satellite view from PMNM
E komo mai; welcome! Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge is surrounded by a lei of foam in the middle of the North Pacific; it's a beautiful, special place.

Not only are there albatross on Midway, but many other interesting kinds of wildlife, both on the land and in the sea. Please enjoy exploring FOAM, an educational blog actively done while on Midway from May through August 2010. Posts are added from off-Midway, as information becomes available. If you're interested in a particular topic, please use the search box or the alphabetical list of "labels" along the left side of the blog page.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Creepy Crawly Critter

There are almost 500 creepy crawlies -- insects, spiders, centipedes, and things like that -- on Midway.  Some of them are native, but this one is not.  This large, shiny, green, non-native beetle is really common right now.  It's called the Midway Emerald Beetle, Protaetia pryeri (no Hawaiian name, because it's not native!  It was probably accidentally introduced from China.)  The Beetle has been attacking  red hibiscus flowers near my house.
If it does this to flowers, wouldn't it be awful if the Midway Emerald Beetle got to the main Hawaiian Islands?  It would attack papaya, mangoes and other crops!  When I go home to O`ahu, I'll check my baggage carefully!

2 comments: said...

Hey, have the creepy crawly evolved to fill eco niches the way birds on the remote islands have evolved to fill roles that mammals do on the mainland?

Catch my drift?

Barb said...

Hi Uncle Ty --

You're right about insects & creepy crawly evolving on remote islands. The native Hawaiian fruit flies are famous for having adaptively radiated. And there's even a carnivorous caterpillar in Hawai`i!!

But the Emerald Green Beetle is a very recent arrival in Hawai`i (specifically Midway); it's only been here about 50 or 60 years. It hasn't had time to be anything other than a pest, a really invasive pest. Hope it doesn't get to the main Hawaiian Islands, where it could devastate the food & tropical flower businesses!