Waipio Valley Stream Restoration Study

Crustaceans: Native Species

Scientific name: Atyoida bisulcata
Common name(s): ‘Ōpae kala‘ole,‘Ōpae kuahiwi

Atyoida bisulcata

Status: Endemic

Habitat: These native shrimp are excellent climbers and can be found in the upper parts of streams. They are often in the fastest part of the stream, clinging to boulders and rocks. They prefer very clean and unaltered streams.

Preferred Area of Stream: Fast riffle areas. The faster the water the better for this species.

Range in Hawai‘i: Common but declining on O‘ahu. Found in “high quality” streams on Kaua‘i, O‘ahu, Maui , Moloka‘i, and Hawai‘i.

Diet: ‘Ōpae kala‘ole catch bits of plant and animal matter in the running water with their modified pincers bearing hairs that enable them to catch food material drifting down the stream.

Predators: Introduced and native fish, crayfish, Tahitian prawns. Even the native ‘o‘opu ‘alamo‘o has been observed to eat this species, but introduced fish such as smallmouth bass nearly eliminate when they are introduced to a stream. Birds such as ‘auku‘u (black-crowned night-herons) and ‘ulili (wandering tattler) will also eat this species.

Fact: This was a favorite food of the early Hawaiians. These shrimp lay eggs that hatch and flow down to the ocean. The larvae stay in the ocean for a few months and then spend the rest of their lives in the stream. These shrimp are great climbers, can even climb waterfalls, and are found to well over 3,000 ft elevation.