The Atoll of Funafuti, Ellice group : its zoology, botany, ethnology and general structure based on collections made by Charles Hedley of the Australian Museum, Sydney, N.S.W.
Lepidoptera. — Family Nephalidæ
Junonia vellida, Fabr One specimen, damaged.
Only one species—and of that a single specimen—of Lepidoptera was obtained, namely Junonia vellida. This species with four others, namely, Euplcea eleutho, E, distincta, Diadema nerina, and D. otaheitce, were obtained by the Rev. J. S. Whitmee at the Ellice Islands, and was duly recorded in a paper by A. G. Butler, in 1878."* Referring to J. vellida, the writer penned the following interesting note:—" Resembles Australian examples, being less suffused with orange-tawny than Samoan specimens." In another paper, entitled "Lepidoptera collected by Mr. C. M. Woodford in the Ellice and Gilbert Islands,"† Mr. Butler records J. vellida from Nukufetau (Ellice Group) and Tapetewea (Gilbert Group), and Hypolimnas rarick from Tapetewea. Mr. Woodford also refers to the two last-named species in his paper, ‡ and states that the larva of J. vellida feeds upon Scœvola kœnigii, and the larva of H. rarick on an Abutilon. He says that "of the two species of butterflies, J. vellida is generally distributed throughout the Pacific Islands, but H. rariek, so far as I know, although found in the Marshalls, does not extend further to the south-east than the Gilbert Group." §
Commenting on the Lepidoptera of the island, Mr. Hedley says:—" Large green caterpillars whose clawed tails proclaimed them of the Sphingidæ were occasionally brought by the natives, and were probably related to a large day-flying hawk-moth, like the European clearwing which Was rarely seen, hovering and dashing from tree to tree above the sweep of a butterfly net. Small moths were to be obtained by beating the bushes, and swarmed to our lamp at night through the open sides of our native hut."
* Proc. Zool. Soc, 1878, pp. 296-7.
† Ann. & Mag. Nat. Hist. (5), xv., pp. 238-9.
‡ Geogr. Journ., vi., 4, 1895, p. 348.
§ hoc. cit., p. 349.