Sunday, April 22, 2018
University of Hawaii at Manoa
University of Hawaii System
College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
Welcome to the Pulelehua Project! 

The Kamehameha butterfly (Vanessa tameamea) is endemic to Hawaiʻi, meaning it is found nowhere else in the world. It was officially adopted as our State Insect in 2009, in response to a proposal by a group of elementary school students. The butterfly was named in honor of the House of Kamehameha, the royal family that unified the Hawaiian Islands in 1810, and reigned until the death of Kamehameha V in 1872. The Kamehameha butterfly was formally described in 1878.
Although the butterfly is historically known from all the main Hawaiian Islands (Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Lanaʻi, Maui, and Hawaiʻi), it is no longer found in some areas where it used to be common (e.g. Tantalus on Oʻahu), and it appears to be declining. The Pulelehua Project is an effort to map current populations of the Kamehameha butterfly using observations submitted by the public, combined with surveys of remote areas by scientists. Pulelehua is the Hawaiian word for butterfly. 

We need your help! We are calling upon anyone who sees a Kamehameha butterfly, caterpillar, egg, or chrysalis to submit their photos and observations. Your data will be used to map the current distribution of the Kamehameha butterfly, and help determine how and why it has declined. You can also use this site to learn more about how to find and identify the different life stages and host plants of the Kamehameha butterfly.

The Pulelehua Project was developed by researchers at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, with funding from the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife
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