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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

fiji butterfly

Butterflies of the Fiji Islands

Butterflies are among nature's most beautiful gifts to mankind. They have been admired and studied for centuries. Even the most uninterested observer of the natural world can identify a butterfly and will, as likely as not, pause to watch a nearby colourful butterfly. Currently, 46 native and one introduced species of butterfly are known from Fiji, but there are certainly more species to be discovered and the distribution of our butterflies is poorly known. Fiji's butterflies belong to five families and five of the species are considered as endemic species and so found only in Fiji. Butterflies are not an important component of Fijian natural history lore, butterflies and moths are collectively called bebe (pronounced mbembe). I am posting some of them along with FDC hereunder

Details :

20c - Polyura caphontis Tailed Emperor

Polyura caphonitis is one of Fiji's endemic butterflies and is currently recorded only from Viti Levu and as such is a single-island endemic, however, there are observational records of this species from Taveuni also. Its hindwing has small 'tails' though these are not conspicuous in the field. A medium-sized butterfly with a wingspan of 7 cm.

$1.10 - Hypolimnas octocuta

This medium-sized butterfly (8 cm wingspan) is a rare Fijian species. The peach-coloured submargin of the hindwing with its white dots encircled black are this butterflies distinguishing feature. The current known distribution of H.octocula is restricted to three islands in the northern Lau Group, Kadavu and Ovalau. It is not endemic as it is also recorded from Vanuatu. New Caledonia and Micronesia.

$1.20 - Doleschallia bisaltide Leafwing

This distinctive medium-sized butterfly (wingspan of 7 cm) has wings shaped so that the resting butterfly (when its wings are closed over its back) resembles an old dried up leaf The hind wings bear a small tail. However, when it flies, a rich orange upper surface is revealed.

$2 - Danaus hamata Blue Tiger

A distinctly black and white butterfly when seen in the field but the bluish tinge is visible in the hand. A medium-sized, strong flying butterfly with a wingspan of 7 cm, the Blue Tiger is closely related to the Monarch butterfly whose annual migrations in many parts of the world are well-known. In Australia, the Blue Tiger has also been recorded undergoing seasonal movements but these do not appear to be well entrained migrations. Widespread on the larger islands in Fiji, the Blue Tiger is another species which extends from south-east Asia, Papua New Guinea and across the Pacific to Tonga.

Fist Day Cover - Hypolimnas bolina Blue Moon (Male)

The Blue Moon is probably Fiji's best known butterfly. It is large with a wingspan up to 10 cm, common and has a reasonably confiding nature. Blue Moons are commonly found in suburban gardens. Males and females differ considerably with the wings of females being duller and lacking the spots. Blue Moons are widespread being found all over Fiji and worldwide range from the Indian sub-continent, through south-east Asia. Papua New Guinea. Australia and right across the Pacific to Pitcairn Island. Recently, scientists studying this species in Samoa believe they have seen one of the fastest aeoes of butterfly.

-- I am thankful to the author and web.

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