Hawaii Biological Survey’s


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98. Koa Butterfly

Scientific name: Udara blackburni

Hawaiian Name: —

Classification: Phylum: Arthropoda. Class: Insecta. Family: Lycaenidae

Origin: Endemic.

Status: Relatively uncommon.

Distribution: All main Hawaiian Islands except Ni‘ihau and Kaho‘olawe.

Map: —

Of 17 butterflies found in Hawai‘i, there are only 2 that are native. The Kamehameha Butterfly (Card No. 50) and this little guy, the Koa Butterfly, sometimes called Blackburn’s Blue. The Koa Butterfly is only about an inch long with the upper sides of the wings blue (which gives butterflies of this group its common name) and the undersides green. Its caterpillars eat the leaves of koa and ‘a‘li‘i while the adults sip the nectar of flowers.

   Photo © William P. Mull