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Waikoloa Anchialine Pond Preservation Area

Hawaiʻi Place Names WahiLocation,

ʻAnaehoʻo-malu, Hawaiʻi. Undeveloped area with anchialine ponds on the shore between the Outrigger Waikoloa Beach Resort and the Hilton Waikoloa Village. Anchialine ponds are brackishwater pools formed by depressions, crevices, or lava tubes that extend into the water table. The name is from the Greek word anchialos, meaning "near the sea." Although the ponds are landlocked and some distance from the ocean, they exhibit tidal fluctuation because of subterranean connections with the ocean through the highly porous lava. Tiny red shrimp, collectively called ʻopaeʻula (literally, red shrimp), are a unique feature of the anchialine ponds and are found only in Hawaiʻi. The shrimp are omnivorous and can live for long periods of time in the interstitial groundwater without appearing in the pools. The smaller and more numerous shrimp (Halocaridina rubra) is preyed upon by the larger shrimp (Metabetaeus lohena). Some Hawaiians use these ʻopaeʻula as fish bait. The clear, larger, and more easily seen glass shrimp (Palemon debilis), or ʻopaehuna, is also found in the ponds. It is indigenous to Hawaiʻi and commonly found in estuaries. Two common estuarine snails in Hawaiʻi, Melania and Assiminea, are also found in the pools. The golden orange algal mats in the pools are common to anchialine ponds. The preservation area was created by the developer and federal agencies and is managed for research and education by the University of Hawaiʻi under an endowment from the Waikoloa Land Company.

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