Animal Species:Niue Blue Nacaduba niueensis

The Niue Blue is the only endemic butterfly species found on the remote Pacific island of Niue. It was described by the Australian Museum Research Associate Rob Lachlan in 2012 from a pair of specimens, a male captured by Rob, and a female from the collections in the Bishop Museum, Hawaii.

Because there are only a handful of plant and animal species which are unique to Niue this butterfly has particular importance to the people of the island. The Premier of Niue intends to make this species the national butterfly for the island, and to feature this insect on a special run of postal stamps.

The Australian Museum is honoured to act as custodians for the type specimens of this rare butterfly on behalf of the people of Niue.

Niue Blue female underside

Dave Britton & Rob Lachlan © Australian Museum

Standard Common Name

Niue Blue

Number of species

1

Identification

This rather small brown butterfly cannot be confused with any other species occurring on the island of Niue. The upper side is brown in both sexes, with a scattering of blue scales at the base of the wings in some female specimens, whilst the underside has an intricate pattern of wavy brown, dark brown and white lines.

Distribution

Found only in a few isolated populations on the island of Niue.

Feeding and Diet

The adults are nearly always associated with their larval food plant, a widespread tree species in the genus Alphitonia

Feeding Habit

herbivore

What does this mean?

Classification

Species:
niueensis
Genus:
Nacaduba
Subfamily:
Polyommatinae
Family:
Lycaenidae
Superfamily:
Papillionoidea
Order:
Lepidoptera
Class:
Insecta
Phylum:
Arthropoda
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

Further Reading

Lachlan, R.B. 2012. A new species of Nacaduba Moore (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) from Niue, southwestern Pacific Ocean. Australian Entomologist, 39(2):49-54.


Dr David Britton , Head, Natural Sciences & Biodiversity Conservation
Last Updated:

Tags Niue Blue, Butterfly,