cf. Porphyrio sp. ‘Efate’

Efate Swamphen (cf. Porphyrio sp.)

Throughout the Pacific region we now know of several radiations of rails, which sometimes include congeneric pairs or triplets of species inhabiting, respectively having formerly inhabited, single islands.

The excavations that took place on the island of Efate, Vanuatu produced subfossil bones of several well-known rails, including the Pacific Swamphen (Porphyrio melanotus ssp. samoensis Peale), but yet also of another, relatively large rail species that may have been a member of the same genus.

This form was similar in size and apparently in proportions to the likewise extinct Island Takahe (Porphyrio mantelli (Owen)) from New Zealand.

Yet, the currently known material isn’t sufficient enough to determine the genus exactly, let alone a species. [1]



[1] Trevor H. Worthy; Stuart Hawkins; Stuart Bedford; Matthew Spriggs: Avifauna from the Teouma Lapita Site, Efate Island, Vanuatu, including a new genus and species of Megapode. Pacific Science 69(2): 205-254. 2015


edited: 01.09.2020