Scientific Name: Vanessa tameamea
Distribution: Endemic to Hawaiian islands, found mainly in upland woodlands. The Kamehameha Butterfly was the first of the Lepidoptera to be described in the Hawaiian Islands and named in the early 1800s for Kamehameha I.
Diet: Adults are sap and nectar feeders on koa, naio and other native forest trees. Caterpillars prefer to feed on native nettles and are commonly found on mamaki.leaves.
Biology: Caterpillars are usually bright green with a yellowish line on each side of the body and harmless dark spines. They pupate a month after hatching into a spiny chrysalis that resembles a dead leaf. Adult butterflies emerge in about 2 weeks.