Endangered Hawaiian Insects II

Megalagrion xanthomelas

Megalagrion xanthomelas
Photo: David Eickhoff

In addition to 7 species of yellow-faced bees, the Fish and Wildlife Service has also placed the Orangeblack Hawaiian damselfly, Megalagrion xanthomelas, on the endangered species list. This damselfly is adapted to still water and is sometimes found in landscape ponds. It is a coastal, lowland damsel whose range has shrunk drastically. It has been eliminated from Pearl Harbor and only a remnant population remains on Oahu. Populations exist on other islands, but are threatened by the introduction of invasive species.

The Orangeblack Hawaiian Damselfly evolved in the absence of predatory fish. Its larvae feed in the open water rather than cryptically as do damselfly larvae adapted to predators such as minnows and guppies. This behavior makes it potentially susceptible to many alien aquatic predators. The population can likely be enhanced by excluding the alien predators that have invaded to date, but its existence is threatened by the constant introduction of new alien species.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in by jjneal, Endangered Species, Invasive Species. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Endangered Hawaiian Insects II

  1. Pingback: Endangered Hawaiian Insects II – Entomo Planet

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