What Is the Hawaii State Insect?

What Is the Hawaii State Insect?

The state insect of Hawaii is the Kamehameha butterfly. While related to a group of butterflies including admirals and painted ladies found around the world, the Kamehameha butterfly is only native to Hawaii.

A group of students proposed the adoption of the Kamehameha butterfly as Hawaii's state insect, and the state adopted it in 2009. While it was once widely distributed on all the main islands, these butterflies are no longer on all the state's islands and scientists believe their numbers are decreasing. While "pulelehua" is the Hawaiian name of this particular species of butterfly, in 2014, many Hawaiians apply it to any butterfly.