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Photography from Maui, part 2

 
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MarkSturtevant



Joined: 21 Nov 2015
Posts: 542
Location: Michigan, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 6:11 am    Post subject: Photography from Maui, part 2 Reply with quote

Here I continue a summery of some of the arthropods encountered in Maui last summer.
Flying scarab beetles were pretty common. I finally managed to catch one while at a Luau with the family, and it stayed in my dress pants pocket for the evening until I could get back to the condo for pictures. This is Protaetia orientalis, the oriental flower beetle, and it ranges through Asia.
Oriental flower beetle by Mark Sturtevant, on Flickr

Back at the Maui National Wildlife Refuge, the pickle weed ground cover that abounds near the ocean shoreline had large numbers of exceptionally tiny butterflies. This is the Western pygmy blue (Brephidium exilis), and is described as one of the smallest butterflies in the world (!) I can well believe that, with a wingspan barely over 12 mm. I think it would barely cover the fingernail of your little finger. This tiny creature ranges through parts of Asia, and can also be found in the Southwestern states of the US.
Western pygmy blue - one of the smallest butterflies in the world! by Mark Sturtevant, on Flickr

For this trip I borrowed an LED ultra-violet flashlight from a friend. These inexpensive tools are useful for spotting arthropods at night, since many of them will fluoresce brightly under UV light. The best known example are scorpions, but actually many arthropods do this. I brought the UV light to Maui specifically because there are scorpions and giant centipedes there (never saw any ?), but I did have success with the numerous millipedes that come out at night. I have no ID other than ‘yellow striped millipede’ from online sources. As you can see they glow brightly under UV.
Yellow striped millipede by Mark Sturtevant, on Flickr
Yellow striped millipede by Mark Sturtevant, on Flickr

Bringing up the rear is a cool little fly. I thought would be one of the stilt-legged flies, but it actually belongs to a different family. This is the banana stalk fly, Telostylinus lineolatus. It ranges through much of Asia.
Bananna stalk fly by Mark Sturtevant, on Flickr
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