Art.. XXVII.—On the Occurrence of Junonia vellida and Deopeia pulchella in New Zealand.
[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, 18th February, 1887.]
During the present summer a new butterfly has appeared in the Wellington District, which I have every reason to believe has not previously been met with in New Zealand. On December 26th, while collecting on the sea-beach near Paremata, I noticed a large butterfly, which I at first thought was Vanessa cardui, but on capturing the insect was surprised to find it quite distinct. By careful searching I procured four more specimens, one of which I forwarded to Mr. Olliff, of Sydney, for identification, who has kindly informed me that it is Junonia vellida, a very common Australian insect. Since that time I have taken two more specimens at Wainuiomata, and the insect is very abundant at Paikakariki, where I saw a great number last week, but was unable to take any owing to their great timidity, and the rough nature of the ground.
I think there can be little doubt that this insect is a true native of New Zealand, which has been previously overlooked, as it is quite impossible that so many specimens could have been accidentally introduced by artificial means.
I have also to announce the capture of Deopeia pulchella at Wainuiomata, another welcome addition to our fauna. It is a very wide-spread species, but this is, I think, the first specimen which has been taken in New Zealand.
The beautiful Painted Lady butterfly (Vanessa cardui), has also been more abundant this year than I have known it since my arrival in 1881.