Hawaii Biological Survey’s
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Mauna Loa Flightless Bug
Scientific name: Nysius aa
Hawaiian Name: —
Classification: Phylum: Arthropoda. Class: Insecta. Family: Lygaeidae
Status: One population known.
Distribution: Summit of Mauna Loa on the Big Island.
This tiny bug is the flightless cousin of the Wekiu Bug (Card no. 53) that is found only on the summit of Mauna Kea a short distance away. The same as the Wekiu Bug, the Mauna Loa bug preys on small invertebrates it encounters on the cold windy summit of the mountain. The other species in this genus are seed feeders, but these guys have adapted to instead prey on meaty little tidbits!
|Photo © William P. Mull|