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Volume 29, 1896
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Papers.—1. “Notice of the Occurrence of Diadema nerina at Hamilton, Waikato,” by S. T. Seddon.

On the afternoon of the 20th of April last, when the sun was in its power, our garden was graced by the presence of a most beautiful butterfly (Diadema nerina). It was seen by Mrs. Seddon, myself, and the servant; it stayed with us about a quarter of an hour, sipping honey from petunias, phlox, and heliotrope. It was a large insect, measuring about 4in. in expanse of wing. The predominant colour was velvety black, with broad white markings, and a small white spot at the apex of each upper wing, and a large round white spot in the middle of each lower wing, surrounded by a zone of iridescent purplish blue, which in some lights was emerald-green. The whole insect was covered with velvety hairs inclining to brown over the body and adjacent parts. The broad white markings on the upper wings were most distinct when the insect was looking down from above. It is very powerful in flight, which resembles that of Vanessa atalanta. Diadema nerina is decidedly the queen of New Zealand Lepidoptera, and, although I have been in New Zealand thirty-six years without seeing this beautiful butterfly, I am already hungering to see it again.

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Mr. Cheeseman said Diadema appeared to be very scarce in New Zealand, although not uncommon in Australia and some Parts of Polynesia. It was first collected by Dr. Sinclair, who sent a specimen the British Museum about 1855. Since then not more than ten or twelve specimens appear to have been taken in all.


“Notes on the Cicadas of New Zealand,” by A. T. Potter. (Transactions, p. 280.)


“On Fires in Coal-ships: Their Causes and Prevention,” by J. C. Firth. (Transactions, p. 100.).