This article has a number of interesting facts about Hawaii and the types of Hawaiian tropical flowers, birds, and insects you can expect to find there.
Endemic species are everywhere on Hawaii, the Island chain created by volcanoes far from everything in the pacific ocean. The “3 W’s” Wind, Waves and Wings used to be the only way to get to Hawaii before humans starting bringing organism with them. The waves transported coconuts, swimming animals and animals caught on floating objects to the island, the wind brought airborne seeds and tiny organisms and the wings, I.E. Birds and insects could fly there bringing nuts, seeds and parasites with them.
Hawaii is located roughly 4000km (2400 miles) from the nearest continental shore and is therefore the most isolated group of islands on the planet. The existing main islands have only been above surface for 10 million years, but other high volcanic islands existed before them so biological colonization of land organisms was already taking place in the region when the current islands emerged from the sea. Many submerged banks and coral atolls in the area are remnants of these ancient peaks.
Hawaii’s remoteness has acted as biological filter since a population of a colonizing species here tend to stem from a very narrow number of settlers; sometimes just one or two organisms that happen to end up on the island and find favorable conditions.
This means a very small gene pool with make it easy for new species to develop as every mutation can get a large effect on the entire population. Compared to most other large animals, birds quite often find remote islands since they can fly. Most birds might just fly on or return to whence they came but some will stay and is time the ancestors of these birds might develop into new species.
On Hawaii, you can for instance find birds such as Hawaiian Duck (Anas wyvilliana), Hawaiian Goose (Branta sandvicensis), the Hawaiian Petrel (Pterodroma sandwichensis) as well as the Hawaiian Hawk (Buteo solitarius). In the local language, they are known as Koloa maoli, Nene, Ua u, and Io, respectively. One example of the many Hawaiian tropical flowers Endemic to the islands is Hibiscus brackenridgei, the official state flower of Hawaii. It is known as Ma’o hau hele in the local language and can be found in shrub lands and dry forest areas below an elevation of 800 meters (2600ft). It is present on all the main islands except Ni’ihau and Kaho’olawe is somewhat uncommon and can be hard to find. Ma’o hau hele produces large yellow flowers with a maroon center that grows singly or in small clusters at the ends of branches.
There exists many endemic spider and insect species on Hawaii and among them you will find the snail-eating caterpillar Hyposmocoma molluscivora, the happy faced spider Theridion grallator, and the tree-living snail Achatinella apexfulva. Hyposmocoma molluscivora is a type of moth and the larvea of this moth species uses silk to capture snails and then crawls into their shells where they eat the snail alive. This species is endemic to Maui and is known to make a silk case which it decorates with the shell of the snails it has eaten, it has been suggested that this might be to hide from their prey.
Share thisSubscribe to Newsletter