Porphyrio paepae Steadman

Marquesan Swamphen (Porphyrio paepae)

The Marquesan Swamphen was described based on subfossil bones that were found in archaeological sites, or rather in midden remains on the islands of Hiva Oa and Tahuata.

The wing elements were of equal size to that of the extant Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio martinicus (L.)) but slightly stouter built.

Since the species occurred on both, Hiva Oa and Tahuata, it apparently was not flightless, however, it might also have been transported from one island to another by the Polynesian settlers. [1] 


It is very likely that additional congeneric species inhabited other islands in the Marquesan group.



[1] Jeremy J. Kirchman; David W. Steadman: New Species of Rails (Aves: Rallidae) from an Archaeological Site on Huahine, Society Islands. Pacific Science 60(2): 281-297. 2006  


edited: 01.09.2020