The effects of leaf age and host plant on larval development of an endemic Fijian butterfly Papilio schmeltzi (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae)
The islands of the Fijian archipelago contain approximately 44 species of butterfly, five of which are thought to be endemic (Patrick & Patrick 2002; Prasad & Waqa-Sakiti 2007). The endemic Fijian swallowtail butterfly Papilio schmeltzi (Herrich-Schaeffer) is the only member of the Papilionidae to occur in Fiji. This species is usually found in forest or areas with dense vegetation and although widely distributed it is only ever locally abundant (Patrick & Patrick 2002 Prasad & Waqa-Sakiti 2007). Primarily due to habitat loss, forest fragmentation and habitat degradation, it is thought that P. schmeltzi is currently undergoing a severe population decline and significant reduction in geographic range (Chandra et al. 2013a).