Nesobasis angulicollis Tillyard

Angular-necked Fiji Damselfly (Nesobasis angulicollis)

This species was described in the year 1924.

The Angular-necked Fiji Damselfly species is obviously endemic to the island of Viti Levu, where it can be found at sunny places around medium-sized streams in the highlands, but also at lower elevations.

The sides of the thorax are almost entirely blue colored, males and females are similar in coloration, the females, however, are somewhat paler.

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The name Nesobasis subhumeralis Tillyard is a synonym of this species.

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The genus Nesobasis is endemic to the Fijian Islands, there are at least 11 additional species on the Fijian Islands, that still await their description, among them 10 on the island of Vanua Levu alone.

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References:

[1] T. W. Donnelly: The Fijian genus Nesobasis. Part 1: species of Viti Levu, Ovalau, and Kadavu (Odonata: Coenagrionidae). New Zealand Journal of Zoology 17: 87-117. 1990
[2] H. Van Gossum; C. Beatty; T. Sherratt: The Zygoptera of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, the two larger islands in the Fiji archipelago. IDF-Report 9: 1-14. 2006
[3] Neal L. Evenhuis; Dan A. Polhemus: Checklist of Odonata of Fiji. Bishop Museum Technical Report 38(15): 1-3. 2007
[4] C. D. Beatty; H. Van Gossum; T. N. Sherratt: Nesobasis species diversity and abundance: Notes on an endemic genus of the island group of Fiji (Zygoptera: Coenagrionidae). Odonatologica 36(1): 13-26. 2007

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Photo: Hans Van Gossum; by courtesy of Hans Van Gossum

Acraea andromacha ssp. polynesiaca Rebel

Polynesian Glasswing (Acraea andromacha ssp. polynesiaca)

The Glasswing is distributed from Australia and New Guinea to West Polynesia, the Polynesian subspecies lives on the Fijian Islands, however, it is now probably extinct in Samoa and Tonga.

The Polynesian Glasswing has black patterned, translucent wings with a wingspan of about 5,5 cm, the sexes appear to be superficially identical.

The species lays its eggs on the underside of the leaves of the native Golden Passionflower (Passiflora aurantia G. Forst.) and certainly also on those of other, introduced passionflower species.

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References:

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

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Photo from: ‘Karl Rechinger: Botanische und Zoologische Ergebnisse einer wissenschaftlichen Forschungsreise nach den Samoa-Inseln, dem Neuguinea-Archipel und den Salomonsinseln. Wien: In Kommission bei Alfred Hölder 1907-1914′

(not in copyright)

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.

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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

Hypothemis hageni Karsch

Hagen’s Skimmer (Hypothemis hageni)

This species was described in 1889, it is endemic to the Fijian Islands, where it is known only from Vanua Levu and Viti Levu.

The females lay their eggs near boulders into floating water with a strong current.

The species appears to be very shy, it perches only for few seconds, and then flies off again.

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The genus Hypothemis is monotypic, that means it contains only a single species.

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hypothemis-hageni-dmm

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

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edited: 27.02.2017

Agriocnemis exsudans Sélys

Narrow-winged Damselfly (Agriocnemis exsudans)

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

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

The species reaches a body length of about 3 cm.

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

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

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References:

[1] N. Mary; A. Dutartre; P. Keith; G. Marquet; P. Sasal: Biodiversité des Eaux Douces de Wallis et Futuna; Mission d’Octobre 2004. Rapport Final, Ministère de l’Outre-Mer 2006
[2] C. Morrison; S. Nawadra; M. Tuiwawa: A rapid biodiversity assessment of the Nakorotubu Range, Ra and Tailevu Provinces, Fiji. RAP Bulletin of Biological Assessment 59. Conservation International, Arlington, VA, USA 2009
[3] Milen Marinov: Contribution to the Odonata of the Kingdom of Tonga. Faunistic Studies in South-East Asia and Pacific Island Odonata 1: 1-18. 2013
[4] Milen Marinov; Mark Schmaedick; Dan Polhemus; Rebecca L. Stirnemann; Fialelei Enoka; Pulemagafa Siaifoi Fa’aumu; Moeumu Uili: Faunistic and taxonomic investigations on the Odonata fauna of the Samoan archipelago with particular focus on taxonomic ambiguities in the “Ischnurine complex”. Journal of the International Dragonfly Fund 91: 1-56. 2015

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agriocnemis-exsudans-dmm

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

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edited 03.03.2017

Euploea lewinii Felder & Felder

Crow Butterfly (Euploea lewinii)

This species, whose taxonomy is very confusing, occurs with several (?) subspecies within the Polynesian region, whereby, however, it seems not to be completely known, how far they are distributed here naturally.

Shown here is the Fijian subspecies (Euploea lewinii ssp. eschscholzii Felder & Felder).

Additional subspecies occur on the Samoan Islands (Euploea lewinii ssp. bourkei (Poulton)), on Tonga (Euploea lewinii ssp. mathewi (Poulton)) as well as on Niue and the Cook Islands (Euploea lewinii ssp. perryi (Butler)).

The caterpillars feed on the leaves of various fig species, including the Pacific Banyan (Ficus prolixa G. Forst.) and the Dye Fig (Ficus tinctoria G. Forst.).

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References:

[1] Alden D. Hinckley: Ecology of Terrestrial Arthropods on the Tokelau Atolls. Atoll Research Bulletin 124: 1-18. 1969
[2] Jaqueline Y. Miller; Lee D. Miller: The Butterflies of the Tonga Islands and Niue, Cook Islands, with the Descriptions of two new subspecies. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers 34: 1-24. 1993
[3] Brian Patrick; Hamish Patrick: Butterflies of Fiji. The Weta 24(1): 5-12. 2002
[4] Neal L. Evenhuis: Checklist of Fijian Lepidoptera. Bishop Museum Technical Report 38(13): 1-53. 2007

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euploea-l-eschscholtzii-dhg

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

http://www.parfaitimage.com

Phazaca cythera (Swinhoe)

Cythera Urania Moth (Phazaca cythera)

This species, which was described in the year 1902, occurs from Southeast Asia to the Fijian Islands.

The moths reach wingspans of 1,7 to 2,4 cm. [1]

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phazaca-cythera-jac

References:

[1] Gaden S. Robinson: Macrolepidoptera of Fiji and Rotuma: a taxonomic and biogeographic study. Classey 1975

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

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