What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Documenting Hawaii bugs
June 26, 2011
Hi love your site. Thank you so much for assisting me in identifying our bug.  My kids cheered like we won the lottery after seeing my recently snapped mystery beetle picture on line.  I must say your site has given me a whole new way of thinking about the tiny lives we share this planet with.

I’d searched bug guide and the Hawaii insect identification site for information (as well as doing other web research) before submitting the picture.  I had really taken them to use to look at while I was searching to see if I could find a match.  I admit my previous sheer terror at most bugs had me wishing most didn’t exist but I never enjoyed bug carnage–so looking at the Hawaii ID st was very hard.  Most are in some type of gel or petri dish or impaled for viewing. Seeing so many, even “enemy” bugs, displayed like that was quite distressing .   I was wondering if we could somehow help them change this by giving them better more accurate portraits (like the ones displayed on your site) to help them begin to have a much clearer, vivid catalog of information to perhaps replace the blurry impaled photos.

I know I’d appreciate it.  I’d also like better information like a listing of known feeding habits, habitat, plants that they like, are they garden-friendly, poisonous and if so how dangerous? i.e., mild, to other bug only, or severe.  That might seem like info so that one can destroy but it isn’t. For example if I knew what plants could attract “pest” bugs away from my garden or might attract beneficial insects to it, I could use that information to use simple natural methods of pest control.  Also as is the case here in Hawaii, we could help species nearing extinction like the beautiful Hawaiian Monarch butterfly, begin to flourish again–just by knowing what to plant.

I’m no expert photographer and I like my privacy but any photos I could submit to help I would definitely take a cup of bravery and try to snap for such a venture. I and I’m sure many others who live in these isles would definitely appreciate seeing more accurate Hawaii info, with a broader scope, on the web.  It could begin with you and the Hawaii insect identification site .

I know they have so many insects listed and it could take years, but the effort has to start somewhere eh? Can it begin with you?  Thank you so much for your site.

Hi Dasi,
Thanks for your suggestion.  Since our goal is to try to educate the web browsing public about the creatures that we share this planet with, we love posting photos of living specimens in their natural habitat, though we also gravitate to more unusual images that demonstrate the intersection between the natural world and the civilized world for purely aesthetic reasons.  Alas, we really haven’t the time to create a unique site dedicated to Hawaiian insects.  Many species found on Hawaii are actually non-native species that were accidentally introduced.  If you want to aggregate the Hawaiian insects found on our site, you may use our search engine and type in Hawaii or Hawaiian and you will find all the postings where those words are mentioned.  Our search engine works quite well.

I was delighted to see the Hawaii Insect site that you directed me to in your recent email.  I see that there is a site with pictorial images that don’t make me cringe. It is welcome addition to my educational sites.
I can’t believe how far a little knowledge goes.  I find myself catching spiders and releasing them now…me, an immensely terrified bugaphobe (my own word ). Seriously my kids looked at me today like “who is this woman and what did she do with our mom” when after they shrieked at a jumping spider (as we call them) I said “No killing! Catch it and put it outside,” then promptly helped them do it using an empty glass.  Heck I surprised myself.  Not so sure I can face them all but hey, small steps. Kudos for inspiring us critter-scarified folk to give our planet neighbors some thought..

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Hawaii

3 Responses to Hawaiian Insects Fanmail

  1. Cari says:

    Hi!

    I’m a biologist at Bowling Green State University. We are going to Hawaii to do a little insect research. Is there a Hawaiian bug dichotomous key you suggest?

  2. Cari says:

    Thank you, I just thought I would ask!

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