Bugs of Fiji

I was pleasantly surprised by the number of insects and spiders I came across in Fiji.   As one moves further away from large land masses, the number of species of animals dwindles.   This phenomenon is especially evident as one moves from west to east across the vast Pacific ocean, starting in Asia and Australasia, and moving steadily towards Hawaii and Tahiti.   Fiji is already a significant distance away from the centers of biodiversity, however these islands are larger than many others in the Pacific, and there are enough smaller islands between Fiji and the larger lands to the west to allow a reasonable selection of birds, insects and even reptiles to make the journey.

I came across far more spiders than I expected, especially on the small, dry and somewhat bare island of Wayalailai at the southern end of the Mamanuca chain, north of the main island of Viti Levu.   As well as some beautifully coloured and patterned diurnal spiders, I also came across one or two very large nocturnal species, one individual spending the entire night inside a stall in the men's toilet at the backpacker's resort where I was staying.

I saw a few dragonflies and damselflies on Wayalailai, Taveuni and Vanua Levu, but I really hit the jackpot when I went to Koroyanitu National Park, part way inland on Viti Levu.   The stream that flows through the main valley in this park was home to a concentrated variety of these attractive insects.

There weren't as many butterflies or caterpillars as I might have liked, nevertheless I did photograph a number of species, including the ubiquitous blue moon butterfly, which is pretty common but isn't very easy to photograph because of its jumpiness.  I didn't see any wildly spectacular butterflies, and I'd say that the caterpillars were probably more interesting, a not uncommon situation anywhere in the world.

See the bugs of Belize, Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, the USA and Vietnam.