Vangulifer neophasis James & Olson

Pololei Shovel-billed Finch (Vangulifer neophasis)

The Pololei Shovel-billed Finch, also known as Thin-billed Finch, is one of the countless Hawaiian endemic birds that were extirpated already by the first Polynesian settlers shortly after they set foot on the Hawaiian Islands.

The species was described in 1991 based on subfossil bones recovered from the Pu’u Naio Cave on the island of Maui.

The Pololei Shovel-billed Finch was a highly specialized, somewhat flycatcher-like bird that probably was adapted for catching insects on wing. [1]


The species is not that closely related to its congener, the Kiwi Shovel-billed Finch (Vangulifer mirandus Olson & James) and both species should better be placed in distinct genera.



[1] S. L. Olson; H. F. James: Descriptions of thirty-two new species of birds from the Hawaiian Islands: Part II. Passeriformes. Ornithological Monographs 45: 1-91. 1991
[2] Helen F. James: The osteology and phylogeny of the Hawaiian finch radiation (Fringillidae: Drepanidini), including extinct taxa. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 141: 207-255. 2004


edited: 03.10.2020