell

Astronidium ligulatum

Distribution:

Society Islands: Huahine, Ra’iatea, Taha’a

local names: –

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References:

[1] J. F. Maxwell; J. F. Veldkamp: Notes on the Astronieae (Melastomataceae) – II. Astronidium, Beccarianthus. Blumea 35: 115-165. 1990

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

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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

Coleotichus adamsoni Van Duzee

Adamson’s Shield Bug (Coleotichus adamsoni)

Adamson’s Shield Bug is about 1,5 cm long, and was described in the year 1932 on the basis of several specimens that have been collected on some islands in the Marquesan archipelago.

The species, however, is also occurring on the Society Islands, at least on the islands of Mo’orea and Tahiti.

One of the known food plants of this species is the native tiatia (Dodonaea viscosa Jacq.). [1]

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

References:

[1] E. P. Van Duzee: New Hemiptera-Heteroptera from the Marquesas. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers 98: 177-192. 1932

Astronidium ovalifolium (Decne. ex Triana) J. Maxwell

Astronidium ovalifolium

Distribution:

Society Islands: Ra’iatea, Tahiti

local names: –

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

References:

[1] J. F. Maxwell; J. F. Veldkamp: Notes on the Astronieae (Melastomataceae) – II. Astronidium, Beccarianthus. Blumea 35: 115-165. 1990

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

Phreatia matthewsii Rchb.f.

Phreatia matthewsii

Distribution:

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

local names: –

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

References:

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

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

phreatia-matthewsii-tt

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

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

Nervilia concolor (Blume) Schltr.

Unicoloured Nervilia (Nervilia concolor)

Distribution:

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

local names:

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

~~~

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

~~~

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

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

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

Partula fusca Pease

Brown Tree-Snail (Partula fusca)

The Brown Tree-Snail, whose shells were not always brown colored, but were as variable as the shells of most tree-snails, was endemic to the island of Ra’iatea.

The species was obviously not a tree dweller but terrestrial.

The Brown Tree-Snail, like most of its relatives from the island of Ra’iatea, died out at the end of the 20th century.

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

partula-fusca-mc

Depiction from: ‘George W. Tryon; Henry A. Pilsbry; u.a.: Manual of Conchology. Second Series: Pulmonata Vol. 20, Caecilioides, Clessula and Partulidae. Index to Vols. 16-20. 1909-1910’

http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org

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

Abrodictyum asae-grayi (Bosch) Ebihara & K. Iwats.

Abrodictyum asae-grayi

Distribution:

Fiji: Vanua Levu, Viti Levu
Marquesas: Hiva Oa, Nuku Hiva
Samoa: Savai’i, Ta’u, ‘Upolu
Society Islands: 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

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

abrodictyum-asae-grayi-jn

Photo: Joel Nitta
http://www.mooreabiocode.org

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

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

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

Geniostoma rupestre

Distribution:

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

local names:

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

~~~

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

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

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

References:

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

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

geniostoma-r-v-rupestre-tt

nominate variety

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

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

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

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.

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

References:

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

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

ptychognathus-easteranus-jp

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

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

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

edited: 14.02.2017

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

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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

Partula auriculata Broderip

Ear-shaped Tree-Snail (Partula auriculata)

This species was decsribed in the year 1832.

The Ear-shaped Tree-Snail was an endemic species of the island of Ra’iatea and disappeared shortly after the introduction of the Rosy Wolfsnail (Euglandina rosea (Férussac)) to the island. In the year 1992, when the species was seen for the last time, only a few individuals were left.

The species was not found during field surveys in the years 1994 and 2000, nor during any other subsequent survey, and therefore is considered extinct now.

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

partula-auriculata-mc

Depiction from: ‘George W. Tryon; Henry A. Pilsbry; u.a.: Manual of Conchology. Second Series: Pulmonata Vol. 20, Caecilioides, Clessula and Partulidae. Index to Vols. 16-20. 1909-1910’

http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org

Sclerotheca arborea (G. Forst.) A. DC.

Sclerotheca arborea

Distribution:

Society Islands: Tahiti

local names: –

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

sclerotheca-arborea-ifimp

Depiction from: ‘E. Drake del Castillo: Illustrationes florae insularum Maris Pacifici. Parisiis: G. Masson 1886’

http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org

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

Astelia nadeaudii Drake

Astelia nadeaudii

Distribution:

Society Islands: Mo’orea, Ra’iatea, Tahiti

local names: –

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

Photo: Ravahere Taputuarai

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

Misumenops temihana Garb

Temehani Crab Spider (Misumenops temihana)

This crab spider species lives on the Temehani plateau on the island of Ra’iatea, where it lurks for its prey in the cover of vegetation, well camouflaged by its green coloration.

The species was scientifically described in the year 2006 and named after its typus location, which was erroneously named by the author as Temihana plateau.

The Temehani Crab Spider can also be found on Mt. Turi on the island of Huahine, Ra’iatea’s neighbor.

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

References:

[1] Jessica E. Garb: A new species of thomisid spider from the Society Islands with a description of the male of Misumenops melloleitaoi (Araneae, Thomisidae). Journal of Arachnology 34: 357-367. 2006

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

misumenops-temihana-ad

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

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

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

Dicliptera forsteriana Nees

Forster’s Dicliptera (Dicliptera forsteriana)

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Rapa (ex)
Society Islands: Bora Bora, Huahine, Ra’iatea, Taha’a, Tahiti (ex)

local names: –

~~~

Forster’s Dicliptera is known from the island of Rapa in the Austral Archipelago, where the species is now considered possibly extinct, however. It occurs furthermore on the Society Islands, where it is known from the islands of Bora Bora, Ra’iatea and Taha’a, and formerly also from Tahiti, but is extinct now on the latter island.

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

dicliptera-forsteriana-sp

Depiction from: ‘Sydney Parkinson: A Journal of a Voyage to the South Seas, in his Majesty’s Ship the Endeavour. London: Stanfield Parkinson 1773’

(This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.)

Phyllanthus temehaniensis (J. W. Moore) W. L. Wagner & Lorence

Phyllanthus temehaniensis

Distribution:

Society Islands: Huahine, Ra’iatea, Taha’a

local names: –

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

References:

[1] Warren L. Wagner; David H. Lorence: A nomenclator of Pacific oceanic island Phyllanthus (Phyllanthaceae), including Glochidion. In: Lorence DH, Wagner WL (Eds) Botany of the Marquesas Islands: new taxa, combinations, and revisions. PhytoKeys 4: 67-94. 2011

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

Awaous ocellaris Broussonet

Eyespot Goby (Awaous ocellaris)

The Eyespot Goby is an about 13 cm long freshwater goby that is indigenous to many mangrove areas, estuaries, and rivers from India to Polynesia.

The fish feed on green algae, small crabs, freshwater shrimps, and other invertebrates.

Like all Polynesian freshwater gobies, also the Eyspot Goby has an amphidromous life cycle, which means, that the spawning takes place in the freshwater, but the embryos are washed out into the ocean, where they remain for a planktonic phase before they return into freshwater to grow and to start the life cycle again.

The Samoan name of the species is mano’o ia pala.

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

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

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

awaous-ocellaris-dsj-rer

Depiction from: ‘David Starr Jordan; Robert Earl Richardson: Check-list of species of fishes known from the Philippine Archipelago. Manila: Bureau of Printing 1910′

http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org

Lophaterum gracile Brongn.

Lophaterum gracile

Distribution:

Society Islands: Ra’iatea, Taha’a

local names: –

~~~

This is one of several grass species that show a strange distribution pattern, it occus in parts of Asia as well as in Micronesia, and also in Polynesia, where it, however, is restricted to the islands of Ra’iatea and Taha’a.

The species is restricted to higher elevations. [1][2]

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

References:

[1] Dr. Jean-Yves Meyer; Ravahere Taputuarai: Rapport de mission à Tahaa (Iles Sous le Vent, archipel de la Société) du 02 Au 04 Mai 2006: Description de la flore et de la végétation du mont Ohiri. Délégation à la Recherche/Institut Louis Malardé 2006
[2] Frédéric Jacq; Jean-François Butaud: : Guide floristique: Plateaux Te Mehani. DIREN, Papeete, Polynésie française 2010

Argyrodes samoensis O. Pickard-Cambridge

Samoan Dewtrop Spider (Argyrodes samoensis)

Ditribution:

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

local names: –

***

The Samoan Dewtrop Spider was described in 1880.

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

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

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

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

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

edited: 14.12.2018

Canavalia rosea (Sw.) DC.

Canavalia rosea

Distribution:

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

local names:

dralawa – Fiji
drautolu – Fiji

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

References:

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

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

Hemicordulia oceanica Selys

Oceanic Emerald (Hemicordulia oceanica)

Distribution

Society Islands: Bora Bora, Huahine, Mo’orea, Ra’itea, Tahiti

local names

pi’ao – Society Islands

***

The Oceanic Emerald was described in 1871, the species is endemic to the Society Islands, where it occurs from areas near sea level to the higher areas at elevations of about 1000m.

The species is often seen flying 1,5 to 3 m above the ground along larger roads or in clearings within the forest.

The Oceanic emerlad is beautifully glossy bluish green colored, the wings are quite variable in their coloration, some being clear to a deep amber-like yellowish hue. [1]

***

The picture below, supposed to show this species, probably shows another species.

***

There appears to be another, up to now unnamed species of that genus inhabiting, that might be endemic to the island of Tahiti, where again it is apparently restricted to the higher altitudes. [1] 

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

References:

[1] 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

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

Depiction from: ‘Genera Insectorum: Fasc. 155: René Martin: Odonata; Fam. Libellulidae, Subfam. Cordulinae. Bruxelles, L. Desmet-Verteneuil 1914’

(public domain)

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

edited: 24.12.2018; 27.09.2019

Gonomyia tahitiensis Alexander

Tahitian Crane Fly (Gonomyia tahitiensis)

This species, which comes from the island of Tahiti, was described in the year 1921.

~~~

Lucy Evelyn Cheesman writes in the year 1932 in ‘Hunting insects in the South Seas’.:

“They have one most curious and unaccountable habit, shared with many other midges, and that is to hang upside down in cobwebs. The spiders know them quite well, and apparently make no attempt to catch them. But although some of the webs where they hang are sticky to the touch, yet the midges never seem to be entrapped. It is a curious habit for any insect to hang suspended in this fashion, and why they should do so in a place so fraught with danger as a spider’s web is incomprehensible. On some islands there are spiders with white bands to their legs which at first sight can be mistaken for these midges, but whether the spider mimics the midge or the other way is not plain, for it is difficult to see what advantage such mimicry would be to either.” [1]

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

References:

[1] L. E. Cheesman: Hunting insects in the South Seas. Ballou 1933
[2] C. P. Alexander: Tipulidae of the Southeastern Pacific (Diptera). Bishop Museum Occasional Papers 18(22): 337-347. 1947
[3] J. H. Nitta; P. M. O´Grady: Mitochondrial phylogeny of the endemic Hawaiian craneflies (Diptera, Limoniidae, Dicranomyia): Implications for biogeographiy and species formation. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. (2008), doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2007.12.021

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

Samoana jackieburchi Kondo

Jackie Burch’s Samoana Tree-Snail (Samoana jackieburchi)

This species was described in the year 1980 and is considered extinct since.

The Rosy Wolfsnail (Euglandina rosea (Férussac)), which was introduced to Tahiti in 1977, is blamed for the extinction of this and several other snail species.

The shells of this species are exclusively sinistral (twisted leftward).

~~~

Jackie Burch’s Samoana Tree-Snail, whose taxonomy is somewhat disputed, appears superficially almost identical to a specific subspecies of the Tahitian Tree-Snail, the Reddish Tahitian Tree-Snail (Partula otaheitana ssp. rubescens Reeve), and thus is sometimes (incorrectly) synonymized with it.

~~~

Another species from the island of Tahiti that was also believed to be extinct , Burch’s Samoana Tree-Snail (Samoana burchi Kondo), was rediscovered in the year 2005 (?).

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

References:

[1] Y. Kondo: Samoana jackieburchi, new species (Gastropoda: Pulmonata: Partulidae). Malacological Review 2: 25-32. 1980
[2] Trevor Coote: Pacific Island Land Snails; Tahiti becomes the focus of Partula conservation. Tentacle 20: 28-30. 2012

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

edited: 05.10.2016

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: –

Partula cuneata Crampton

Wedge-shaped Tree-Snail (Partula cuneata)

The Wedge-shaped Tree-Snail was described in the year 1956.

The species was endemic to the island of Ra’iatea, where it was restricted to the Ereeo Valley on the west coast of the island, which it shared with five additional tree-snail species – all of these species are now extinct.

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

References:

[1] Henry E. Crampton: New Species of Land Snails of the Genus Partula from Raiatea, Society Islands. American Museum Novitates 1761: 1-17. 1956

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

Mautodontha maupiensis (Garrett)

Maupiti Disc Snail (Mautodontha maupiensis)

This species from the island of Maupiti was described in the year 1884.

The shells reach an average size of 0,3 cm in diameter. [2]

~~~

Andrew J. Garrett, the species’ author, writes in the year 1884.:

“Very common, and confined to the small island of Maupiti.”

Thus, the Maupiti Disc Snail, of which today twenty-one museum specimens are still in existence, must still have been very common in the 19th century, but died out shortly after. [1][2]

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

References:

[1] Andrew J. Garrett: The terrestrial Mollusca inhabiting the Society Islands”. Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. 2nd series 9: 17-114. 1884
[2] Alan Solem: Endodontoid land snails from Pacific Islands (Mollusca: Pulmonata: Sigmurethra). Part I, Family Endodontidae. Field Museum of Natural History Chicago, Illinois 1976

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

mautodontha.maupiensis.mc

Depiction from: ‘G. W. Tryon; H. A. Pilsbry; u.a.: Manual of Conchology. Second Series: Pulmonata Vol. 3, Helicidae Vol. 1. 1887’

http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org

Sesbania coccinea (L. f.) Poir.

Sesbania coccinea

Distribution:

Fiji: Fulaga, Marabo, Nayau, Vatu Vara, Yacata
Pitcairn Islands: Henderson Island
Society Islands: Mo’orea, Ra’iatea, Tahiti, Tetiaroa, Tupai
Tonga: Maninita, Mounu, Taungai
Tuamotu Archipelago: Anaa, Fakarava, Fangataufa, Hao, Kaukura, Makemo, Mataiva, Napuka, Niau, Pukapuka, Rangiroa, Raroia, Tahanea, Takapoto, Tepoto Nord, Tikehau

local names:

afai – Tahiti / Society Islands
faifai – Tupai / Society Islands
kofai – Niau / Tuamotu Archipelago
kohai – Raroia / Tuamotu Archipelago
‘ofai – Tahiti / Society Islands

~~~

The taxonomy of this species is very confusing, it is thought to contain several varieties, of which some, of course, may not be valid at all.

The species contains at least two subspecies, of which one, the nominate form, is of Melanesian origin, occuring in Polynesia only on a few islands within the Fijian and Tongan islands, while the other one, ssp. atollensis (H. St.John) M.-H. Sachet is endemic to eastern Polynesia, where it occurs with three varieties on the Pitcairn Islands, the Society Islands and in the Tuamotu Archipelago.

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

Austroblechnum patersonii (R. Br.) Gasper & V. A. O. Dittrich

Austroblechnum patersonii

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Raivavae, Rapa, Rimatara, Rurutu, Tubuai
Gambier Islands: Mangareva
Society Islands: Bora Bora, Huahine, Mo’orea, Ra’iatea, Taha’a, Tahiti

local names: –

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

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

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

Oreobolus furcatus H. Mann

Alpine Bog Sedge (Oreobolus furcatus)

Distribution:

Hawai’i Islands: Kaua’i, Maui, Moloka’i, O’ahu
Society Islands: Tahiti

local names: –

~~~

The Alpine Bog Sedge is a flat cushion plant, that occurs on some of the Hawaiian Islands, namely on Kaua’i, Maui, Moloka’i, and O’ahu.

The species is restricted to high elevations, where it grows in so called alpine bogs.

The species occurs as well as a very small relict population on the island of Tahiti, where it is restricted to only two ridges of the Mt. Orohena, the highest mountain of Tahiti.

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

oreobolus-furcatus-fks

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

http://www.starrenvironmental.com

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

edited: 09.10.2016

Hymenophyllum imbricatum Blume

Hymenophyllum imbricatum

Distribution:

Fiji (?)
Samoa: Olosega, Savai’i, Ta’u, Tutuila, ‘Upolu
Society Islands: 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
[2] P. J. Brownsey; L. R. Perrie: A revised checklist of Fijian ferns and lycophytes. Telopea 13(3): 513-562. 2011

Cnaphalocrocis hemicrossa (Meyrick)

Polynesian Grass-Leafroller (Cnaphalocrocis hemicrossa)

The Polynesian Grass-Leafroller species was described in the year 1887.

The species, which seems to be restricted to the Austral – and the Society Islands, reaches a wingspan of about 1,7 cm.

The caterpillars feed on various grasses of the genus Paspalum, they form longitudinal tubes by rolling the grass-blades lengthwise and then feeding on the blade tissue beyond this tube.

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

References:

[1] J. F. G. Clarke: The Lepidoptera of Rapa Island. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 56. 1971

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

cnaphalocrocis-hemicrossa-pto

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

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

Chroicocephalus utunui (Steadman)

Polynesian Gull (Chroicocephalus utunui)

This species was described in the year 2002 on the basis of very good preserved bones, which were found on the island of Huahine.

The species was certainly once distributed through the whole Society Archipelago.

The next relatives are the Silver Gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae (Stephens)) from Australia as well as the Black-billed Gull (Chroicocephalus bulleri (Hutton)), and the Red-billed Gull (Chroicocephalus scopulinus (J. R. Forster)) from New Zealand.

~~~

The species disappeared about 700 to 1200 A.D., thus shortly after the colonization of the island by Polynesians – resp., if one will trust very vague hints in a travel account from the year 1834, maybe actually as recently as during the middle of the 19th century.

~~~

Quite interesting in this context is the description of two gull species (Gavia pomarre Bruch in the year 1853 and Gavia pomare Bruch in the year 1855), which are supposed to come from the Society Islands, but which later (1887 and 1896) were identified as a juvenile Silver Gull and a juvenile Black-billed Gull, respectively.

The original material was lost during the World War II, and only drawings of the primaries and the heads (see depiction) are left.

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

References:

[1] F. Debell Bennett: Narrative of a Whaling Voyage round the globe, from the year 1833 to 1836. Comprising Sketches of Polynesia, California, the Indian Archipelago, etc. with an account of southern whales, the sperm whale fishery, and the natural history of the climates visited. London, Richard Bentley 1840
[2] D. W. Steadman: A New Species Of Gull (Laridae: Larus) From An Archaeological Site On Huahine, Society Islands. Proceedings of The Biological Society of Washington Band 115: 1–17. 2002
[3] D. W. Steadman: Extinction and Biogeography of Tropical Pacific Birds. University Of Chicago Press 2006

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

larus-pomarre-jo

the enigmatic species Gavia pomarre or Larus pomarre

Depiction from: ‘C. F. Bruch: Monographische Uebersicht der Gattung Larus Lin. Journal für Ornithologie. 1(2): 96-108. 1853’

http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org

Aplonis ulietensis (Gmelin)

Ulieta Starling (Aplonis ulietensis)

The Ulieta Starling, better known as Bay Thrush or Ulieta Thrush, is still one of the biggest mysteries of the ornithological world.

The species is known only on the basis of a drawing which was produced by Georg Forster in 1774 (?), as well as from the appertaining description.

The bird was originally – under reserve – described as thrush (Turdidae), but was subsequently associated with the Honeyeater family (Meliphagidae).

Actually, it may have been a starling, because very similar starling species are well known to occur / have occurred on other, adjacent islands within Central Polynesia (only a single species, the Rarotonga Starling (Aplonis cinerascens Hartlaub & Finsch), is extant), while the other two bird families are not known from that geographical region, neither from historical specimens nor by subfossil remains.

~~~

The Ulieta Starling died out sometimes during the 18th century – or – did it survive until the 19th century?

“Some of the land birds which inhabit the more interior and elevated woods have a varied and gaudy plumage; while others, with a more sombre garment, possess a melodious voice, not unlike that of our thrush or blackbird; but neither kind is sufficiently numerous to repay the exertions of the sportsman or ornithologist.”

from: ‘Frederick Debell Bennett: Narrative of a Whaling Voyage round the globe, from the year 1833 to 1836.’

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

References:

[1] Frederick Debell Bennett: Narrative of a Whaling Voyage round the globe, from the year 1833 to 1836. Comprising Sketches of Polynesia, California, the Indian Archipelago, etc. with an account of southern whales, the sperm whale fishery, and the natural history of the climates visited. London, Richard Bentley 1840
[2] Dieter Luther: Die ausgestorbenen Vögel der Welt. Westarp Wissenschaften 1986
[3] Errol Fuller: Extinct Birds. Penguin Books (England) 1987

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

aplonis-ulietensis-forster

Depiction: Georg Forster, 1774

(This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.)

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

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