Author Archives: Alang

Cyprinodon latifasciatus Garman

Parras Pupfish (Cyprinodon latifasciatus)

The Parras Pupfish was described in 1881, it was restricted to a spring or rather a series of springs in the valley that connects with Laguna de Mayrán near the city of San Pedro in Coahuila, Mexico.

Though some of these springs still exist, they do not harbour their former inhabitants any longer, but instead are filled with intentionally introduced Mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis (Baird & Girard)), Guppys (Poecilia reticulata Peters), and Swordtails (Xiphophorus helleri Heckel).

The Parras Pupfish was last seen in the 1930s and is now extinct.

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References:

[1] M. L. Lozano-Vilano; M. De La Maza-Beningnos: Diversity and status of Mexican killifishes. Journal of Fish Biology 90(1): 1-36. 2016

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edited: 27.05.2019

Turdus lherminieri ssp. ‘Barbuda’

Barbuda Forest Thrush (Turdus lherminieri ssp.)

The Forest Thrush (Turdus lherminieri Lafresnaye) is a beautiful and quite large thrush that prefers humid forests, it is now restricted to four islands in the Lesser Antilles: Dominica, Guadeloupe, Montserrat, and Saint Lucia, with each island harboring its own distinct endemic subspecies.

The species was formerly more widespread and did also occur on Antigua and Barbuda, where it is known from subfossil remains found so far at least on the island of Barbuda. This form certainly constituted another island-endemic subspecies. [1]

The Barbuda Forest Thrush very likely survived well into the Holocene era but disappeared due to the clearing of the forests on its home island.

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References:

[1] Gregory K. Pregill; David W. Steadman; David R. Watters: Late Quaternary vertebrate faunas of the Lesser Antilles: historical components of Caribbean biogeography. Bulletin of Carnegie Museum of Natural History 30: 1-51. 1994

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edited: 17.02.2020

Rallus sp. ‘Fernando de Noronha’

Fernando de Noronha Rail (Rallus sp.)

The Fernando de Noronha Rail is an enigmatic bird known from subfossil remains that had been found in the late 1970s on the island of Fernando de Noronha, 354 km offshore the coast of Brazil.:

Remains of a new species of rail (Rallidae) were also found, bringing the total known land-bird fauna to four species. Most of the elements of the skeleton, from several different individuals, are represented. This was a medium- size rail with the wings reduced, but to a lesser extent than in many flightless species. It does not appear to be particularly close morphologically to any of the species of rails from mainland Brazil. I have briefly alluded to this form elsewhere …, but it has yet to be formally described.

The form may have been a member of the genus Laterallus or Rallus, however, the species has still not been described. [1]

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References:

[1] S. L. Olson: Natural history of vertebrates on the Brazilian islands of the mid South Atlantic. National Geographic Society Research Reports 13: 481-492. 1981

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edited: 03.05.2022

Erythrura sp. ‘Rota’

Mariana Parrot Finch (Erythrura sp.)

The Mariana Parrot Finch is known only from a subfossil humerus that was recovered from deposits on the island of Rota in the Mariana Islands; this single bone can be referred to that genus based on several characters but is larger than that of any congeneric species.

The species may have reached a length of about 15 cm, making it one of the largest members of its whole family; it was very likely most closely related to the Blue-faced Parrotfinch (Erythrura trichroa (Kittlitz)) (see depiction), a species that still occurs in parts of Micronesia today. [1]

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References:

[1] David W. Steadman: Extinct and extirpated birds from Rota, Mariana Islands. Micronesia 25(1): 71-84. 1992

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Blue-faced Parrotfinch (Erythrura trichroa)

Depiction from: ‘F. H. von Kittlitz: Über einige noch unbeschriebene Vögel von der Insel Luzon, den Carolinen und den Marianen. Mémoires présentés à l’Académie Impériale des Sciences de St. Petersbourg par divers Savants et lus dans ses Assemblées 2: 1-10. 1835’

(public domain)

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edited: 09.11.2021

Pseudolibera aubertdelaruei Sartori, Gargominy & Fontaine

Aubert de la Rüe’ Pseudolibera Snail (Pseudolibera aubertdelaruei)

Aubert de la Rüe’ Pseudolibera Snail was described in 2014, it is known from only three specimens which were collected in 1955 by E. Aubert de la Rüe on the island of makatea in the Tuamotu Archipelago.

The shells reach sizes of less than 0,6 cm in diameter, they are white, depressed and decorated with flammulations, the apex is flat, the spire elevated, the peripheral keel is very short. [1]

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References:

[1] A. F. Sartori; O. Gargominy; B. Fontaine: Radiation and decline of endodontid land snails in Makatea, French Polynesia. Zootaxa 3772(1): 1–68. 2014

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edited: 13.06.2020

Staphylinidae gen. & sp. ‘Austral Islands’

Austral islands Rove Beetle(s) (Staphylinidae gen. & sp.)

The rove beetles (Staphylinidae) contain about 63000 species, making it one of the largest families in the animal kingdom, several new species are being described every year.

So, it is no wonder that this family also contains countless extinct forms – at least 18 are known from subfossil remains found on the Austral Islands so far.

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edited: 31.10.2020

Acanthomerus asperatus Wollaston

Rough Saint Helena Weevil (Acanthomerus asperatus)

The Rough Saint Helena Weevil was described in 1877, as its name implies, it is, or maybe was, endemic to the island of Saint Helena in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

The species seems to have been adapted to the likewise endemic Scrubwood (Commidendrum rugosum (Dryand) DC.), and was apparently already very rare when it was discovered.:

I have seen hitherto but a single example of this curious and well-marked Acanthomerus, – which was taken by Mr. P. Whitehead, amongst the viscous shrubs of the scrubwood (or Aster glutinosus, Hk. f.) [Commidendrum rugosum], on the Barn. It must be regarded therefore as a scrubwood species; and I may add that there are few members of the scrubwood fauna (as yet brought to light) which are more interesting than the A. asperatus.

***

The Rough Saint Helena Weevil was not found during the most recent field surveys and might well be extinct.

***

The depiction below shows the closely related Boring Saint Helena Weevil (Acanthomerus terebrans Wollaston).

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References:

[1] T. Vernon Wollaston: Coleoptera Sanctae-Helenae. London: John Van Voorst, Paternoster Row 1877

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Boring Saint Helena Weevil (Acanthomerus terebrans)

Depiction from: ‘T. Vernon Wollaston: Coleoptera Sanctae-Helenae. London: John Van Voorst, Paternoster Row 1877’

(public domain)

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edited: 26.05.2021

Protosticta gracilis Kirby

Gracile White-legged Damselfly (Protosticta gracilis)

The Gracile White-legged Damselfly was described in 1889 on the basis of type material that had been collected in 1859 from an unspecified locality on the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia.

The species was never found anywhere on the island and may now well be extinct for a long time.

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edited: 24.08.2022

Curculionidae gen. & sp. ‘Rapa Nui’

Smaller Rapa Nui Cossonine Weevil (Curculionidae gen. & sp.)

The Smaller Rapa Nui Cossonine Weevil is one of two new weevil species that were recorded from core samples that were collected from the lake in the Rano Kau volcano on Rapa Nui.

The species is known from four heads, six prothoraces, 13 elytra and two first two-fused ventrites, it reached an estimated size of about 0,25 to 0,29 cm. [1]

The species is now extinct.

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References:

[1] M. Horrocks; M. Marra; W. T. Baisden; J. Flenley; D. Feek; L. González Nualart; S. Haoa-Cardinali; T. Edmunds Gorman: Pollen, phytoliths, arthropods and high-resolution 14C sampling from Rano Kau, Easter Island: evidence for late Quaternary environments, ant (Formicidae) distributions and human activity. Journal of Paleolimnology 50(4): 417-432. 2013

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edited: 10.12.2018

Ascetoderes strigatus (Arrow)

Banded Dry Bark Beetle (Ascetoderes strigatus)

The Banded Dry Bark Beetle was described in 1900 based on a single specimen that was collected on Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean.

The species reached a size of about 0,8 cm; “The colour is black, with the antennae and legs a very dark red. The head and thorax are coarsely punctured, and there are a few scattered punctures on the first and third interstices of each elytron. The third interstice is also angularly elevated, and beyond it the striae are replaced by three sharp costae. Near the base of the thorax is a U-shaped impressed line enclosing a smooth area, and in front of this is a shallow depression.” [1]

The species is now most likely extinct. [2]

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References:

[1] Charles William Andrews: A monograph of Christmas Island (Indian Ocean). London: printed by order of the Trustees 1900
[2] John Woinarski: A Bat’s End: The Christmas Island Pipistrelle and Extinction in Australia. CSIRO Publishing, Victoria, Australia 2018

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Depiction from: ‘Charles William Andrews: A monograph of Christmas Island (Indian Ocean). London: printed by order of the Trustees 1900’

(public domain)

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edited: 27.04.2022

Newcombia pfeifferi ssp. decorata Pilsbry & Cooke

Decorated Newcombia Snail (Newcombia pfeifferi ssp. decorata)

The Decorated Newcombia Snail was described in 1912, it is, or rather was, endemic to the island of Moloka’i, Hawaiian Islands.

There is obviously no further information available about this species.

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References:

[1] Mike Severns: A new species of newcombia from the Pleistocene of Kaua’i, Hawaiian Islands, USA (Gastropoda, Pulmonata, Achatinellidae). Basteria 73: 57-60. 2009

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edited: 16.05.2020

Blackburnia rugosa Liebherr & Porch

Rugose Blackburnia Ground Beetle (Blackburnia rugosa)

The Rugose Blackburnia Ground Beetle was described in 2015, it is known only from several subfossil remains that had been found in the deposits of the Makauwahi Cave on the island of Kaua’i, Hawaiian Islands.

The species reached a size of about 0,8 to 1,1 cm and is distinguished from its congeners by its robust sclerotization. [1]

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References:

[1] James K. Liebherr; Nick Porch: Reassembling a lost lowland carabid beetle assemblage (Coleoptera) from kauai, Hawaiian Islands. Invertebrate Systematics 29: 191-213. 2015

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edited: 03.09.2019

Naesiotus alethorhytidus (Dall)

Santa Cruz Snail (Naesiotus alethorhytidus)

This species was described in 1917; it was restricted the southern part of Isla Santa Cruz in the Galapágos Islands and was apparently quite common when it was discovered and described.:

Indefatigable Island, in the moist area on the south side at 350 to 400 feet, and at all attitudes in the interior; (W. H. O.)
This almost comically small and wrinkled species is one of the most interesting finds of the Academy expedition. It is usually pink tipped, with white corrugations and the indentations more or less darkened by volcanic dust.
” [1]

The species was last found alive in 1974 and is thus believed to be possibly extinct.

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References:

[1] William Healey Dall; Washington Henry Ochsner: Landshells of the Galapagos Islands. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences. Ser. 4. Vol. 17.: 141-185. 1928

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Photo from: ‘William Healey Dall; Washington Henry Ochsner: Landshells of the Galapagos Islands. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences. Ser. 4. Vol. 17.: 141-185. 1928’

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/

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edited: 01.06.2021

Acalypha sericea var. baurii (B. L. Rob. & Greenm.) Webster

Baur’s Silky Copperleaf (Acalypha sericea var. baurii)

The Silky Copperleaf (Acalypha sericea Anderss.) is endemic to the Galápagos Islands, where several varieties are found on many of the islands.

This one, discussed here, is apparently restricted to the Isla San Christóbal and is known only from a single collection that was purchased sometimes in the middle of the 19th century. [1]

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References:

[1] I. Loren Wiggins; D. M. Porter; E. F. Anderson: Flora of the Galápagos Islands. Stanford University Press 1971

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edited: 11.06.2020

Procloeon insignificans (McDunnough)

Insignificant Small Minnow Mayfly (Procloeon insignificans)

The Insignificant Small Minnow Mayfly was described in 1925; it is known only from its type locality which is somewhere in the vicinity of the city of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada.

MALE. – Length of body 3mm., of fore wing 4 mm. Thoracic notum and pleura dark brown, sternum lighter brown, legs white, and wings hyaline, with longitudinal veins faintly yellowish. Basal abdominal tergites white, with a faint red, median streak on tergites 2 and 3, sternites 2 and 3 white; apical tergites light brown, sternites tan; genital forceps and caudal filaments white.” [1]

The species was never found since and is likely extinct now.

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References:

[1] B. D. Burks: The mayflies, or Ephemoptera, Of Illinois. Illinois Natural History Bulletin 26: 1-216. 1953-1955

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edited: 24.08.2022

Tymbopiptus valeas Kuschel

Giant Waitomo Weevil (Tymbopiptus valeas)

The Giant Waitomo Weevil was described in 1987, it is one of the first New Zealand insects to have been described based on subfossil remains.

The remains were recovered from deposits of at least two localities in the Waitomo District in the west of the North Island of New Zealand, one of them being the Buried Forest of Pureora, a site that was formed by pumice ejected during an eruption of Taupo crater at around 186 AD..

The Giant Waitomo Weevil was a very large species, it reached a length of up to 2 to 2,3 cm and was 0,75 to 0,92 cm wide. [1]

***

Many of the larger beetle species dissapeared from the New Zealand main islands as soon as the first Polynesian people arrived here and brought with them Polynesian Rats (Rattus exulans (Peale)), which predated on these large insects; some of the species were widespread and thus survived on rat-free offshore islands while others, that were restricted to certain parts of the main islands, just went extinct.

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References:

[1] G. Kuschel: The subfamily Molytinae (Coleoptera: Curculionidae): general notes and descriptions of new taxa from New Zealand and Chile. New Zealand Entomologist 9: 11-29. 1987
[2] Corinne H. Watts; Maureen J. Marra; Chris J. green; Lynette A. Hunt; Danny Thornburrow: Comparing fossil and extant beetles in central North Island forests, New Zealand. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand 49(1): 1-20. 2019

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Photo: Landcare Research New Zealand Ltd

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/deed.en

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edited: 05.11.2020

Circulocolumella hahashimensis (S. Ito & S. Imai) S. Ito & S. Imai in Imai

Hahajima Circulocolumnella Mushroom (Circulocolumella hahashimensis)

The Hahajima Circulocolumnella Mushroom was described in 1957, it is the sole member of its genus.

The species appears to be extinct now. [1]

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References:

[1] Kentaro Hosaka; Takahito Kobayashi; Michael A. Castellano; Takamichi Orihara: The status of voucher specimens of mushroom spwcies thought to be extinct from Japan. Bulletin of the National Museum of Nature and Science Ser. B 44(2): 53-66. 2018

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edited: 31.08.2020

Rhipidoglossum orientalis (Mansf.) Szlach. & Olszewski

Eastern Rhipidoglossum Orchid (Rhipidoglossum orientalis)

The Eastern Rhipidoglossum Orchid was described in 2001, apparently on the basis of some old herbarium material.

The species is thought to be (or to have been) endemic to the forests of the Uluguru Mountains in Tanzania; it was obviously last found in 1933 and is believed to be possibly extinct.

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edited: 20.08.2022

Anchastus atlanticus Candèze

Atlantic Click Beetle (Anchastus atlanticus)

The Atlantic Click Beetle was described in 1859; it is, or maybe was, endemic to the island of Saint Helena.

… the present species appears to be attached, in at any rate its larval condition, to the arborescent Compositae of a somewhat high altitude, more particularly (I think), though by no means exclusively, to the Little bastard Gumwood or Aster gummiferus, Hk. fil. [Commidendrum spurium (G. Forst.) DC.]; but in its perfect state it is more often be met with beneath stones in open grassy spots, especially in the vicinity of those particular shrubs. After the early summer rains, about the beginning of February, it makes its appearance in comparative abundance; during which season I took it in profusion just behind the lofty ridge, above West Lodge, overlooking the great Sandy-Bay crater, as well as on the eastern (and well-nigh inaccessible) slopes of High Peak, and also (though more sparingly) so low down as even Plantation. It has been captured by Mr. Whitehead on Halley’s Mount, and likewise (in great profusion), beneath stones, on Green Hill.” [1]

***

The species was not recorded during the latest field searches and is now feared to be extinct.

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References:

[1] T. Vernon Wollaston: Coleoptera Sanctae-Helenae. London: John Van Voorst, Paternoster Row 1877

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Depiction from: ‘Guy Babault: Voyage de M. Guy Babault dans l’Afrique orientale anglaise: résultats scientifiques. Paris: 1916-1924

(public domain)

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edited: 27.05.2021

Naesiotus kublerensis Chambers

Cueva de Kubler Snail (Naesiotus kublerensis)

This species was described in 1986; it is known from subfossil shells that were found amongst a larger collection of shells in the Cueva de Kubler on the island of Santa Cruz in the Galápagos archipelago. [1]

The species was never seen alive and is clearly extinct.

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References:

[1] Steven M. Chambers; David W. Steadman: Holocene terrestrial gastropod faunas from Isla Santa Cruz and Isla Floreana, Galápagos: evidence for late Holocene declines. Transactions of the San Diego Society of Natural History 21(6): 89-110. 1986

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edited: 01.06.2021

Philodoria opuhe Kobayashi, Johns & Kawahara

Opuhe-mining Philodoria Moth (Philodoria opuhe)

This species was described in 2021; it is apparently known from the Pu’u ‘Ohi’a (Mt. Tantalus) in the Ko’olau Mountains as well as from the Wai’anae Mountains both on the island of O’ahu, Hawaiian Islands.

The species is known to mine the leaves of the endemic ōpuhe spp. (Urera glabra (Hook. & Arn.) Wedd. and Urera kaalae Wawra).

***

The species was originally included in the description of the Urera-mining Philidoria Moth (Philodoria ureraella(Swezey)), from which it, however, differs in several characters.

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[1] Shigeki Kobayashi; Chris A. Johns; Akito Y. Kawahara: Revision of the Hawaiian endemic leaf-mining moth genus Philodoria Walsingham (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae): its conservation status, host plants and descriptions of thirteen new species. Zootaxa 4944(1): 1-715. 2021

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edited: 18.03.2021

Wollastonia ripkeni De Mattia & Groh

Ripken’s Wollaston Snail (Wollastonia ripkeni)

Ripken’s Wollastonia Snail was described in 2018 during a genus-group revision; it is known only from subfossil material that was found near the south-eastern shore of Porto Santo, Madeira.

The species died out before the scientific exploration of the island, maybe even before the first humans arrived. [1]

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References:

[1] Willy De Mattia; Marco T. Neiber; Klaus Groh: Revision of the genus-group Hystricella R. T. Lowe, 1855 from Porto Santo (Madeira Archipelago), with descriptions of new recent and fossil taxa (Gastropoda, Helicoidea, Geometridae). ZooKeys 732: 1-125. 2018

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Photo from: ‘Willy De Mattia; Marco T. Neiber; Klaus Groh: Revision of the genus-group Hystricella R. T. Lowe, 1855 from Porto Santo (Madeira Archipelago), with descriptions of new recent and fossil taxa (Gastropoda, Helicoidea, Geometridae). ZooKeys 732: 1-125. 2018’

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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edited: 01.08.2022

Nesoenas rodericanus (Milne-Edwards)

Rodrigues Turtle Dove (Nesoenas rodericanus)

The Rodrigues Turtle Dove was described in 1874, when it was already extinct; it is known from subfossil remains and from contemporaneous accounts.

The species disappeared sometimes between 1726 and 1761.

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References:

[1] Julian P. Hume: Extinct Birds: Bloomsbury Natural History; 2nd edition 2017

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edited: 07.05.2022

Cyprinella lutrensis ssp. blairi (Hubbs)

Maravillas Red Shiner (Cyprinella lutrensis ssp. blairi)

The Maravillas Red Shiner was restricted to the Garden Springs and the Pena Colorado Creek, which are a part of the Maravillas Creek drainage, a tributary of the Rio Grande in the Big Bend region of Texas, USA.

This subspecies reached a length of about 4,4 cm

The Maravillas Red Shiner disappeared in the late 1950s due to competition with introduced, invasive Plains Killifish (Fundulus zebrinus Jordan & Gilbert).

***

Some biologists consider the Maravillas Red Shiner synonymous with the nominate form.

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Red Shiner (Cyprinella lutrensis (Baird & Girard)); nominate form

Photo: Marine discovery

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

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edited: 18.05.2022

Amastra fragosa Cooke

Uneven Amastra Snail (Amastra fragosa)

The Uneven Amastra Snail was described in 1917; it is known from (sub)fossil remains that had been recovered from Late Pleistocene/Early Holocene deposits near Ka’ūpūlehu, in Kona, Hawai’i.

The shells reached average sizes of 1,1 to 1,3 cm in height.

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References:

[1] C. Montague Cooke: Some new species of Amastra. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers 3(3): 1-34. 1917

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Photo from: ‘C. Montague Cooke: Some new species of Amastra. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers 3(3): 1-34. 1917’

(public domain)

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edited: 16.05.2022

Tryonia circumstriata (Leonard & Ho)

Striped Tryonia (Tryonia circumstriata)

The Striped Tryonia was described in 1960, apparently originally from fossil speciemens collected from Pleistocene deposits on the right bank of the Pecos River in Chandler County, Texas, USA.

The species was later found in the Diamond Y Draw in Pecos County (originally described as a distinct species, Stockton’s Tryonia (Tryonia stocktonensis Taylor) in 1987, but then synonymized with this species). [1]

It appears to be extinct now, however.

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References:

[1] Robert Hershler: Systematics of the North and Central American aquatic snail genus Tryonia (Rissooidea: Hydrobiidae) Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 612: 1-53. 2001

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edited: 02.05.2019

Myzomela sp. ‘Nauru’

Nauru Honeyeater (Myzomela sp.)

Die Vogelwelt ist nach Zahl und Art reicher. Der Fregattvogel (Tachypetes aquila), itsi, die schwarze Seeschwalbe (Anous), doror, die weiße Seeschwalbe (Gygis), dagiagia, werden als Haustiere gehalten; der erste galt früher als heiliger Vogel, mit den beiden anderen werden Kampfspiele veranstaltet. Am Strande trifft man den Steinwälzer (Strepsilas interpres), dagiduba, den Regenpfeifer (Numenius), den Uferläufer (Tringoides), ibibito, die Schnepfe, ikirer, den Brachvogel ikiuoi, den Strandreiter iuji, die Ralle, earero bauo und zwei Möwenarten (Sterna), igogora und ederakui. Im Busche beobachtet man an den Blüten der Kokospalme den kleinen Honigsauger raigide, die Rohrdrossel (Calamoherpe syrinx), itirir und den Fliegenschnäpper (Rhipidura), temarubi.” [1]

translation:

The bird world is richer by number and species, The frigate bird (Tachypetes aquila), itsi, the black tern (Anous), doror, the white tern (Gygis), dagiagia, are kept as pets; the first one was formerly considered a holy bird, with the two others are used for fighting games. At the beach one mets with the turnstone (Strepsilas interpres), dagiduba, the plover (Numenius), the sandpiper (Tringoides), ibibito, the snipe, ikirer, the curlew, ikiuoi, the beach rider [?] iuji, the rail, earero bauo and two gull species (Sterna), igogora and ederakui. In the bush one observes on the flowers of the coconut palm the small honeyeater raigide, the reed thrush (Calamoherpe syrinx), itirir and the flycatcher (Rhipidura), temarubi.

The Micronesian Honeyeater (Myzomela rubrata (Lesson)) is split into four subspecies which still are widely distributed over a big part of Micronesia.

The above-mentioned account from the early 20th century shows that this species, or perhaps a closely related form once also inhabited the island of Nauru.

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References:

[1] Paul Hambruch: Nauru. Ergebnisse der Südsee-Expedition 1908-1910. II. Ethnographie: B. Mikronesien, Band 1.1 Halbband. Hamburg, Friedrichsen 1914

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edited: 26.04.2022

Pseudolibera matthieui Sartori, Gargominy & Fontaine

Matthieu’s Pseudolibera Snail (Pseudolibera matthieui)

Matthieu’s Pseudolibera Snail was described in 2014, it is known from at least 118 specimens that were collected on the island of Makatea in the Tuamotu Archipelago.


The shells reach sizes of less than 0,7 cm in diameter, they are white and show regularely spaced, amber-colored flammulations on the apical surface. 
[1]

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References:

[1] A. F. Sartori; O. Gargominy; B. Fontaine: Radiation and decline of endodontid land snails in Makatea, French Polynesia. Zootaxa 3772(1): 1–68. 2014

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edited: 13.06.2020

Gazella atlantica Bourguinat

Atlantic Gazelle (Gazella atlantica)

This North African species was described in 1870 based on fossil remains that were dated to the Upper Pleistocene, however, some remains apparently turned out to be much younger, thus the species might have survived until about 3000 years BP..

***

I was unfortunately unable to find any source for that assumption.

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edited: 18.10.2020

Rhipidura cervina Ramsay

Lord Howe Fantail (Rhipidura cervina)

The Lord Howe Fantail, also known as Fawn-breasted Fantail, was endemic to Lord Howe Island; it is sometimes als treated as a subspecies of the New Zealand fantail (Rhipidura fuliginosa (Sparrman)).

Nearly all of the endemic or native birds that formerly inhabited Lord Howe Island disappeared shortly after 1918, when the steamship ‘SS Makambo’ ran aground on Ned’s Beach in the northern part of the island and Black Rats (Rattus rattus (L.)) from the wreck came ashore.

The species was apparently last seen in 1924.

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Depiction from: ‘Gregory M. Mathews: The birds of Norfolk & Lord Howe Islands and the Australasian South Polar quadrant: with additions to “birds of Australia”. London: H. F. & G. Witherby 1928’

(public domain)

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edited: 30.10.2020

Acanthobrama centisquama Heckel

Orontes Bream (Acanthobrama centisquama)

The Orontes Bream, aka. Long-spine Bream, described in 1843; it was restricted to Lake Amik in Turkey as well as some water bodies in the Ghab Plain in Syria, which both obtain their water from the Orontes River.

Lake Amik was drained in the 1940 to obtain land for growing cotton but also to eliminate malaria; and the swampy areas in the Ghab Plan were drained in the 1950s, more or less for the same reasons.

The Orontes Bream is now most likely completely extinct.

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Depiction from: ‘M. Goren; L. Fishelson; E. Trewavas: The cyprinid fishes of Acanthobrama Heckel and related genera. Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) Zoology 24(6): 293-315. 1973’

The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

(under creative commons license (4.0))
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/

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edited: 30.04.2021

Celestus fowleri (Schwartz)

Bromeliad Galliwasp (Celestus fowleri)

The Bromeliad Galliwasp aka. Fowler’s Galliwasp was described in 1971; it is known only from the type locality near the Windsor Caves in the Trelawny Parish in Jamaica.

The species is associated with large epiphytic bromeliads, it is hiding between the leaf rosettes where it is also feeding insects and other invertebrates.

The Bromeliad Galliwasp was apparently last seen (and photographed) in the 1990s; however, subsequent searches in the type locality did not yield any record and the species might well be extinct now.

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edited: 01.08.2022

Wahnesia saltator (Lieftinck)

Dancing Flat-winged Damselfly (Wahnesia saltator)

The Dancing Flat-winged Damselfly was described in 1956, it is apparently restricted to the Milne Bay Province in eastern New Guinea, where it apparently had been collected at elevations of about 1550 m.

The species’ hindwings reach lenghts of about 2,9 to 3,1 cm; it is said to be easily recognisable based on the extreme expansion of the tip of its abdomen.

***

The name of this species appears in listings of extinct species and is thus also mentioned here.

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References:

[1] Vincent Kalkman; Albert Orr: Field Guide to the damselflies of New Guinea

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edited: 06.11.2020

Euschmidtia viridifasciata Descamps

Daressalam Monkey Grasshopper (Euschmidtia viridifasciata)

This species was described in 1973, it inhabited lowland rainforests in an area that now is the city of Daressalam at the eastern coast of Tanzania.

The habitat of this species does not longer exist and it is most likely extinct.

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edited: 15.01.2019

Earias latimargo Hampson

Christmas Island Bollworm (Earias latimargo)

The Christmas Island Bollworm was described in 1912 based on one male and four female specimens.

The species reached a wingspan of about 1,8 cm; the head and the thorax were yellowish green, the palpi were chocolate-brown and whitish at their base, the legs were chocolate-brown as well, the forewings were yellowish green with the costal edge being pale pinkish, each wing had a small chocolate-brown discoidal spot, the hindwings were whitish brown.

The Christmas Island Bollworm was originally considered common towards the end of the rainy season; however, the species has not seen since the 1930s and is now most likely extinct. [1][2]

*********************

References:

[1] H. M. Pendlebury: Lepidoptera (Heterocera). Bulletin of the Raffles Museum 18: 58-73. 1947
[2] John Woinarski: A Bat’s End: The Christmas Island Pipistrelle and Extinction in Australia. CSIRO Publishing, Victoria, Australia 2018

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Depiction from: ‘George Francis Hampson: Catalogue of the Lepidoptera Phalaenae in the British Museum. London: printed by order of the Trustees 1898-1920’

(public domain)

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edited: 09.09.2020

Upupa antaios Olson

Saint Helena Hoopoe (Upupa antaios)

As its name implies, this species was endemic to the island of Saint Helena in the middle of the vast Atlantic Ocean.

The Saint Helena Hoopoe was larger than the remaining two or three hoopoe species, it had somewhat reduced wings but certainly was not flightless as is often stated. [1]

***

It is quite intriguing that none of the old contemporaneous accounts, given by the early settlers on Saint Helena, mentions this – or any of the other extinct bird species that we know only from subfossil bones.

*********************

References:

[1] Storrs L. Olson: Paleornithology of St. Helena Island, south Atlantic Ocean, Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology 23. 1975

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edited: 30.05.2021

Scydmaenus wollastoni (Waterhouse)

Wollaston’s Ant-like Beetle (Scydmaenus wollastoni)

Wollaston’s Ant-like Beetle was described in 1879; it was endemic to the island of Saint Helena in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

The species was apparently last seen in 1836 and now feared to be extinct, unfortunately I could not find any additional information.

***

I’m not quite sure if this species indeed is the same as Euconnus wollastoni (Waterhouse).

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edited: 27.05.2021

Amastra flemingi Cooke

Fleming’s Amastra Snail (Amastra flemingi)

Fleming’s Amastra Snail was described in 1917 based on three (sub)fossil shells that were recovered from deposits near the southern coast of eastern Maui, which may date to a Late Pleistocene or Early Holocene age.

The shell of the holotype reaches a height of about 1,3 cm, “The shell is indistinctly rimate, sinitral, oblong-turrite, in its fossil state whitish. The spire is elongate, faintly contracted above, with slightly convex outlines.” [1]

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References:

[1] C. Montague Cooke: Some new species of Amastra. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers 3(3): 1-34. 1917

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Depiction from: ‘C. Montague Cooke: Some new species of Amastra. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers 3(3): 1-34. 1917’

(public domain)

*********************

edited: 16.05.2022

Arthroleptis kutogundua Blackburn

Overlooked Squeaker Frog (Arthroleptis kutogundua)

The Overlooked Squeaker Frog was described in 2012, the species bears its name for the fact that the single type specimen was found hidden among fifty to sixty specimens of another frog species, the Rugege Forest Squeaker Frog (Arthroleptis adolfifriederici Nieden), in an ethanol-filled glass put away at some storage rack in the Museum of Comparative ZoologyHarvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

The species reached a size of about 4 cm (snout to vent), its coloration is not known because the colors of the type specimen have heavily faded.

The type specimen was collected in 1930 in the Ngozi crater in the Poroto Mountains in Tanzania together with several other frog species. Another specimen popped up in 2013, one year after the species’ description, in the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, Germany.

The Overlooked Squeaker Frog was never found again and is believed to be extinct. [1][2]

*********************

References:

[1] David C. Blackburn: New species of Arthroleptis (Anura: Arthroleptidae) from Ngozi Crater in the Poroto Mountains of southwestern Tanzania. Journal of Herpetology 46(1): 129-135. 2012
[2] Christopher Kemp: Die verlorenen Arten: Große Expeditionen in die Sammlungen naturkundlicher Museen. Verlag Antje Kunstmann GmbH 2019

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edited: 06.09.2019

Psathyrella boninensis (S. Ito & S. Imai) S. Ito

Bonin Islands Brittlestem (Psathyrella boninensis)

The Bonin Islands Brittlestem is known only from one locality on Hahajima Island in the Ogasawara group, Japan.

The species is considered extinct. [1]

*********************

References:

[1] Kentaro Hosaka; Takahito Kobayashi; Michael A. Castellano; Takamichi Orihara: The status of voucher specimens of mushroom spwcies thought to be extinct from Japan. Bulletin of the National Museum of Nature and Science Ser. B 44(2): 53-66. 2018

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edited: 30.08.2020

Prismatomeris fragrans ssp. andamanica (Ridl.) J. T. Johanss.

Andaman Islands Prismatomeris (Prismatomeris fragrans ssp. andamanica)

This subspecies of the Fragrant Prismatomeris (Prismatomeris fragrans E. T. Geddes) was originally described as a distinct species in 1940; as its name implies, it is restricted to the Andaman Islands.

This plant was not found recently and is thought to be possibly extinct.

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edited: 24.08.2022

Rhodacanthis forfex James & Olson

Scissor-billed Koa-Finch (Rhodacanthis forfex)

The Scissor-billed Koa Finch is known only by subfossil remains, found on the islands of Kaua’i and Maui, the species clearly also occurred on the islands in between.

The species disappeared shortly after the arrival of the first human settlers on the Hawaiian Islands.

*********************

References:

[1] Helen F. James; Storrs L. Olson: The diversity and biogeography of koa-finches (Drepanidini: Rhodacanthis), with descriptions of two new species. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 144: 527-541. 2005

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edited: 07.10.2020

Andriana hancocki (Bruner)

Big Royal Pygmy Grasshopper (Andriana hancocki)

The Big Royal Pygmy Grasshopper was described in 1910; the species was restricted to the lowland forests near the city of Fenoarivo Atsinanana at eastern shore of Madagascar.

The species has not been seen since 1971 and, due to the loss of forests in the region, is likely extinct.

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edited: 23.08.2022

Euphorbia equisetiformis Stewart

Equisetiform Spurge (Euphorbia equisetiformis)

This enigmatic species is known only from the type material that was collected on Isla Isabella, Galápagos Islands, it appears not to be related to any other Central- or South American species of its genus.

The species is a leafless, middle-sized shrub with several stems that bear clusters of branches on their upper nodes. [1]

*********************

References:

[1] I. Loren Wiggins; D. M. Porter; E. F. Anderson: Flora of the Galápagos Islands. Stanford University Press 1971

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edited: 11.06.2020

Bactrurus cellulanus Koenemann & Holsinger

Indiana Groundwater Amphipod (Bactrurus cellulanus)

The Indiana Groundwater Amphipod was described in 2001; it is known only from four specimens that were found in 1962 and 1963 in a groundwater seep stream in the subbasement of Jordan Hall on the campus of the University of Indiana in Bloomington in Indiana, USA.

The species has not been collected since and is likely extinct.

*********************

References:

[1] Steven J. Taylor; Matthew L. Niemiller: Biogeography and conservation assessment of Bactrurus groundwater amphipods (Crangonyctidae) in the central and eastern United States. Subterranean Biology 17: 1-29.2016

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edited: 16.05.2022

Curculionidae gen. & sp. ‘Rapa Nui’

Rapa Nui Molytine Weevil (Curculionidae gen. & sp.)

The Rapa Nui Molytine Weevil (family Curculionidae: subfamily Molytinae) is known from numerous body parts that were recovered from core samples made in the lake in the crater of the Rano Raraku volcano on Rapa Nui. [1]

The species is known exclusively from these samples of Holocene age and is clearly extinct.

*********************

References:

[1] N. Cañellas-Boltà; V. Rull; A. Sáez; O. Margalef; S. Giralt; J. J. Pueyo; H. H. Birks; H. J. B. Birks; S. Pla-Rabes: Macrofossils in Raraku Lake (Easter Island) integrated with sedimentary and geochemical records: towards a palaeoecological synthesis for the last 34,000 years. Quaternary Science Reviews 34: 113-126. 2012

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edited: 10.12.2018

Rallus sp. ‘Terceira’

Terceira Rail (Rallus sp.)

This form is known from not less than 13 associated skeletons which were recovered from cave deposits on the island of Terceira, one of the Azores Islands, Portugal, most of which, however, with fragmentary bones only.

The Terceira Rail was a member of the genus Rallus but has not yet being described. [1]

***

There is a very exceptional specimen that can be assigned to this species that was found in Algar do Carvão, a chimney of a former volcano in the center of Terceina. This specimen is of an individual that was mummified by natural processes and is now preserved as a three-dimensional body still bearing soft body parts, skin and feathers “wrapped” in a silicified crust. [1]

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References:

[1] Josep Antoni Alcover; Harald Pieper; Fernando Pereira; Juan Carlos Rando: Five new extinct species of rails (Aves: Gruiformes: Rallidae) from the Macaronesian Islands (North Atlantic Ocean). Zootaxa 4057(2): 151-190. 2015

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edited: 10.09.2019

Neotoma insularis Townsend

Island Woodrat (Neotoma insularis)

The Island Woodrat was described in 1912, it was restricted to the Isla Ángel del la Guardia in the Gulf of California, Mexico.

The species reached a length of 29 cm (including the tail).

The Island Woodrat is officially considered ‘Critically Endangered’ but is in fact almost certainly completely extinct.

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edited: 03.11.2020

Nesoenas picturata ssp. aldabrana (Sclater)

Amirante Islands Turtle Dove (Nesoenas picturata ssp. aldabrana)

The Amirante Islands are a group of small coral islands in the so-called outher Seychelles southwest of the Seychelles main islands.

These islands were once inhabted by an endemic subspecies of the Madagascar Turtle Dove (Nesoenas picturata (Temminck)), which actually might even warrant species status.

The Amirante Islands Turtle Dove was apparently extirpated by direct hunting, because the birds were seen as a pest; the last individuals were seen in the 1950s.

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Depiction from: ‘P. L. Sclater: Description of a new species of dove from the coralreef of Alabra. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1871: 692-693′

(public domain)

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edited: 07.05.2022

Leiocephalus sp. ‘Jamaica’

Second Jamaican Curly-tailed Lizard (Leiocephalus sp.)

This somewhat enigmatic form is known from at least one subfossil frontal bone that differed from the other frontal bones by its well-developed rugosities while being of comparable size to other frontal bones from other deposits.

These frontal bones are not really assignable to either the named species (Leiocephalus jamaicensis Etheridge) or to the second, unnamed one because they were found unassociated to other remains. [1]

*********************

References:

[1] Gregory K. Pregill: Systematics of the West Indian Lizard Genus Leiocephalus (Squamata: Iguania: Tropiduridae). Miscellaneous Publications of the Museum of Natural History, University of Kansas 84: 1-69. 1992

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edited: 07.09.2019

Tenebroides atiu Kolibáč & Porch

Atiu Bark-gnawing Beetle (Tenebroides atiu)

This species was described in 2020 on the basis of subfossil remains, including two heads and a left elytron, that were recovered from cora samples that had been taken in the Te Roto Swamp on the island of ‘Atiu in the Cook Islands.

The size of this species could be reconstructed to have been about 0,78 cm in length; the heads are very dark brown to almost black, the elytron appears to have been dark brown colored. [1]

*********************

References:

[1] Jiří Kolibáč; Milada Bocakova; James K. Liebherr; Thibould Ramage; Nick Porch: Extinct and extant Pacific Trogossitidae and the evolution of Cleroidea (Coleoptera) after the Late Triassic biotic crisis. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 20: 1-37. 2020

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edited: 02.11.2020

Triaspis schliebenii A. Ernst

Schlieben’s Triaspis (Triaspis schliebenii)

Schlieben’s Triaspis was described in 1935; it is known only from the type material that was collected somewhere around Lake Lutamba in the Lindi District, Tanzania; it was not found subsequently and is thought to be possibly extinct.

The photo below shows a somewhat similar-looking species, the Blue-leaved Triaspis (Triaspis glaucophyllaEngl.) from southern Africa.

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Blue-leaved Triaspis (Triaspis glaucophylla)

Photo: Francois du Randt
https://www.inaturalist.org/people/francoisdurandt

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

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edited: 21.08.2022

Bombus rubriventris Lepeletier

Red-bellied Bumblebee (Bombus rubriventris)

The Red-bellied Bumblebee is known so far only from the holotype, which is a queen; it was allegedly collected in Brazil, apparently in the early 19th century, an exact locality, however, is not known but it is suspected that it might have come the Atlantic Forest.

The holotype is generally black with and shows a mainly reddish abdomen.

The bumblebee fauna of Brazil appears to be relatively well-known, but this species has never been recorded and thus is very likely extinct. [1]

*********************

References:

[1] Paul H. Williams: Bombus rubriventris: type locality, different histories of bumblebees in the New World, and a likely invertebrate extinction. Journal of Natural History 49(19-20): 1159-1171. 2015

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edited: 25.04.2022

Argynnis hyperbius ssp. inconstans (Butler)

Australian Fritillary (Argynnis hyperbius ssp. inconstans)

 

The Australian- or laced Fritillary was described in 1873, originally as a distinct species, but is now regarded as a subspecies of the Indian Fritillary (Argynnis hyperbius (L.)) (see photo). It is endemic to eastern Australia, where it is restricted to coastal areas of southern Queensland and northern New South Wales.

The species inhabited damp areas where the host plants of its larvae, Banks’ Violet (Viola banksii K. R. Thiele & Prober) and the Arrow-leaved Violet (Viola betonicifolia Sm.), were found growing abundantly.

Most of the sites that this species was known to inhabit, have been destroyed due to human activities, thus the populations broke down and disappeared completely; the very last known specimen was finally caught on April 17th, 2001, the Australian Fritillary is now most likely totally extinct.

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References:

[1] Trevor A. lambkin: Argynnis hyperbius inconsistans Butler, 1873 (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae: Heliconiinae): a review of its collection history and biology. Australian Entomologist 44(4): 223-268. 2017

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Indian Fritillary (Argynnis hyperbius)

Photo: Shriram Bhakare
https://www.inaturalist.org/people/milind_bhakare

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

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edited: 07.08.2022

Scarabaeoidea gen. & sp. ‘Rodrigues’

Rodrigues Dung Beetle(s) (Scarabaeoidea gen. & sp.)

At least 12 (!) genera/species of dung beetles are known from subfossil remains found on the island of Rodrigues.

These dung beetles were just a little part of a now mostly completely lost insect fauna that once occurred on that island, they very likely were adapted to the numerous tortoises that formerly roamed the island.

The dung beetles disappeared after the extinction of the two endemic tortoise species they had been attached to in the 19th century.

***

I want to remind you, the blog readers, that these 12 genera/species are known from the island of Rodrigues alone, how many species did occur on the other Mascarene Islands – we will probably never know.

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edited: 31.10.2020

Dendromus kahuziensis Dieterlen

Mt. Kahuzi Climbing Mouse (Dendromus kahuziensis)

The Mt. Kahuzi Climbing Mouse was described in 1969; the species is known only from two specimens, a male and a female that were collected in 1967 and 1972 respectively.

The species is (or was) known only from the forests at Mount Kahuzi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; it is highly threatened by illegal logging and habitat destruction and, having never been found since 1972, might actually already be extinct.

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edited: 20.08.2022

Antilissus makauwahi Porch

Makauwahi Bark Beetle (Antilissus makauwahi)

The Makauwahi Bark Beetle was described in 2020 based on subfossil remains that were recovered from the deposits in the Makauwahi Cave on the island of Kaua’i, Hawaiian Islands.

These remains can be dated to an age of about 800 years before present. [1]

***

The only other known member of that genus, the Cylindrical Bark Beetle (Antilissus asper Sharp), is found on all of the larger Hawaiian Islands where it lives under the bark of dead or dying trees. [1]

*********************

References:

[1] Nick Porch: A new and likely extinct species of Antilissus Sharp, 1879 (Coleoptera: Zopheridae: Colydiinae) from Makauwahi Cave, Kauai, Hawaiian Islands. Zootaxa 4868(1): 135-141. 2020

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edited: 24.10.2020

Cyanoramphus sp. ‚Rapa‘

Rapa Parakeet (Cyanoramphus sp.)


This species is known from subfossil remains that were found during excavations on the island of Rapa, Austral Islands.

These remains somewhat fill the giant gap in the distribution area of the genus, which is found on the one hand with many species in the western Pacific region (New Caledonia and New Zealand faunal regions) and on the other hand with two species on the Society Islands in central Polynesia.

There are hundreds of suitable island groups and islands between these two areas where not a single member of the genus was ever found. [1]

***

The Rapa Parakeet very likely was a ground-dwelling species, like most members of its genus, and was also very likely very tame and thus was probably among the first birds to be eradicated by the first human occupants of the island. [1]

*********************

References:

[1] J. D. Tennyson; Atholl Anderson: Bird, reptile and mammal remains from archaeological sites on Rapa Island. In: Atholl Anderson; Douglas J. Kennett: Taking the High Ground; The archaeology of Rapa, a fortified island in remote East Polynesia. In: Terra Australis 37. 105-114. Canberra, ANU E Press 2012

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edited: 08.02.2020

Pyrgulopsis torrida Hershler, Liu, Babbitt, Kellog & Howard

Little Sycamore Pyrg (Pyrgulopsis torrida)

The Little Sycamore Pyrg was described in 2016, it had formerly been misidentified as another species, the Yaqui Pyrg (Pyrgulopsis stearnsiana (Pilsbry)).

The species was restricted to a single small, shallow stream that runs for about 1,6 km in the Little Sykcamore Canyon in Ventura Canyon, California, USA.

The shells reach sizes of about 0,28 cm in heigth. [1]

***

The Little Sycamore Pyrg was already rare in 2000, however, when the type locality was revisited in 2015, the stream was completely dry, indicating that the species had lost its only habitat and may thus be now extinct. [1]

*********************

References:

[1] Robert Hershler; Hsiu-Ping Liu; Caitlin Babbit; Michael G. Kellog; Jeanette K. Howard: Three new species of western California springsnails previously confused with Pyrgulopsis stearnsiana (Caenogastropoda, Hydrobiidae). ZooKeys 601: 1-19. 2016

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Photo from: ‘Robert Hershler; Hsiu-Ping Liu; Caitlin Babbit; Michael G. Kellog; Jeanette K. Howard: Three new species of western California springsnails previously confused with Pyrgulopsis stearnsiana (Caenogastropoda, Hydrobiidae). ZooKeys 601: 1-19. 2016’

(under creative commons license (4.0))
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0

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edited: 18.05.2022

Amastra pellucida Baldwin

Translucent Amastra Snail (Amastra pellucida)

The Translucent Amastra Snail was described in 1895, it was restricted to the Wai’anae Valley on the island of O’ahu, Hawaiian Islands.

The species is named for the thin pellucid (translucent) texture of its shell, and it is one of only a few of which we know at least a little bit about the animal itself.:

Animal of a uniform brown color; the head above and tentacles of a darker shade. the action of the heart is plainly visible through the thin texture of the shell. When first collected the pulsations were about fifty per minute, growing slower and fainter from day to day until the animal died.” [1]

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References:

[1] George W. Tryon; Henry A. Pilsbry; a.o.: Manual of Conchology. Second series: Pulmonata. Vol 21: Achatinellidae (Amastrinae). 1911

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Depiction from: ‘George W. Tryon; Henry A. Pilsbry; a. o.: Manual of Conchology. Second series: Pulmonata. Vol 21: Achatinellidae (Amastrinae). 1911’

(public domain)

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edited: 28.09.2020

Chrysopelea rhodopleuron ssp. viridis Fischer

Sangihe Flying Snake (Chrysopelea rhodopleuron ssp. viridis)

The Sangihe Flying Snake was described in 1880 from a single specimen which was subsequently destroyed during World War II; it was originally described as a distinct species. This form was apparently restricted to the island of Sangihe, the largest of the Sangihe Islands, Indonesia (not Sulawesi as is often stated).

The snake reached a length of 1,4 m, it was bright green above and slightly paler below, parts of the head were yellowish colored. [1]

The status of this form is not known but it appears to be extinct.

*********************

References:

[1] J. G. Fischer: Neue Amphibien und Reptilien. Archiv für Naturgeschichte 215-227. 1880

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Depiction from: ‘J. G. Fischer: Neue Amphibien und Reptilien. Archiv für Naturgeschichte 46(1): 215-227. 1880′

(not in copyright)

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edited: 19.08.2022

Anisodes hypomion Prout

Christmas Island Anisodes Geometer Moth (Anisodes hypomion)

This species was described in 1933, apparently based on a single specimen, a female: it has a wingspan of 2,2 cm; its wings have a light pinkish cinnamon color and bear several darker and lighter colored markings. [1]

The species was not found since and is considered possibly extinct. [2]

*********************

References:

[1] Louis B. Prout: The Geometridae of Christmas Island, Indian Ocean Bulletin of the Raffles Museum 8: 88-94. 1933
[2] John Woinarski: A Bat’s End: The Christmas Island Pipistrelle and Extinction in Australia. CSIRO Publishing, Victoria, Australia 2018

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edited: 08.09.2020

Coenosia extincta Pront

Extinct Mahé Fly (Coenosia extincta)

This species was described in 2009 based on a single male specimen that was collected in March, April or May 1892 on the island of Mahé, Seychelles Islands.

The species was never found since its original collection and was thus considered extinct by its author. [1]

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References:

[1] Adrian C. Pont: A new species of Coenosia Meigen, 1826 from the Seychelles Islands (Insecta, Diptera: Muscidae). Phelsume 17: 9-11. 2009
[2] Justin Gerlach: Red List ing reveals the true state of biodiversity: a comprehensive assessment of Seychelles biodiversity. Phesluma 20: 9-22. 2012

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edited: 30.10.2020

Opogona binotatella (Walker)

Potato-boring Opogona Moth (Opogona binotatella)

This species was described in 1875, it is, or maybe was, restricted to the island of Saint Helena, where it appears to have been quite common.:

It was chiefly at Plantation that I met with this species, where it abounds; indeed it is much too abundant, as in the caterpillar-state it is most destructive to the potato-crops. Mr. Melliss observes, “The larva of this moth is well known in the island as the potato-worm. It is a small, translucent, maggot-like creature, of a dirty whitish hue, marked with four longitudinal rows of small brown spots, and having a few long hairs on its body. In length it varies from a half to three quarters of an inch. The head is hard, and of a chocolate-brown colour; and the little creature moves backwards quite as easily as it does forwards. It abounds in the island, and is a thorough pest to the potato-crops. Either the eggs are laid in the potatoes, or the larva enters them in an early stage of its growth, and, through its depredations, renders them quite unfit for food. When changing to the pupa-state it wraps itself up in a strong web, in the form of a close, tough envelope; and the chrysalis is of a light mahogany colour, with the positions of the wings and legs, even in its early stage, strongly marked longitudinally down the outside of the case or skin.” It would therefore appear to be only in the more cultivated parts of the island that this species has established itself; and on rapping the trunks of trees in such situations the imagos fly off in showers; nevertheless they very quickly settle again.” [1]

The forewings are dull and opaque dark cloudy brown colored, they are more or less besprinkled with blackish scales; some individuals are darker; the hindwings are glossy, silk-like cinereous, becoming darker towards the apex. [1]

***

There are no recent records of that species, and it is possible that it is already extinct, which is weird given the fact that it apparently was able to adapt to introduced potatoes as larval food plant. [2]

*********************

References:

[1] Mrs. T. Vernon Wollaston: Notes on the Lepidoptera of St. Helena, with descriptions of new species. The Annals and Magazine of Natural History, including Zoology, Botany, and Geology. Ser. 5. Vol. 3: 415-441. 1879
[2] Timm Karisch: Darwin-Plus Project DPLUS040: securing the future for St Helena’s endemic invertebrates. Report Lepidoptera. Dessau, 31.08.2018

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edited: 29.05.2021

Opogona helenae (E. Wollaston)

Saint Helena Opogona Moth (Opogona helenae)

The Saint Helena Opogona Moth was described in 1879, it is, or maybe was, restricted to the island of Saint Helena.

The species has not seen since its description and might very well be extinct. [1]

*********************

References:

[1] Timm Karisch: Darwin-Plus Project DPLUS040: securing the future for St Helena’s endemic invertebrates. Report Lepidoptera. Dessau, 31.08.2018

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edited: 29.05.2021

Cyperus chionocephalus (Chiov.) Chiov. ex Chiarugi

Snowhead Sedge (Cyperus chionocephalus)

The Snowhead Sedge was described in 1939, it is, or was, endemic to Somalia; the author of the species mentiones the following about it (in a revision in 1951).:

Poco diffuso; poco sviluppato in altezza (10-20 cm.). A Mega cresce lungo l’uadi presso la Residenza Italiana e sulla collina presso il Consolata Inglese, sotto Juniperus procera.” [1]

translation:

Not widespread; little developed in height (10-20 cm.). A big stand grows along the wadi at the Italian residence and on the hill near the English consulate, under Juniperus procera.”

According to this account, the species appears to have been restricted to an area that now is the city of Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.

***

I personally have no further information about this species, it appears in a list of extinct species, thus I’ll mention it here as well.

*********************

References:

[1] Emilio Chiovenda: Missione Biologica Sagan-Omo. Journal of Plant Taxonomy and Geography 8(1): 1-120. 1951

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edited: 27.05.2019

Philodoria costalis Swezey

Makaha Philodoria Moth (Philodoria costalis)

This species was described in 1934; it is known only from the forests of the Makaha Ridge at elevations of about 915 m above sea level on the western side of Mt. Ka’ala on the island of O’ahu, Hawaiian Islands.

The species reaches a wingspan of about 0,7 to 0,8 cm; the head, the thorax and the abdomen are tawny brown; the forewings are tawny brown and bear orange-colored patches.

The species is known to have mined the leaves of endemic māmaki species (Pipturus sp.); the sole description of its biology is the following sentence.:

The larvae form “oval brown cocoons on the surface of the leaves ….” (Swezey, 1934: 525.)” [1]

***

The species was not recorded during recent field work and might be extinct. [2]

*********************

[1] Elwood C. Zimmerman: Insects of Hawaii 9; Microlepidoptera. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu 1978
[2] Shigeki Kobayashi; Chris A. Johns; Akito Y. Kawahara: Revision of the Hawaiian endemic leaf-mining moth genus Philodoria Walsingham (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae): its conservation status, host plants and descriptions of thirteen new species. Zootaxa 4944(1): 1-715. 2021

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edited: 18.03.2021

Atelopus onorei Coloma, Lötters, Duellman & Miranda-Leiva

Onore’s Stub-foot Toad (Atelopus onorei)

Onore’s Stub-foot Toad was described in 2007, it is so far known only from the two localities in the Azuay Basin in the Cordillera Occidental in Ecuador, where it was discovered in 1990.

The species was photographed alive, the ground color of most individuals was orange-yellow, the dorsal areas of the males were variably colored bright green. The most conspicuous character of this species, however, were the aqua-blue colored iris of their eyes.

Onore’s Stub-foot Toad was never found again since its discovery and is believed to be already extinct.

*********************

References:

[1] Luis A. Coloma; Stefan Lötters; William E. Duellman; Alfonso Miranda-Leiva: A taxonomic revision of Atelopus pachydermus, and description of two new (extinct?) species of Atelopus from Ecuador (Anura: Bufonidae). Zootaxa 1557: 1-32. 2007

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edited: 07.05.2019

Phacelia amabilis Constances

Saline Valley Phacelia (Phacelia amabilis)

The Saline Valley Phacelia was discovered in 1942 in the Saline Valley in the Inyo County of California, USA and was never found again since, it is thus declared possibly extinct.

It may, however, just have been a color variant of another species, the Notch-leaved Phacelia (Phacelia crenulata Torr. ex S.Watson).

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Depiction from: ‘Le Roy Abrams: An illustrated flora of the Pacific States: Washington, Oregon, and California. Stanford University, Stanford University Press 1923-60’

(no known copyright restrictions)

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edited: 09.11.2021

Anas gracilis ssp. ‘New Caledonia’

New Caledonian Grey Teal (Anas gracilis ssp.)

This form is known only from subfossil remains that had been found on the island of Grande Terre, New Caledonia.

This was probably an endemic form of the Grey Teal (Anas gracilis Buller), a species that is otherwise known from Australia, New Guinea and New Zealand, however, this species is sometimes found on New Caledonia as a vagrant, thus it is also possible that the subfossil remains descent from such vagrant birds. [1]

The form is mentioned here for the sake of completeness.

*********************

References:

[1] David W. Steadman: Extinction and biogeography of Tropical Pacific Birds. University of Chicago Press 2006

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edited: 10.11.2021

Meandrusa payeni ssp. payeni (Boisduval)

Yellow Gorgon (Meandrusa payeni ssp. payeni)

The Yellow Gorgon can be spilt into about six subspecies, which occur from parts of China and India to Indonesia.

The species itself seems not to be threatened yet, however, the nominate form, which was restricted to the island of Java, Indonesia, appears to be extinct now.

***

The photo below shows another subspecies.

*********************

Indian Yellow Gorgon (Meandrusa payeni ssp. evan (Doubleday))

Photo: Tamagha Sengupta

(under creative commons license (3.0))
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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edited: 17.11.2021

Nesocordulia villiersi Legrand

Viliers’ Emerald (Nesocordulia villiersi)

Villiers’ Emerald was described in 1984; it is endemic to the island of Mwali (Mohéli) in the Comoro Islands.

The species is only known from one locality that seems to be highly degraded now, it has not been found in recent field studies and might well be extinct.

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edited: 14.05.2022

Tenebroides tubuai Kolibáč & Porch

Tubuai Bark-gnawing Beetle (Tenebroides tubuai)

The Tubuai Bark-gnawing Beetle was described in 2020, it is known from subfossil remains, including a head, parts of another head, a left mandible, at least one complete elytron as well as additional elytral fragments, and a incomplete prothorax, all recovered from sediment core samples taken at the Mihiru Swamp on the island of Tubuai in the Austral Islands.

These remains can be dated to an age of about 2500 to 2000 BP..

The Tubuai Bark-gnawing Beetle might have been the largest member of its genus, its size has been reconstructed to have been about 1,57 cm in length, which clearly sets it apart from the congeneric and sympatric Mihiura Bark-gnawing Beetle (Tenebroides mihiura Kolibáč & Porch). [1]

*********************

References:

[1] Jiří Kolibáč; Milada Bocakova; James K. Liebherr; Thibould Ramage; Nick Porch: Extinct and extant Pacific Trogossitidae and the evolution of Cleroidea (Coleoptera) after the Late Triassic biotic crisis. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 20: 1-37. 2020

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edited: 02.11.2020

Heraclia busiris (Fabricius)

Lost Heraclia Moth (Heraclia busiris)

This species is known from a single specimen that was collected somewhere in Africa (all other known members of the genus occur there); it was described in 1793, originally as a skipper (Hesperidae).

The sole specimen was examined in 2018, when it was found not to be a skipper (Hesperiidae) at all but instead a member of a completely different family, the owlet moths (Noctuidae). [1]

The Lost Heraclia Moth has not been found for 229 years; it may well be lost forever.

*********************

References:

[1] Alberto Zilli; Nick Grishin: Unveiling one of the rarest ‘butterflies’ ever (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae, Noctuidae). Systematic Entomology 44(2): 384-395. 2018

*********************

underside

Photo: The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

(under creative commons license (4.0))
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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edited: 28.04.2022

Rhodacanthis palmeri Rothschild

Greater Koa-Finch (Rhodacanthis palmeri)

The Greater Koa Finch, named hopue by the native Hawaiians, was already nearly extinct when it was discovered by European ornithologists.

The species originally inhabited dry lowland forests that were dominated by the endemic koa acacias (Acacia koa A. Gray) whose seed pods and seeds apparently were its main food source, it furthermore fed on the seeds of the native ‘a’ali’i (Dodonaea viscosa Jacq.) and caterpillars. Most of the lowland forests had already been destroyed by the Hawaiian natives long before the first European settlers arrived, and the finches were restricted to the small remains in the northern Kona District in the western part of Hawai’i.

***

When alive, Greater Koa Finch was by far the largest of the Hawaiian endemic drepanidine finches; it reached a size of 23 cm; the males had bright scarlet-orange heads and breasts, while the females were more or less completely plain green colored.

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References:

[1] H. Douglas Pratt: The Hawaiian Honeycreepers: Drepanidinae. Oxford Univ. Pr. 2005

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Depiction from: ‘W. Rothschild: The Avifauna of Laysan and the neighbouring islands with a complete history to date of the birds of the Hawaiian possession. 1893-1900’

(public domain)

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edited: 07.10.2020

Miconia leandroides Cogn. & Gleason ex Gleason

Bolivar Miconia (Miconia leandroides)

This species is known from two collections from the late 19th century, both were made somewhere at or near the city of Guaranda, the capital of the Bolívar Province of Ecuador.

This locality is now highly degraded and thus this species is most possibly extinct.

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edited: 28.01.2020

Hesperia meskei ssp. pinocayo Gatrelle & Minno in Gatrelle, Minno & Grkovich

Rockland Meske’s Skipper (Hesperia meskei ssp. pinocayo)

The Rockland Meske’s Skipper is a subspecies of Meske’s Skipper (Hesperia meskei W. H. Edwards) (see photo below) that was described in 2003 and that apparently was restricted to the Florida Keys, a coral cay archipelago off the southern coast of Florida, USA.

It was already nearly extinct when it was described.:

The taxon is within the Key Deer Refuge on Big Pine Key and is therefore already afforded habitat and disturbance protection. However, the number of individuals have now declined so greatly that some type of breeding program seems called for soon if not immediately.” [1]

The butterfly was officially declared extinct in 2013.

*********************

References:

[1] Ronald R. Gatrelle: A subspecific assessment of the genus Hesperia (Hesperiinae) in eastern North America (part I: the south) New subspecies of Hesperia meteea, Hesperia sassacus and Hesperia meskei. The Taxonomic Report 4(3). 2003

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Meske’s Skipper (Hesperia meskei), nominate form

Photo: Will Stuart
https://www.inaturalist.org/people/willstuart2001

(under creative commons license (4.0))
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

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edited: 28.04.2022

Curculionidae gen. & sp. ‘Rimatara’

Rimataran Cossonine Weevil(s) (Curculionidae gen. & sp.)

The weevils (Curculionidae) are in fact the most species-rich family of the whole animal kingdom, the family is divided into several subfamilies of which the Cossininae is one.

***

The subfossil record of the island of Rimatara, Austral Islands has produced the remains of at least 18 (!) genera/species of cossinine weevils, this shows how species-rich the island faunas once, before the arrival of humans, were … and, how much has already been lost.

The remains are currently under review by Nick Porch, an Australian entomologist specialized in subfossil insect remains.

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edited: 31.10.2020

Anatidae gen. & sp. ‘Mariana Islands’

Rota Duck (Anatidae gen. & sp.)

The Rota Duck is known so far only from subfossil bones that were recovered from deposits on the island of Rota in the Mariana Islands.

The species was small and probably flightless, not much else is known about it so far. [1]

*********************

References:

[1] David W. Steadman: Extinct and extirpated birds from Rota, Mariana Islands. Micronesia 25(1): 71-84. 1992

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edited: 10.11.2021

Pentatemnodes rupertsianus Voss

Rupert’s Valley Weevil (Pentatemnodes rupertsianus)

Rupert’s Valley Weevil was described in 1972; it is, or rather was, endemic to the island of Saint Helena.

The species was obviously not seen since 1967 and might well be extinct, however, I was not able to find any additional information about this species.

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edited: 27.05.2021

‘Chlorita’ edithae White

Edith’s Green Leafhopper (‘Chlorita’ edithae)

Edith’s Green Leafhopper, which is or was endemic to the island of Saint Helena, was described in 1878, however, its genus name is placed between quotation marks because it apparently is invalid and the species belongs in another genus.

This species was found by Mrs. and Mr. Wollaston at Cason’s, Diana’s Peak, and high Peak in the central ridge of the island, but was not recorded during field surveys in 1965/66 and during the most recent searches in 2005/06 and is probably extinct now. [1]

*********************

References:

[1] Howard Mendel; Philip Ashmole; Myrtle Ashmole: Invertebrates of the Central Peaks and Peak Dale, St. Helena. Report for the St Helena National Trust, Jamestown 2008

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edited: 02.12.2018

Cylindraspis peltastes (Dumeril & Bibron)

Domed Rodrigues Giant Tortoise (Cylindraspis peltastes)

The Domed Rodrigues Giant Tortoise was one of two tortoise species that formerly were endemic to the island of Rodrigues in the Mascarene Islands.

The species disappeared after the island was settled by Europeans in the 16th century, the last individuals survived apparently until the very beginning of the 19th century.

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edited: 19.01.2020

Peromyscus mekisturus Merriam

Puebla Deermouse (Peromyscus mekisturus)

The Puebla Deermouse was described in 1898, it is known only from two specimens which were collected at the cities of Ciudad Serdán and Tehuacan in southeastern Puebla, Mexico.

The species was last seen around 1948, the places where it was found are now heavily degraded by agricultural conversion and it is believed to be extinct.

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edited: 23.01.2020

Thomasia gardneri Paunt

Mouth Holland Thomasia (Thomasia gardneri)

The Mount Holland Thomasia was described in 1974, based on the type material that apparently was collected in 1929; it was restricted to a region somewhere near Mt. Holland in southern Western Australia.

The species is now most likely extinct. [1]

*********************

References:

[1] Kelly A. Sheperd: A key to the species of Thomasia (Malvaceae: Byttnerioideae). Nuytsia 30: 195-202. 2019

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edited: 03.05.2022

Cerion alejandroi Suárez

Alejandro’s Cerion Snail (Cerion alejandroi)

Alejandro’s Cerion Snail was described in 2019 on the basis of subfossil shells that had been collected from deposits at a place named El Júcaro, near the Ramón de Antillas beach in the Holguín Province of Cuba.

The shells reach sizes of about 2,3 to 2,49 cm in height; they have a rather barrel-shaped form. [1]

The species apparently disappeared at the beginning of the Holocene du to naturally occurring changes in the local climate.

*********************

References:

[1] Alexis Suárez: Descripción de dos especies nuevas de Cerion (Mollusca: Pulmonata: Cerionidae) en estado subfósil, para Holguín, Cuba. Novitates Caribaea 14: 121-127. 2019

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edited: 01.11.2020

Hemithea hyperymna Prout

Christmas Island Emerald (Hemithea hyperymna)

The Christmas Island Emerald was described in 1933; it is, or rather was, endemic to Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean.

The species hasn’t been seen since the 1930s and might well be extinct. [1]

*********************

References:

[1] John Woinarski: A Bat’s End: The Christmas Island Pipistrelle and Extinction in Australia. CSIRO Publishing, Victoria, Australia 2018

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edited: 02.05.2022

Anoma tricolor (Pfeiffer)

Tricolored Anoma Snail (Anoma tricolor)

The Tricolored Anoma Snail was desribed in 1847, it apperas toe have been restricted to a place named Moncrieff Gully (named Fern Gully today) in the St. Ann Parish at the north coast of Jamaica. [1]

The shells reach sizes of about 1,8 cm in heigth, they have up to 15 whorls and are glossy whitish and bear some grayish stripes.

The species is apparently extinct now.

*********************

References:

[1] George W. Tryon; Henry A. Pilsbry; a.o.: Manual of Conchology. Second series: Pulmonata. Vol 16: Urocoptidae, Achatinidae. 1904
[2] Gary Rosenberg; Igor Muratov: Status Report on the Terrestrial Mollusca of Jamaica. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 155: 117-161. 2006

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Depiction from: ‘Louis Pfeiffer: Die Gattung Cylindrella Pfr.: in Abbildungen nach der Natur. Nürnberg: Verlag von Bauer und Raspe, Julius Merz 1862’

(not in copyright)

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edited: 22.09.2020

Succinea pallida Pfeiffer

Pallid Amber Snail (Succinea pallida)

The Pallid Amber Snail was confined to the sister islands of Ra’iatea and Taha’a, where it was historically very abundant and could be found on any moist places on the ground.

The species, which was described in 1847, is now extinct.

*********************

References:

[1] Justin Gerlach: Land and Freshwater Snails of Tahiti and the other Society Islands. Phelsuma Press, Cambridge 2017

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edited: 26.11.2018

Amastra thurstoni ssp. bembicodes Cooke

Small Thurston’s Amastra Snail (Amastra thurstoni ssp. bembicodes)

This form differs from the nominate form by its smaller size, its compact and closely coiled spire, but especially in its smoother surface marked with finer and more distantly spaced growth-wrinkles. [1]

This is an exceedingly rare form of Amastra. the results of five findings are six whole and three broken specimens. Among the large number of Amastras that have been taken in the Manoa fossil deposits, from the beginning of Oahu Avenue to Awapuhi Street, this form was only taken from four “pockets”.” [1]

These deposits appear to be actually Late Pleistocene to early Holocene in age.

*********************

References:

[1] C. Montague Cooke: New species of Amastridae. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers 10(6): 1-29. 1933

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edited: 04.05.2022