They"re innocent looking enough. Just some marine snails in conical hats, clamped come the rocks in the intertidal zone, and also doing their component for the ecosystem by keeping the fuzzy algae in check. But the saying, the ia make ka opihi - the opihi is the fish of death, serves as a reminder the picking "opihi for their tasty meat is a risky business. While their form and strong muscular foot enables them to hold quick through pounding surf, the tidal surge can be downright frightening for the "opihi harvester. There space three varieties of "opihi here: the blackfoot, "opihi makaiauli; the yellowfoot, "opihi alinalina; and also the kneecap "opihi, or koele. The blackfoot inhabits locations closest come shore, the kneecap likes the a little bit deeper, and also the yellowfoot prefers it wherein the surf is roughest. Regardless of the difficulties for the collector, "opihi numbers have declined substantially due largely to overharvesting. A gallon that "opihi have the right to go because that as lot as $200. Presently, the "Opihi Partnership, spearheaded by the Nature Conservancy, is functioning to conference baseline data around "opihi populations near Maui and Kaho"olawe. Others are attempting come raise "opihi utilizing aquaculture approaches to relieve pressure on this humble limpet. On a next note, hereditary studies have been underway by researchers at the Hawaii academy of marine Biology. Lock have determined that each island has it"s own distinctive populations that "opihi.

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"Opihi are comparable to other naval snails in the they have actually gills, a mouth tube, a head v tentacles, and also a solid muscular foot. Castle are known to develop shallow depressions in the rock which becomes your "base camp." after venturing the end for feeding, they go back to the snugly-fitting base camp for extra gripping power. Despite they do not permanently attach themselves like barnacles do, they space the "super gluers" that the snails and may be near difficult to pry off as soon as a failed attempt to pluck them has actually been made. Your low profile likewise helps them to stay steadfast through wave activity and the ribbing that the shell permits water to drainpipe off easily. Traditionally, "opihi were likewise used together scrapers because that taro, and for jewelry.
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Slugfest Garden Slugs

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A slug in my backyard take away a break from dining on my kale.
Plant it, and they will come. Lettuce, kale, sweet potato - every fair game for the slugs in the backyard. The arugula seems like the just thing lock won"t touch, however that"s probably since they"re too busy eating the rest of the garden goodies (even slugs have actually preferences). Therefore if you can"t beat "em, mine tactic is come learn more about them. Very first off, they room gastropods, a class of pets that translates into "stomach-foot," and though it may show up that lock slide follow me on their bellies, your digestive system is in reality in a hump located on the backside, or dorsal next of their bodies. Unlike their various other gastropod relatives, the snails, there is no shell, or there may be a lessened or interior shell. There are sea slugs, and also even a genus the freshwater slugs, however in basic usage, the term "slug" describes land slugs, of i beg your pardon Hawaii has actually several species. Slugs need damp locations to save their soft body from dry out, for this reason they tend to be nocturnal, when they deserve to go about eating without worrying around dessication. Lock secrete two types of mucus: one that is thin and slippery, and another the is thick and sticky. The mucus serves number of functions: it help them come glide with tiny friction, but likewise keeps them indigenous falling off of upright surfaces. It also slows water loss, and presents potential predators through a slippery and distasteful surface that might be tough to organize onto. The all-too-familiar slime follow left by slug may also serve as a mode of communication among slugs search a mate, however on the flip side, it might clue carnivorous snails to the location of their following meal.Land slugs room hermaphrodites, meaning each slug has actually male and also female reproductive parts. Mating is a two-for-one special, with slugs trading sperm, then turn off they both go, laying (typically) about thirty egg a couple of days later. The young hatch within a month, feather to see what"s new in your garden. Prefer the adults, the young have actually two pairs of tentacles: the much longer top pair space optical, through eyespots at the ends, and also the shorter pair space for smell and touch. Respiration is often accomplished through the skin and also through a hole in the height side that the slug referred to as a pnuemostome, i beg your pardon is hard to see as soon as it is closed.Some the the slug seen here in Hawaii include: Sarasinula plebeia (the p slug), Veronicella cubensis (the cuban slug), and also Parmarion martensi (the yellow-shelled semislug). Some slugs and also snails deserve to be intermediate master of rat lungworm, a roundworm that can reason eosinophilic meningitis. The slugs pick up the larvae of the roundworm by eating rat feces; the larvae are then moved to people through vegetables matter eaten by the slugs, or by spend the slugs themselves. That is necessary that care is required to wash any kind of greens from your garden. With all that being said, slugs execute have eco-friendly benefits: castle are crucial food source for many animals, and help in the recycling of nutrient by breaking under organic matter.


The cuban slug, Veronicella cubensis. By David Robinson, APHIS–Plant Protection and also Quarantine , via Wikimedia Commons
The Yellow-shelled semislug, Parmarion martensi, and according to Wikipedia, that "is a organize for the nematode Angiostrongylus cantonensis, which causes rat lungworm disease. Parmarion martensi feeds on lettuce and also on papaya in gardens in Hawaii, and also is taken into consideration to be a pest." Photo: Forest and also Kim Starr.
Eggs and also juvenile the a Deroceras slug. Photo: by mate2code (Own work) CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)>, via Wikimedia Commons
Image ID: reef1119, NOAA"s Coral Kingdom arsenal Location: Mariana Islands, Guam Photographer: David Burdick. Keep in mind the sea cucumber on the bottom lip that the shell.
From the life-sustaining oceans, the ancients found countless gifts. One to be this, the Triton"s Trumpet. The shell, beautiful and also large, might produce a wealthy sound once its tip was filed down. Resounding out throughout the land and water, the punch of the pu was supplied in various creates of communication, and also often signified occasions of importance; because that example, the arrival of royalty, or the start of the Makahiki season. Spiritual protocols guided the usage of the pu and also the much cherished shells to be passed down from generation to generation. In Hawaiian waters, pu were often made from the Horned Helmet (Cassis cornuta) and the Triton"s Trumpet (Charonia tritonis), both large marine gastropod molluscs. Today"s write-up features the Triton"s Trumpet, the biggest snail in our waters, reaching sizes as much as twenty inches.
Like plenty of sea snails, it has actually a shell that is spirally coiled (some snails have conical shells, and also are generally referred to as limpets). The covering is ribbed and also is a mottled brown and also white in color. Locomotion is accomplished by a strong, muscular foot, i beg your pardon this snail uses to seek such food as sea urchins and also seastars. The triton"s trumpet is among the few organisms that food on the crown-of-thorns seastar, i beg your pardon is infamous for feeding on and destroying corals, making ours snail and also important player in the naval ecosystem. When the seastar has been captured, the triton holds that down through its strong foot. A saliva is injected i m sorry paralyzes that victim, climate the snail profit easy access to the seastar"s soft insides with its serrated radula, a tongue-like organ with scraping teeth. Though countless sea snails room hermaphroditic, the tritons are either male or female. After inner fertilization, a swarm of eggs room laid. The buoyant young hatch and also become component of the free-drifting plankton. Tritons deserve to be found in waters from relatively shallow to around seventy-five feet deep, which renders them fragile to collectors. If you room lucky sufficient to clues this treasure, finest to merely admire and leave it be, as they are becoming rarer across the globe. The corals will say thanks to you because that it.
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Streaming Live Hihiwai

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The freshwater endemic snail, Hihiwai. Photograph from the national Parks of the Pacific.
Hihiwai, Neretina granosa, is one endemic snail that inhabits cool, clean freshwater streams. And also though snails have actually a sluggish reputation, these males are rather the travelers. They lay capsules that eggs throughout the summer months, i beg your pardon hatch and also get to wash downstream right into the ocean. They"ll spend a good part of the year in ~ sea prior to recruiting earlier up the stream, pulling themselves along single-file through their strong, muscular foot. They have a distinctive shell: about an inch and also a fifty percent in length, with a dark height dotted in red, and an orangish operculum (the lid-like structure the snail provides to close the opened of the shell once it is retracted inside). The texture and shape the the shell may vary a bit, depending upon what component of the stream they inhabit; those at the reduced elevations have tendency to have actually rougher shells 보다 those additional upstream. They"re birds grazers, yet do most of your feeding in ~ night once they are much less likely to it is in gobbled up by "auku"u (night heron) and also other waders. Since their life cycle calls for clear, well oxygenated waters and unimpeded access from the streams to the ocean, lock are now uncommon on Oahu, i beg your pardon has had actually most of that streams modified.
One species of "Oahu tree snail, Achatinella bulimoides. Photo: military Environmental upgrade (originally post to Flickr together Hawaii award) , via Wikimedia Commons
Today"s article is to plan to give voice come the native tree snails of Oahu, genus Achatinella. Ns hope you come to be as enamored together I am through these "jewels of the forest." once abundant throughout Oahu, this genus of forty-one species of endemic, nocturnal snails has actually suffered native a "perfect storm" of events that has caused the loss of at least fifty percent to extinction, through the rest endangered or critically endangered. Those that continue to be cling come life on secluded ridges in the Ko‘olau and Wai‘anae ranges. Castle are small wonders indeed; all types are just approximately two centimeters long, v beautiful coloration and patterning that varies from types to species. As their surname suggests, they space arboreal, but do little damage to the indigenous trees the they prefer. Instead, lock dine on a fungus that grows ~ above the leaves, which might actually aid the trees to photosynthesize. Achatinella young develop in eggs inside the mother, then space born live. Castle live for as plenty of as ten years, yet their reproductive capacity is low. For example, Achatinella mustelinadoes just produces 4 to 7 offspring a year, and also this arising only after sexual maturity is reached, between ages three to five.
Achatinella sp. Photo: Steve Miller/U.S. Fish and Wildlife company , via Wikimedia Commons
The introduced Rosy wolf Snail is carnivorous and preys top top the aboriginal tree snails. Photo: Dylan Parker (Flickr) , via Wikimedia Commons
As you can imagine, their slow development rate and also fecundity would make castle a vulnerable species. Recovery would certainly be extra tough after any kind of event the would minimize their numbers. And there have actually been several. Because that years they were over-collected for their beautiful shells. Add to that the ns of lot of their indigenous habitat come farming and also other person activities. If that isn"t enough, we opened up the door to among their many dreaded predators: the carnivorous rosy wolf snail. Presented in 1955 come combat the huge African snail, the rosy wolf snail determined that the smaller, aboriginal snails taste a lot better. Rats have likewise taken their toll top top the population. But instead the throwing their hands up in the air, part have come to the snail"s rescue, including The Hawaiian Tree Snail conservation Lab, whose key goal is to treatment for rare Hawaiian tree snails and also breed lock in captivity. Nine varieties of Achatinella room under your loving care. Likewise fighting the good fight is the U.S. Fish and also Wildlife Service and the Oahu military Natural Resources program (OANRP), that are associated with the effort to develop snail refuges with elaborate "exclosure" solution to store predators out. I, for one, am grateful for their initiatives to conserve these jewels, and for the vital lesson the sometimes, big things come in little packages.

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Auntie Jeanne

welcomes you to visit with the every the wonderful flora and fauna that us share this beloved aina with.


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About the blogger: Jeanne Lindgren is a science teacher and nature enthusiast. She has actually taught and also traveled transparent Asia and also Europe and now makes her house in Honolulu. She welcomes any comments, corrections, concerns or compliments on her nature journal, and also wishes all who visit here many great nature experiences. Happy trails.