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Lualualei Lycaenids

August 29, 2009

Went hiking the other day to check out some conservation work being done by a contractor in the mountains of Lualualei Valley.  Here is the view from one of the trailheads…

View of Lualualei Valley from Mikilua exclosure trailhead.

View of Lualualei Valley from Mikilua exclosure trailhead.

On a previous hike through this area I saw an endemic Lycaenid, Udara blackburni (Blackburn’s Blue), so I brought a camera along with hopes to get some pics.  The bottom left portion of the next photo is approximate area where I saw it…

Beginning of Mikilua exclosure trail.

Beginning of Mikilua exclosure trail.

Unfortunately, on this occasion I did not see U. blackburni, but I did take some pictures of Tmolus echion, the Larger Lantana Butterfly.  This is also a Lycaenid, but it is not native to Hawaii – it was brought into the state from Mexico in 1902 to help control lantana.

Tmolus echion, The Larger Lantana Butterfly

Tmolus echion, The Larger Lantana Butterfly

Tmolus echion, The Larger Lantana Butterfly

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