Hawaii Nei - "Natural History of Hawaii"

Hawaii Nei - Natural History of Hawaii

Plant Rant Coming Soon

Posted: Nov 11, 2010

Check back here soon to learn more about Hawaii’s plants - native, introduced and invasive!

Hawaii’s Native Birds

Posted: Oct 10, 2010

Roll over each bird to learn more Akiapolaau Akiapolaau Scientific name: Hemignathus munroi Status: Endangered Distribution: Hawai'i Island only, above 3,500' in 'ohi'a-koa forests. Best Adventures to Observe: Rainforest and Dryforest, Hakalau Forest Wildlife...read more


Posted: Aug 8, 2010

Evolution, Hawaiian Style Lava Dubautia Alpine Dubautia Hawaii is a world-class showcase of evolutionary process. In fact, in many ways it surpasses the examples from the Galapagos Islands. Hawaii’s extreme isolation coupled with its phenomenal array of life zones allowed for the small pool of...read more


Posted: Aug 8, 2010

Biogeography of Hawaii World map Biogeography is the study of how geography affects the biological world. Geographic features play a dominant role in shaping Hawaii’s natural world and make it a great place for biogeographic studies. The Hawaiian islands make up the most extensive archipelago on...read more

Natural History of Hawaii

Posted: Aug 8, 2010

Big Island. Big Dreams. Big Adventures. Often referred to as one of the world’s greatest natural history stories, the incredible legacy of the Hawaiian island chain begins with geology. Trillions of tons of rock, driven up from the earth’s molten mantle through a localized hot spot, created...read more


Posted: Aug 8, 2010

Conservation Pittosporum seeds eaten by rats Along with its world-class showcase of biology, evolution, geology, and astronomy, Hawaii has also gained the regrettable reputation as the endangered species capital of the world. Conservationists consider Hawaii to be at the forefront of the global...read more


Posted: Aug 8, 2010

Geology of Hawaii Hawaii’s volcanoes Everybody knows Hawaii has volcanoes. In fact, the Hawaiian islands are completely built up from the ocean floor. A volcano-making machine seethes deep beneath the island of Hawaii that geologists call a hot spot. Over the past 44 million years it has churned...read more

Hawaiian Hawk

Posted: Oct 10, 2009

Hawaiian Name: 'Io Scientific Name: Buteo solitarius Status: Endangered Native Species A symbol of Hawaiian royalty and favored by ali'i (chiefs). Currently, habitat destruction, nest disturbance and hunting threaten survival of this species. Distribution: Hawai'i Island, from sea level to...read more

Red Billed Leiothrix

Posted: Jun 6, 2009

Scientific Name: Leiothrix lutea Endemic to: Asia The Red Billed Leiothrix, also known as the Japanese Hill Robin, was introduced to Hawaii in the early 1900's from the US mainland and Asia as a cage bird. Found mainly in wet forests, their diet consists primarily of fruits and invertebrates....read more

Wekiu Bug

Posted: May 5, 2009

Scientific Name: Nysius wekiuicola Distribution: Summit areas of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa (above 13,000ft) on Hawaii Island. Diet: Straw like mouth parts are used by most seed bugs to pierce and suck out the insides of seeds. But on the barren mountain summits there are no seeds, so the Wekiu Bug...read more

Feral Goat

Posted: Apr 4, 2009

Scientific Name: Capra hircus History: Introduced to Hawaiian Islands in 1778 by Captain James Cook. Distribution: Sea level to higher elevations on all main islands. Prefer rocky slopes and open lava fields in drier areas. Ecological Impact: Feral Goats forage on grasses and other vegetation...read more


Posted: Mar 3, 2009

Scientific Name: Loxoides bailleui Distribution: Hawai'i Island only, in mamane-naio dry forests of Mauna Kea from 6,000 to 9,000 elevation. Today, the Palila occupies only 5% of its historic range on Hawaii Island. Diet: Feeds mostly on immature mamane seeds. Also takes naio berries, insects...read more

Hawaiian Bat

Posted: Feb 2, 2009

Hawaiian Name: Opeapea Scientific Name: Lasiurus cinereus semotus The Hawaiian Bat is the only endemic land mammal in Hawaii that is extant (surviving). The Hawaiian Bat has been on the federal list of endangered species since the 1970s. Population size is difficult to determine for the...read more

Carnivorous Catepillar

Posted: Jan 1, 2009

Scientific Name: Eupithecia spp. Family Geometridae (Inchworms), Eupithecia spp. Found in wet forests and shrublands, 18 known species of Eupithecia in Hawaii are unique from all other members of the genus: unlike their herbivorous brethren, these Hawaii Eupithecia are carnivorous and capture...read more

Hawaiian Monk Seal

Posted: Dec 12, 2008

Hawaiian Name: Ilio holo ikauaua Scientific Name: Monachus schauinslandi Most Hawaiian Monk Seals live in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, but a small number can be found on the main islands. Hawaiian Monk Seals live up to 30 years and grow up to 7 feet & 500 pounds. Their diet consists of...read more

Kamehameha Butterfly

Posted: Nov 11, 2008

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...read more


Posted: Sep 9, 2008

Scientific Name: Vestiaria coccinea Distribution/Habitat: Once widely distributed on all islands, the 'i'iwii are highly susceptible to avian pox and malaria and are now mostly found in 'ohi'a and koa forests above the "mosquito zone", on Hawai'i, Maui and Kaua'i. Diet: Primarily nectarivorous...read more

Feral Pig

Posted: Aug 8, 2008

Hawaiian Name: Pua'a Scientific Name:Sus scrofa History: A descendant of the small Asiatic domestic pigs introduced by Polynesians in the early colonization period (400AD) and the larger European domestic pigs first introduced by Captain James Cook in 1778. Distribution/Habitat/Diet: Found on...read more

Small Indian Mongoose

Posted: Jul 7, 2008

Scientific Name: Herpestes 'auropunctatus History: Introduced in 1883 from Jamaica (originally from India), to control rat populations in the sugar cane fields. However, because the mongoose is diurnal and the rat primarily nocturnal, they were not an effective bio-control. Distribution &...read more

Happy-Face Spider

Posted: Jun 6, 2008

Hawaiian Name:Nananana Makaki'i Scientific Name: Theridion grallator This spider is normally shy and retiring. It lives on the undersides of leaves in rainforests, mainly on the Big Island. It hunts primarily at night and feeds on small insects that it encounters. The "happy face" pattern is...read more