Insects of Hawaii
The starting point for most identification attempts, aside from Coleoptera and Hymenoptera (with the exceptions of Blackburnia and Hylaeus respectively, covered in the most recent volumes).

Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society
A huge resource of articles on all groups of native and introduced species. Most of the early records of alien species introductions are found here.

Pacific Insects/International Journal of Entomology
Included the entire Pacific region with a lot of emphasis on New Guinea, but contains a number of major monographs on Hawaiian groups.

Bishop Museum Occasional Papers
Includes monographs, research articles, and starting in vol. 41, Records of the Hawaii Biological Survey with short notes on new species records and other scientific notes. A critical resource.

By Taxon


Beetles of the World
This interactive key helpfully includes a selection to narrow down to families found in Hawaii.


Ford, E.J. Jr. 1953. The Genus Xyletobius on Oahu, with Descriptions of New Species (Coleoptera: Anobiidae). Proc Hawaiian Entomol Soc 15(2):311-316.
The native anobiids are relatively poorly studied. This covers only Oahu, but is still a useful guide.


Zimmerman, E.C. 1938. A key to the genera of Hawaiian Anthribidae (Coleoptera). Proc Hawaiian Entomol Soc 10(1): 152.

Jordan, H.E.K. 1946. On the Species of Araecerus Schoenherr, 1823, known from the Hawaiian Islands (Coleoptera: Anthribidae). Proc Hawaiian Entomol Soc 12(03): 517-524.


Zimmerman, E.C. 1941. The Bostrichidae Found in Hawaii (Coleoptera). Proc Hawaiian Entomol Soc 11(1): 103-108.
This covers the Bostrichidae s.s., i.e. not including the former Lyctidae.  A few recent introductions, Heterobostrychus spp. and Scobicia declivis, are also not included.


Bembidion: Liebherr JK. 2008. Taxonomic revision of Hawaiian Bembidion Latreille (Coleoptera: Carabidae: Bembidiini) with a discussion of their reductive and derivative evolutionary specializations. Annals of Carnegie Museum 77:31–78.

Blackburnia: Liebherr JK, Zimmerman EC. 2000. Insects of Hawaii vol. 16, Hawaiian Carabidae (Coleoptera). 509 pp. Also includes a key to genera of the entire family and alien species.

Hawai‘i: Liebherr JK. 2008. Taxonomic revision of Mecyclothorax Sharp (Coleoptera, Carabidae) of Hawaii Island: abundant genitalic variation in a nascent island radiation. Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift 55(1):19–78
East Maui: Liebherr JK. 2015. The Mecyclothorax beetles (Coleoptera, Carabidae, Moriomorphini) of Haleakalā, Maui: Keystone of a hyperdiverse Hawaiian radiation. Zookeys 544:1–407
West Maui: Liebherr JK. 2011. The Mecyclothorax beetles (Coleoptera, Carabidae, Moriomorphini) of West Maui, Hawaii: taxonomy, biogeography, and conservation. Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift 58(1):15–76
Lāna‘i: Liebherr JK. 2009. Native and alien Carabidae (Coleoptera) share Lanai, an ecologically devastated island. The Coleopterists Bulletin 63(4):383–411
Moloka‘i: Liebherr JK. 2007. Taxonomic revision of the Mecyclothorax beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae, Psydrini) of Molokai, Hawaii and recognition of areas of endemism on Kamakou volcano. Journal of the New York Entomological Society 114(4):179–281
O‘ahu: Liebherr JK. Taxonomic revision of the Mecyclothorax beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) of Oahu: epithets as epitaphs for an endangered fauna? Systematic Entomology 34:649–687

Cerambycidae: Plagithmysus

Gressitt JL, Davis CJ. 1969. Studies in the Plagithmysines, endemic Hawaiian Cerambycidae (Coleopt.). Proc Hawaiian Entomol Soc 20(2):331-393.
The basic reference for identifying Plagithmysus, with a key to most of the species; however, it can be difficult to use.

Additional species descriptions:
Gressitt JL, Davis CJ. 1970. A new Plagithmysine beetle from sandalwood (Col. Cerambycidae). Proc Hawaiian Entomol Soc 20(3):567-569.
Plagithmysus greenwelliae, from Santalum on Hawaii
Gressitt JL, Davis CJ. 1971. New plagithmysines from Kauai, Molokai and Hawaii (Coleopt.: Cerambycidae). Proc Hawaiian Entomol Soc 21(1):67-77.
Gressitt JL. 1971. New plagithmysines from Molokai, Lanai and Maui (Col.: Cerambyc.). Pacific Insects 14(1):83-92
Gressitt JL. 1971. New plagithmysines from West Maui (Col.: Carambyc.). Pacific Insects 14(4):635-645
Gressitt JL, Davis CJ. 1974. New Plagithmysines from Kauai, Maui and Hawaii (Col.: Cerambycidae). Proc Hawaiian Entomol Soc 21(3):359-363.
Gressitt JL, Davis CJ. 1976. New plagithmysines from Kauai and West Maui (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). Proc Hawaiian Entomol Soc 22:237-239.
Gressitt JL, Davis CJ. 1976. A new plagithmysine from Ilex on Hawaii (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). Proc Hawaiian Entomol Soc 22:241-243.


Zimmerman, E.C. 1939. Cis of Maui and Lanai (Coleoptera, Ciidae). Proc Hawaiian Entomol Soc 10(2): 343-348.
This covers only the Maui and Lanai species, but since many forms occur on multiple islands, it covers over half of the total.


Leeper JR. 1976. A review of the Hawaiian Coccinellidae. Proc Hawaiian Entomol Soc 22:279-306.
Ladybugs of Hawaii, all introduced (mostly purposely for biocontrol).


Swezey, O.H. 1925. Table for distinguishing the Hawaiian species of the genus Dryophthorus of the Curculionidae, Cossoninae (Coleoptera). Proc Hawaiian Entomol Soc 6(2):285-288.

Zimmerman, E.C. 1940. Synopsis of the genera of Hawaiian Cossoninae with notes on their origin and distribution (Coleoptera, Curculionidae). Occasional Papers of the Bishop Museum 15(25):271-293.
This covers the subfamily that includes most native weevils, but unfortunately does not key them to species.

Samuelson, G.A. 2003. Review of Rhyncogonus of the Hawaiian Islands (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Bishop Museum Bulletin vol. 11.
An up to date reference for Rhyncogonus, which are becoming increasingly rare.

Samuelson, G.A. 1981. A synopsis of Hawaiian Xyleborini (Coleoptera: Scolytidae). Pacific Insects 23(1-2):50-92.
Scolytids are now considered a subfamily of Curculionidae, despite being un-weevil-like. There are both native and non-native species in this group, including several destructive invasives. The coffee berry borer is in the same subfamily but a different tribe.


Beal, R.S. 2000. Revision of the Hawaiian Genus Labrocerus (Coleoptera: Dermestidae). Transactions of the American Entomological Society 126(3+4): 373–399.


Conoderus (introduced): Johnson, P.J., Ogura-Yamada, C., Krushelnycky, P. & Samuelson, G.A. 2017. Conoderus posticus (Eschscholtz) (Coleoptera: Elateridae), a new state record for Hawai`i, and a key to local species. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers 119:19–22.
Eopenthes (endemic): Van Zwaluwenburg, R.H. 1959. Notes on the elaterid genus Eopenthes, Sharp (Coleoptera). Proc Hawaiian Entomol Soc 17:117-125.
Itodacnus (endemic): Samuelson, G.A. & Johnson, P.J. 1995. First endemic click beetle (Coleoptera: Elateridae) from Nihoa Island. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers 41:75–77.

The remaining introduced species can mostly be separated using the subfamily key.


Hansen, M. 1995. A review of the Hawaiian Hydrophilidae (Coleoptera). Pacific Science 49(3):266–288.
Key to genera and introduced species.

Short, A.E.Z, and J.K. Liebherr. 2007. Systematics and biology of the endemic water scavenger beetles of Hawaii (Coleoptera: Hydrophilidae, Hydrophilini). Systematic Entomology 32(4):601–624.
Covers the endemic species of Limnoxenus.



Magnacca, K.N., and D.K. Price. 2012. New species of Hawaiian picture wing Drosophila (Diptera: Drosophilidae), with a key to species. Zootaxa 3188:1–30.
Key to species groups and species of the picture wing group

Magnacca, K.N., and P.M. O’Grady. 2009. Revision of the modified mouthparts species group of Hawaiian Drosophila (Diptera: Drosophilidae): The ceratostoma, freycinetiae, semifuscata, and setiger subgroups, and unplaced species. University of California Publications in Entomology vol. 130.
Key to species of the modified mouthparts species group (excluding the dissita and mimica subgroups)

O’Grady, P.M., M.W.Y. Kam, F.C. Val, and W. Pereirra. 2003. Revision of the Drosophila mimica subgroup, with descriptions of ten new species. Annals of the Entomological Society of America: 96(1):12-38
Key to the mimica subgroup

Magnacca, K.N., and P.M. O’Grady. 2008. Revision of the ‘nudidrosophila’ and ‘ateledrosophila’ species groups of Hawaiian Drosophila (Diptera: Drosophilidae), with descriptions of twenty-two new species. Systematic Entomology 33(2):395–428.
Key to species of the nudidrosophila species group

Hardy, D.E., K.Y. Kaneshiro, F.C Val, and P.M. O’Grady. 2001. Review of the haleakalae species group of Hawaiian Drosophila (Diptera: Drosophilidae). Bishop Museum Bulletin in Entomology 9:1-88. Bishop Museum Press.
Key to species of the haleakalae (aka fungus feeder/white-tip scutellum) species group

Magnacca, K.N., and P.M. O’Grady. 2008. New combinations in Hawaiian Drosophila and Scaptomyza (Diptera: Drosophilidae). Zootaxa 1926:53–60.
Key to Hawaiian Scaptomyza subgenera and unplaced species


Note: these draft keys are not entirely reliable and may not be 100% accurate. Use with care and please let me know if you have corrections!
draft key to native and alien Bethylidae of Hawai‘i
draft key to Pompilidae of Hawai‘i
draft key to native and alien Vespidae of Hawai‘i

Bethylidae: Sierola

Magnacca, K.N. 2020. Review of the Sierola (Hymenoptera: Bethylidae) of Hawai‘i. Part 1: O‘ahu. Bishop Museum Bulletin in Entomology 14:1–311.
Monograph on the 158 O‘ahu species, including a dichotomous key and figures and maps for all species. Note that this file has bookmarks and minor typos corrected; the original version of record may be found here.

Colletidae: Hylaeus

Quick online pictorial guide to Hylaeus based on my illustrations, thanks to Forest & Kim Starr

Daly, H.V., and K.N. Magnacca. 2003. Insects of Hawaii vol. 17. Hawaiian Hylaeus (Nesoprosopis) Bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea). University of Hawai‘i Press, Honolulu. 234 pp.
The basic resource on Hawaiian native bees, with a key to males and females of most species.

Snelling, R.R. 2003. Bees of the Hawaiian Islands, exclusive of Hylaeus (Nesoprosopis) (Hymenoptera: Apoidea). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 76(3):342-356
Key to alien bees in Hawaii, now missing some new arrivals (see below)

Magnacca, K.N. 2011. Two new species of Hylaeus (Nesoprosopis) (Hymenoptera: Colletidae) from O‘ahu, Hawai‘i. Zootaxa 3065:60–65.
Magnacca, K.N. 2013. Hylaeus (Nesoprosopis) mamo (Hymenoptera: Colletidae), a new endemic bee from Oahu, Hawaii. Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society 45:59–63.
Magnacca, K.N., W.T. Nagamine, and H.H. Dathe. 2011. Hylaeus strenuus (Hymenoptera: Colletidae), a new alien bee on O‘ahu. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers 109:23–24.
Magnacca, K.N., J. Gibbs, and S. Droege. 2013. Notes on alien and native bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) from the Hawaiian Islands. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers 114:61–65.
Updates on new native and alien bee species found in Hawaii


Beardsley JW. 1976. A synopsis of the Encyrtidae of the Hawaiian Islands with keys to general and species (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidae). Proc Hawaiian Entomol Soc 22:181-195.
Key to Encyrtidae; somewhat out of date now, but still very useful with this difficult group.
Graham MWR. 1991. A reclassification of the European Tetrastichinae (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae): revision of the remaining genera. Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute Number 49.


Evagetes padrinus
(image linked from

Tachypompilus analis
(image linked from Wikimedia Commons)