Subject: butterfly in Solomon Islands
Location: Honiara, Solomon Islands
July 23, 2012 6:42 am
Trying to find the name of the butterfly I saw today in Solomon Islands.
Signature: Kengo Hoshina
This is not a butterfly. It is a moth in the family Uraniidae, and we recall a similar looking species from our archive. We found this image of a Tropical Swallowtail Moth from Malaysia, Lyssa zampa, posted in January, and it appears to be closely related to your individual. Knowing that islands often contain distinct species and subspecies that have developed in isolation, we tried to find any references to moths from the genus Lyssa on the internet. The only match was what appears to be your moth on FlickR, but alas, it is not identified though the location is listed as Vara Creek, Honiara, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands. The subfamily Uraniinae on Wikipedia mentions a species from the Solomon Islands, Lyssa mutata, but there are no photos and we could not locate any photos of Lyssa mutata on other websites online. We can only speculate that your moth might be Lyssa mutata, but in the event we are wrong, we are still confident that we have correctly identified the genus.