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

Hasora chromus ssp. bilunata Butler

Pacific Awl Skipper (Hasora chromus ssp. bilunata)

The subspecies that occurs on the Fijian Islands furthermore occurs in New Guinea, on the Solomon Islands as well as in Vanuatu.

The butterflies reach a wingspan of 3,6 to 4,5 cm.

The caterpillars feed on the leaves of the Pongamia (Millettia pinnata (L.) Panigrahi).

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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

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

Imperata conferta (Presl) Ohwi

Imperata conferta

Distribution:

Fiji: Gau, Kadavu, Koro, Lakeba, Matuku, Moala, Moturiki, Ovalau, Taveuni, Vanua Levu, Viti Levu, Wakaya, Waya, Yanuca
Samoa: Ofu, Savai’i, Ta’u, Tutuila
Tonga: ‘Eua, Niuafo’ou, Tafahi
Wallis & Futuna: Futuna, ‘Uvea

local names:

gi – Fiji

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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

Catochrysops taitensis Boisduval

Tahitian Blue (Catochrysops taitensis)

The Tahitian Blue was described in the year 1832.

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

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

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References:

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

Entada phaseoloides (L.) Merr.

Entada phaseoloides

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Rurutu, Tubuai
Cook Islands: Aitutaki, ‘Atiu, Mangaia, Rarotonga
Fiji: Gau, Kabara, Kadavu, Koro, Lakeba, Leleuvia, Matuku, Moala, Moce, Nasoata, Nayau, Nukulau, Ovalau, Taveuni, Vanua Levu, Vatulele, Vanua Balavu, Vanua Levu, Viti Levu, Waya, Yanuca, Yanucalailai, Yanucalevu
Hawai’i Islands: Kaua’i
Kiribati: Palmyra Atoll
Marquesas: Tahuata
Niue

Samoa: Savai’i, Ta’u, Tutuila, ‘Upolu
Society Islands: Taha’a
Tonga: ‘Eua, Tongatapu, ‘Uta Vava’u
Wallis & Futuna: Alofi, Futuna, ‘Uvea

local name:

soni ni veikau – Fiji
wa damu – Fiji
wa lai – Fiji
wa taqiri – Fiji
wa tiqiri – Fiji

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References:

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