Rhyncogonus | Keiki Tee -yellow

Sale price Price $35.00 Regular price

100% Organic cotton | Designed in Hawaiʻi nei | Made in the USA

Although weevils (beetles with long snouts) may not be #1 on your insect
favorites list, perhaps you’ll reconsider when you learn about Hawaiʻi’s
surprisingly large radiation of ponu ʻai lau (Rhyncogonus spp.): 47 species,
most endemic to a single island or island area and all of them species of
concern. Kauaʻi and Oʻahu have the largest number of endemics, but they
occur on all the main islands as well as in the Northwestern group. They
live in coastal/lowland (0-1,000 ft.) and montane areas (upland and
forested zones from 1,000-3,000 ft.). Their wing covers are fused for
protection, an adaptation that has cost them the ability to fly. Crawling is
their only way to escape the hungry birds who love to eat them, like the
Puaiohi of Kauaʻi that has been seen to feed largely on ponu ʻai lau. Their
inability to fly has also astounded evolutionary biologists who guess they
must have hitched rides on birds to even the most remote corners of
Moananuiākea. A successful journey like that may have happened as little
as once every 20,000 years! Their life cycle is fascinating too. One species
glues its egg cluster to or between the leaves of the koa tree. The eggs
hatch there and at 8-15 days, the larvae drop to the ground and enter the
soil to continue their development. Eventually they make their way up
into trees where they feed on leaves at night, starting at the leaf edge and
chomping deep scallop shapes towards the midrib. During the day, they
may hide in the crotches of trees or descend to the leaf litter of the forest
floor to conceal themselves. Kokolo mai a peʻe kōpiko - Crawl over and
hide in the kōpiko.