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Safe or Dangerous: The Truth about Maui's Indigenous Creatures

Maui is best known for its ideal weather, crystal clear waters and long stretches of sandy beaches. Yet, even this idyllic paradise has its dangers. Maui is the world's most isolated archipelago, surrounded entirely by water and home to many land and sea creatures. The remoteness of the island is the reason there are no large, land-based predators or snakes. There are many other creatures on the island, so it’s wise to know which to avoid and which are harmless.

Maui Wildlife: Safe or Dangerous

  • Cane Spider – Safe.It is a common misconception that the brown Cane Spider should be feared. Although large in size, the Cane Spider is rarely aggressive and its bite is typically harmless, but it is best to keep an eye on small children.
  • Centipedes – Dangerous. There are three species of centipedes that roam Hawaii, but only one of them requires extreme caution: the orange Scolopendra Subpinipes. This is among the largest centipedes, capable of growing over a foot in length, and the most aggressive. This centipede will prey on any creature it feels it can overwhelm and will defend itself with a vicious sting against much larger beings, even humans.
  • Scorpions – Semi-dangerous. The 'lesser brown scorpion' is the one most commonly found throughout the Hawaiian Islands. While its sting lacks the powerful neurotoxins that cause severe health risks, it still packs quite the punch, causing intense pain and swelling similar to a wasp sting.
  • Portuguese Man o’ War – Dangerous. Frequently confused with less noxious jellyfish, the Portuguese Mano‘ War is a violet-hued carnivore frequently spotted on Maui's beaches during and just after offshore storms. Their venomous tentacles can stretch up to 165 feet in length and deliver an incredibly painful sting which, in extremely rare cases, has caused anaphylactic shock and even death.
  • Stingrays – Semi-dangerous. Stingrays are an abundant creature found throughout Maui's coastal waters. For the most part, they are non-aggressive and many divers and snorkelers enjoy swimming beside them during their underwater adventures. However, it's important to be cautious as a stringray can cause injuries.

Experience Maui from Above

Of course, you don't have to get up close to appreciate the beauty and wildlife of Maui. Come fly with us and enjoy an aerial view of the lush rainforests, crystal-clear waters and majestic falls that define this region. Contact us at 1-800-978-0266 to learn more about the tours we offer!


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