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Invertebrates in Marlborough

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Invertebrates are a diverse range of animals that includes worms, molluscs, insects, arachnids, crustaceans and more. Invertebrates lack a backbone, and represent more than 90 percent of varieties of all animal species globally, with potentially an even higher percentage in New Zealand, where terrestrial vertebrates are limited to birds and two bat species. Many species of invertebrates are found throughout Marlborough including introduced pest species such as wasps cockroaches, and garden snails, while there are some unique endemic species found nowhere else in the world such as the endangered Mat Daisy Jumper (Kiwaia), found only along a section of Rarangi beach. The endangered katipō spider is found along Marlborough's east coast.

Invertebrates can be found in all habitats including marine and freshwater environments, to alpine areas, with many well adapted to human environments.

Invertebrates are an important part of Marlborough's economy, with kuku or Greenshell Mussels (Perna canaliculus), an iconic species farmed in the Marlborough Sounds, while pāua and kōura (rock lobster) are important species harvested along the eastern coastline of Marlborough south to Kaikōura. Giant squid off Marlborough's coast are another important invertebrate although rarely seen, as they provide food for sperm whales which have become a popular tourist attraction.

Anachloris subochraria (Golden Grass Carpet)

A. subochraria is a small moth native to New Zealand and parts of Australia.

Austrolestes colensonis Kēkēwai / Blue Damselfly

Kēkēwai / Blue Damselfly is New Zealand's largest endemic damselfly, with the common name derived from the males' distinctive blue colour.

Backobourkia brouni

Backobourkia brouni is a large orbweaver spider native to New Zealand and Australia.

Black mountain ringlet butterfly

The black mountain ringlet butterfly is a native butterfly found only in alpine regions of the South Island of New Zealand.

Blue Tube Worm (Spirobranchus cariniferus)

Blue Tube Worm (Spirobranchus cariniferus) or toke pā to Māori are a marine polychaete worm endemic to New Zealand.

Copper butterfly

The coastal copper butterfly (Lycaena salustius) is a small butterfly endemic to New Zealand, found throughout the country.

Nyctemera annulata (Magpie moth)

Nyctemera annulata (Magpie moth) is a medium sized moth endemic to New Zealand with larvae that feed on members of the daisy family.

Pterophorus innotatalis

Pterophorus innotatalis is a member of the Pterophoridae (plume moth) family, endemic to New Zealand

Scopula rubraria (Plantain Moth)

Scopula rubraria (Plantain Moth) is a small moth native to New Zealand, Australia, and New Caledonia.