Polynesian Rat

Polynesian Rat

Polynesian Rats (Rattus exulans) are common in a variety of habitats at lower elevations here in Hawaii. These rats are native to Southeast Asia, but they have now spread to the islands of the tropical and subtropical Pacific thanks to humans. Polynesian Rats were originally brought here to Hawaii by the early Polynesians, and these… Read More →

Common Myna

Common Myna

One of the most ubiquitous Hawaiian birds is the Common Myna or Indian Myna (Acridotheres tristis). Common Mynas are native to south Asia, and they were brought here to Hawaii in 1865 to control a large infestation of army worms (plant-damaging moth caterpillars). The clever and adaptable Common Mynas now thrive here in Hawaii and… Read More →

Ohia Psyllid Galls

Ohia Psyllid Galls

Psyllids or Jumping Plant Lice are small, jumping, winged, highly host-specific plant-feeding bugs in the Superfamily Psylloidea. Not only can Psyllids weaken plants with their feeding and spread plant diseases, their nymphs (immature Psyllids) can form unsightly, disfiguring galls on host plants. I observed these weird, red, pimple-like galls on the leaves of an 'Ohi'a… Read More →

Skeleton Flower

Skeleton Flower

Skeletonized leaves are not terribly rare, but this lace-like skeletonized flower is the first one I've ever seen, and despite its ghostly transparency and veiny, deathlike appearance, it was still soft and alive. Adding to its creepiness, I found it growing near an old Hawaiian burial site. The skeleton flower is that of a White… Read More →