Distinctive butterfly also region's smallest
Southland's smallest butterfly is the Tiwai Boulder butterfly, recently recognised as a species distinct from the other Boulder butterflies.
It is nowhere common, but frequents the foodplant of its caterpillars, Creeping Muehlenbeckia, on the margins of Tiwai Point and Bluff Harbour. Although our smallest butterfly, there are hundreds of smaller moths.
The photo shows the tiny Tiwai Boulder butterfly with its distinctive white underwings.
Southland has a number of mispronounced placenames. Here are some of the offenders. The river flowing into Milford Sound is the Cleddau, a Welsh name and properly pronounced 'Clare-thigh'. Bauza Island in Doubtful Sound was given its name by a Spanish expedition and should be pronounced 'Bowtha', and Waikaka, meaning Kaka Stream, just shouldn't be 'Waikacker'. We can do it guys!!
Southland's Bushcraft team of 1892 was the first team from New Zealand to compete in the world chopping and sawing championships. After trials held at Eye Street, at the Old Caledonian Ground, a team of four - J O'Neill, E Dawson, H H Dawson and S Fisher was selected. The competitions were held at Latrobe, Tasmania.
Southland's two electric fish are the electric ray or torpedo, and blind electric ray or numbfish, both capable of giving a substantial electric shock if handled.
The lowest point in Southland on which you can stand is in the second tunnel from the Manapouri Power Station to Deep Cove. When the tunnel is "de-watered" a vehicle can drive along the tunnel 40m below sea level making it New Zealand's lowest road. The reclaimed land in the vicinity of the Invercargill Airport is at sea level and difficult to drain. The runway is officially two metres above sea level.
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