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The Butterflies of Pohnpei, Eastern Caroline Islands, Micronesia

Pacific Science
BioOne (Pacific Science)
Publication Date
  • Agricultural Science


Fourteen species of butterflies are recorded from Pohnpei, Micronesia, seven for the first time. None is endemic to the island; all are widely distributed in the western Pacific, including parts of Indo-Australia, with many extending into or beyond southeastern Asia. A long history of plant introductions and agricultural experimentation may have facilitated dispersal of butterflies to the island and provided a broad selection of host plants for those arriving otherwise unassisted. At least one, and possibly two or more, unidentified species apparently confined to deep forest habitats were seen but not collected during this study. Compared with the local odonate fauna, the butterflies of Pohnpei differ in reaching their greatest abundance and species diversity in the lowlands, in lacking endemic species, and probably in having a higher turnover rate.

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