7 Fascinating Insects of Fiji

Fiji Mosquito
Butterflies Of Fiji
Common-Eggfly-Hypolimnas-bolina Monarch-Butterfly-Danaus-plexippus
Long-tailed-Blue-Lampides-boeticus Meadow-Argus-Precis-villida
Beetles Of Fiji

Fijian Name: Nanai

Raiateana knowlesi (was first described by Distant in as Tibicen knowlesi) is endemic to Fiji

Distribution: Known to occur from pares of the Serua and, Nadroga/ Navosa provinces on the main island of Fiji,Viti Levu.

Nanai make their appearance in countless millions.Their life above ground lasts just a few weeks, early on when the eggs are laid deep in tree branches and later on as young nymphs within the first year, before falling and burrowing into the ground for next 7 long years. On the eighth year, around the beginning of wet season it is believed, rising temperatures signals the Nanai to move upwards above ground. Millions of Nanai emerge during this season but only for one to two months at the most It is a brief and noisy invasion of the forests, but an event awaited eagerly by villagers in the Serua and Nadroga/Navosa province of Viti Levu who consider the Nanai a delicacy for gourmets.


Periodic emergence where adults emerge once every eight years. Cicadas go through an incomplete metamorphosis where immature stages called nymphs look very similar to adults but lack wings and
reproductive structures. After a series o f molts, the final mole to adulthood occurs with the expansion of wings. After mating, the female deposits hundreds of eggs in bark of twigs.V~hen the Eggs hatch, the neon ympl* drop to the ground and burrow into thesoil.

Cultural Significance

Nanai is a sought after food especially in the Navosa province where the adults are collected as they emerge from their final nymphal shells and tied together in chains and cooked.lt is usually cooked in bamboo stems b6hre it is served with coconut milk.The taste is more or less like prawns roasted over charcoal.

Nanai would shelter in trees to protect themselves from predators such as birds, mongoose and snakes. Present, scientific publications indicate that Raiateana knowlesi has only been recorded onViti Levu .The nanai is of great significance to a particular clan in the Navosa Province, where all the chiefly daughters of that particular clan are accorded the title -“Rokonai”.The word”Roko” is a chiefly title given to male and female chiefs in some parts of Fiji.The word”nai” derives from the insece”nanai” which Is a rare delicacy for this clan in the Navosa province.Also, the year of emergence of the Nanai signifies the “yabaki ni saute” i.e. year of plenty from their agricultural produce. Women also use nanai for bait when they go out fishing.

Fiji Cicada - The Nanai
Nanai (Raiateana knowlesi)
Fiji Dragonfly
Rhyothemis PhylisAgrionoptera Insignis
Orthetrum SerapiaDiplacodes bipunctata
Fiji Moths
Fiji Bees
Fiji Ants
Fijian Stick Insects
Mimimata - Coconut-Stick-InsectUcidrau - Phasmid Chitoniscus feejeeanus
Ucikau - Phasmid Cotylosoma dipneusticumUcikau - Walking Stick Hermarchus apollonius