Art. LX.—On the occurrence in New Zealand of Diadema bolina, Linn.
[Read before the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury, 1876.]
On the authority of my friend Mr. T. H. Meinertzhagen, of Waimarama, Hawke Bay, I am able to record the capture, in New Zealand, of a female specimen of this large and handsome Butterfly.
It is now in my possession, having been kindly presented to me by that gentleman, who informs that it was taken by a son of Mr. Thomas Turner, of Riverslea, Napier, where the boy caught it with his hat about the end of December or beginning of January last. Unfortunately the insect is in a rather dilapidated condition, otherwise it would be a very fine specimen, being 4 inches and 5 lines (9 lines more than the Australian specimens in the Canterbury Museum) in the expanse of the wings.
From all I can learn, it appears that, of the male of this species, there have been seven reputed captures in New Zealand, including two specimens now in the Auckland Museum; but that this is the first recorded capture of a female, and that, previously to this capture, there had not been a specimen, either male or female, seen in New Zealand for the last two or three years.
In the “Synonymic catalogue of Diurnal Lepidoptera,” by Mr. W.F.Kirby, the habitat of D. bolina is described as India, Otaheite, and the Moluccas; and, in the “Encyclopèdie D'Histoire Naturelle,” par Le Dr. Chenu, as America, Africa, and Asia.
The occurrence of the species in New Zealand appears to me to strengthen the opinion I ventured to express, in my paper “On the ocurrence of a Butterfly, new to New Zealand, of the genus Danais,” * as to New Zealand and Australia having been, at some distant period, connected, or nearly connected, with the Continent of Asia.
[Footnote] * “Trans. N.Z. Institute,” Vol. VI., p. 183.