Posts tagged with Rangatira Island

The mystery of the giant hoho weevils of Rangatira Island

  • Hadramphus weevil on hoho trunk at night, Rangatira Island, March 2018. Photo: Colin Miskelly
  • Coxella speargrasses in the Department of Conservation nursery at Te One, Chatham Island. Photo: Colin Miskelly
  • Map of Rangatira Island showing locations where blog images were taken. S = weevils feeding on speargrass, H1 = hoho tree near the hut, H2 = weevil site on summit track, H3 = weevil site in Kokopu Creek catchment.
  • Coxella weevil (Hadramphus spinipennis) feeding on coxella (Aciphylla dieffenbachii) at night, Rangatira Island, March 2018. Photo: Colin Miskelly

Te Papa curator Colin Miskelly has recently returned from volunteering for the Department of Conservation on the Chatham Islands. His inordinate fondness for weevils led to some new discoveries about one of Rangatira Island’s more cryptic yet spectacular inhabitants. The coxella weevil Hadramphus spinipennis was one of the 50 or so Chatham Island insects discovered… Read more »

Giant spiders and other critters of Rangatira Island, Chatham Islands

  • Slightly smaller and more brightly coloured than the female, a male Rangatira spider hunts on a mahoe trunk at night, Rangatira Island, March 2018. Photo: Colin Miskelly
  • A male Geodorcus capito stag beetle. Rangatira Island, March 2018. Photo: Colin Miskelly
  • Chatham Island skink Oligosoma nigriplantare. Rangatira Island, March 2018. Photo: Colin Miskelly
  • Subantarctic fur seal Arctocephalus tropicalis. Rangatira Island, March 2018. Photo: Colin Miskelly

Rangatira Island is best known as a refuge for rare birds, but it is also home to a spectacular variety of flightless insects, giant spiders, lizards, and seals. Te Papa natural environment curator Colin Miskelly recently spent a month on the island as a volunteer for the Department of Conservation. The team was mainly focussed… Read more »

The petrels of Rangatira Island, Chatham Islands

  • Innocent until proven. A broad-billed prion on Rangatira Island, March 2018. Photo: Colin Miskelly
  • A white-faced storm petrel fledgling climbing a tree in preparation for its first flights, Rangatira Island, March 2018. Photo: Colin Miskelly
  • A broad-billed prion at its burrow entrance, Rangatira Island, March 2018. Photo: Colin Miskelly
  • A downy black-winged petrel chick left unguarded on Rangatira Island, March 2018. Photo: Colin Miskelly

Rangatira Island is world famous for its immense seabird colonies. Te Papa bird expert Colin Miskelly recently took leave to join a Department of Conservation team focussed on black robin and Chatham petrel recovery programmes on the island. Much of the Chatham petrel work was undertaken at night, providing an opportunity to observe related species… Read more »