Hemignathus sp. ‘Hawai’i’

Greater Hawaii Akialoa (Hemignathus sp.)  

This species, which up to day has neither been described nor named, is known from well-preserved subfossil remains of four birds, which were uncovered in 1992 from the Umi’i Manu Cave on the Pu’u Wa’awa’a Ranch in the northwest of the island of Hawai’i. [1]  

The Greater Hawaii Akialoa was larger than the better known Lesser Hawaii Akialoa (Hemignathus obscurus (Gmelin)), and furthermore had a much longer beak, and thus was more like the other akialoa forms from the islands of Kaua’i, Lana’i, and O’ahu.  

This species was probably restricted to lowland areas and died out following the colonization by the first Polynesian settlers. [1]  



[1] H. F. James; S. L. Olson: A giant new species of Nukupuu (Fringillidae: Drepanidini: Hemignathus) from the Island of Hawaii. Auk 120: 970-981. 2003  


edited: 21.09.2017