The Hawaiian Upland damselfly (Megalagrion hawaiiense) is endemic to the state. Hawaiians called dragonflies pinao and damselflies pinao ‘ula. I’ve never been sure what the difference between the two is but I have learned that, among other things, damselflies tend to be smaller, have eyes on the side of the head that are clearly separate, and can fold their wings behind them.
This one was on the Kaumana Trail off Saddle Road (officially the Daniel K. Inouye Highway) at an elevation just over 5,000 feet.
Orthosiphon aristatus is better known in the U.S. as Java tea or cat’s whiskers, which I think is particularly fitting. This one was at the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden just north of Hilo on the east side of the Big Island.
For more information about Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, go to htbg.com.
The sleepy orange butterfly (Abaeis nicippe) is one of the newest introductions to Hawaii. It was first seen on Oahu in December 2013 and is already established on all the main Hawaii islands, an unusually rapid spread. Part of its success in thriving here might be that has a wide range of habitats where it can live. It’s been spotted from sea level all the way up to 6,800 feet.
While its name is sleepy orange, like most of the butterflies I see here, it’s a rapid flier, jitterbugging around in such a way that it’s hard to capture in flight. Fortunately for me, this one was jitterbugging in 30 m.p.h. winds and seemed happy to take any opportunity to find a sheltered spot to rest.
I came across this on a rocky stretch of coast, placed there by someone who liked the shape as much as I do. It’s a lump of bleached coral, but looks like a small, tubby lap dog not at all pleased about being toted to such an uncomfortable spot. I particularly like the petroglyph-like form on its side.