Category Archives: Insecta

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.

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

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).

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

References:

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

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

Boring Saint Helena Weevil (Acanthomerus terebrans)

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

(public domain)

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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]

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

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

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

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

(public domain)

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

edited: 27.04.2022

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]

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

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

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

edited: 03.09.2019

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.

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

References:

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

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

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.

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

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

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

Photo: Landcare Research New Zealand Ltd

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

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

edited: 05.11.2020

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.

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

References:

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

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

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

(public domain)

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

edited: 27.05.2021

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.

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

[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

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

edited: 18.03.2021

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.

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

References:

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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)

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

edited: 09.09.2020

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).

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

edited: 27.05.2021

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.

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

edited: 23.08.2022

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

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

edited: 10.12.2018

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

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

edited: 02.11.2020

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

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

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.

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

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

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

Indian Fritillary (Argynnis hyperbius)

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

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

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

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.

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

edited: 31.10.2020

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

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

edited: 24.10.2020

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

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

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]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

edited: 29.05.2021

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

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

edited: 18.03.2021

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/

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

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.

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

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

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

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/

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

edited: 28.04.2022

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

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

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/

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

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.

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

edited: 31.10.2020

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.

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

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

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

edited: 02.12.2018

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

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

edited: 02.05.2022

Celastrina ogasawaraensis (Pryer)

Ogasawara Holly Blue (Celastrina ogasawaraensis)

The Ogasawara Holly Blue, described in 1886, is endemic to the Ogasawara Islands, where it appears to have been quite common until the 1970s, when its populations began to crash, mainly caused by the loss of their preferred host plant species due to the native vegetation being overrun by introduced invasive alien plants and because of increasing predation by likewise introduced Green Anoles (Anolis carolinensis Voigt), whose populations are now as high as about 6 million individuals. [1]

The species appears to be extinct in the wild since 2018, when the last individuals were seen.

For some time there had been attempts to establish a captive program: the species was kept in captivity since 2005, once in the Tama Zoological Park and then in the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, both in Tokyo, Japan.

However, these efforts apparently failed, and the last individuals apparently died in 2020.

The Ogasawara Holly Blue is now feared to have been lost.

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

References:

[1] Yasuhiro Nakamura: Conservation of butterflies in Japan: status, actions and strategy. Journal of Insect Conservation 15: 5-22. 2011

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

female

Photo: コミスジ空港

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


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

edited: 02.11.2020

Cephalochetus sp. ”Upolu’

Upolu Cephalochetus Roof Beetle (Cephalochetus sp.)

This species is known only from several subfossil remains that have been recovered from samplings from the island of ‘Upolu, Samoa by Nick Porch, an Australian entomologist specialized in subfossil insect remains.

The species must have had a size of about 0,3 cm in length.

***

The genus was formerly known to occur on the Fijian Islands, so this is a new record for the Samoan Islands.

The species might quite likely be still alive, but will be mentioned here for completeness.

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

edited: 31.10.2020

Rhyncogonus bryani Perkins

Bryan’s Rhyncogonus Weevil (Rhyncogonus bryani)

Bryan’s Rhyncogonus Weevil was described in 1919, it is known from only a single specimen.

The species was endemic to the island of Laysan in the northwestern part of the Hawaiian Islands chain; its biology is completely unknown.

Bryan’s Rhyncogonus Weevil disappeared as an aftermath of the complete denudation of Laysan Island’s vegetation following the introduction of Rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus (L.)) in 1909.

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

References:

[1] G. A. Samuelson: Review of Rhyncogonus of the Hawaiian Islands (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu 2003

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

edited: 27.01.2019

Pycnomerus sp. ‘Mangaia’

Mangaian Ironclad Beetle (Pycnomerus sp.)

This form has not yet been described, it is known from subfossil remains that were recovered from substrate that was collected on the island of Mangaia, Cook Islands. [1]

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

References:

[1] Nick Porch; Tessa R. Smith: New Pycnomerus Erichson (Coleoptera: Zopheridae: Pycnomerini) from Rimatara, French Polynesia. Zootaxa 4237(1): 154-166. 2017

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

edited: 11.06.2020

Archaeoglenes sp. ‘Kaua’i’

Kauai Darkling Beetle (Archaeoglenes sp.)

This is another of the many beetle forms that are known only by subfossil remains, in this case found on the island of Kaua’i, Hawaiian Islands.

***

The genus Archaeoglenes has a very odd distribution, some species occur in the Caribbean, some on the Mascarene Islands, others again on the islands of the western Pacific.

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

edited: 31.10.2020

Acanthomerus monilicornis (Wollaston)

Collared Saint Helena Weevil (Acanthomerus monilicornis)

The Collared Saint Helena Weevil was described in 1869; it is, or maybe was, endemic to the island of Saint Helena, where it appears to have been quite common and widespread once.:

This is the common Acanthomerus at Plantation, – where it swarms in the dead branches and trunks of the various species of oak, as well as in the crevices of old posts &c.; and I am inclined to think that it be should looked upon as having been attached originally to the gumwoods, which must once have been dominant throughout that district; and I have taken it amongst the gumwoods at Thompson’s Wood, where, however, it is less abundant than the A. ellipticus. At any rate it is more particularly a species of intermediate altitudes; though I believe that on one occasion I met with a single example of it towards the central ridge.” [1]

***

The species was not found during the most recent field searches and is believed to be possibly extinct.

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

References:

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

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

edited: 27.05.2021

Tenebroides raivavae Kolibáč & Porch

Raivavae Bark-gnawing Beetle (Tenebroides raivavae)


This species was described in 2020, it is so far only known from the holotype material, a subfossil incomplete prosternum, that was obtained from a core sample taken from the Rairua Swamp on the island of Raivavae in the Austral Islands.

The size of this species is estimated to have been about 1,39 cm in length; it appears to have been black in color. [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

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

edited: 02.11.2020

Pycnomerus sp. ”Atiu’

Atiu Ironclad Beetle (Pycnomerus sp.)


This species has not yet been described, it is known from subfossil remains that were recovered from substrate that was collected on the island of ‘Atiu in the Cook Islands. 
[1]

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

References:

[1] Nick Porch; Tessa R. Smith: New Pycnomerus Erichson (Coleoptera: Zopheridae: Pycnomerini) from Rimatara, French Polynesia. Zootaxa 4237(1): 154-166. 2017

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

edited: 11.06.2020

Cotes sp. ‘Benneydale’

Benneydale Ant-like Flower Beetle (Cotes sp.)

The genus Cotes is endemic to New Zeland, all of the about eight species currently assigned to it are probably feeding on decaying plant material.

***

The Benneydale Ant-like Flower Beetle is known only from subfossil remains that were recovered from deposits near Benneydale, a small town in the Waitomo District of western North Island, New Zealand.

This species appears to be extinct now.

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

References:

[1] 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

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

edited: 05.11.2020

Opogona irrorata (E. Wollaston)

Dewy Opogona Moth (Opogona irrorata)

The Dewy Opogona Moth was described in 1879; it is, or maybe was, endemic to the island of Saint Helena in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

The description of this species.:

The fore wings of a pale brownish or straw-coloured tinge, and speckled with numerous irregular black dots (particularly on the basal half), each composed of a few dark scales, those near the costa having a faint tendency to be placed somewhat in transverse pairs. The apex and outer margin are speckled more minutely, as is also the fringe. Hind wings pale glossy cinereous, and, when viewed beneath a high magnifying-power, with a pearly and somewhat opaline lustre. Thorax slightly darker than the anterior wings; body much the same as the posterior ones.
The only examples which I have seen of this moth I captured, I believe, at Thompson’s Wood; but whether the species is in any way connected with the gumwoods I have no means of deciding. At any rate there is no reason to suspect that it is otherwise than truly indigenous in the island. The rather dotted, or speckled, surface of its upper wings will be sufficient to distinguish it from its more immediate allies.
” [1]

***

The species was never found again and is quite likely extinct. [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

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

edited: 28.05.2021

Indolestes linsleyi Lieftinck

Linsley’s Spreadwing (Indolestes linsleyi)

Linsley’s Spreadwing was described in 1960, it apparently occurs, or maybe occurred near Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea.

The species has a wingspan of about 4,4 cm; the males have distinctly shaped hindwings with a rounded flap in the anal region. [1]

It is now thought to be possibly extinct.

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

References:

[1] Vincent Kalkman; Albert Orr: Field Guide to the damselflies of New Guinea. Brachytron 2013

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

edited: 13.11.2021

Melanoplus nanus Scudder

Small Spur-throat Grasshopper (Melanoplus nanus)

The Small Spur-throat Grasshopper was described in 1898, it was apparently only found in few places in the Alameda – , the Marin – , and the San Mateo Counties in California, USA.

The species inhabited dry grassy hillsides.

The males reached sizes of about 1,4 cm, the females were slightly larger, both sexes were fuscous light-brown colored.

The Small Spur-throat Grasshopper is now considered possibly extinct, however, reasons for this assumption are not given.

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

References:

[1] Samuel H. Scudder: Supplement to a revision of the Melanopli. Proceedings of the Davenport Academy of Natural Sciences 7: 157-205. 1899

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

Depiction from: ‘Samuel H. Scudder: Supplement to a revision of the Melanopli. Proceedings of the Davenport Academy of Natural Sciences 7: 157-205. 1899’

(public domain)

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

edited: 31.08.2019

Blackburnia agonoides (Sharp)

Koa Blackburnia Ground Beetle (Blackburnia agonoides)

The Koa Blackburnia Ground Beetle was described in 1903, it was endemic to the island of Maui, Hawaiian Islands.

The species was recorded from cavities in trunks or branches of the endemic Koa (Acacia koa A. Gray). [1]

********************* 

References: 

[1] Dan A. Polhemus; Curtis P. Ewing; R. Kaholo’a, James K. Liebherr: Rediscovery of Blackburnia anomala (Coleoptera: Carabidae), in East Maui, Hawai’i, after a 107-year hiatus. Pacific Science 57(2): 16-166. 2003

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

edited: 03.09.2019

Eupithecia dryinombra (Meyrick)

Wailuku Pug Moth (Eupithecia dryinombra)

The Wailuku Pug Moth was described in 1899, it is known only from the male type specimen.

The species reaches a wingspan of about 1,7 cm, it is rather pale and narrow-winged, there are obscure medial bands on its forewings that are marked by a series of short, disconnected longitudinal dashes.

The species inhabited the native rain forest above a place named Wailuku on the island of Moloka’i, Hawaiian Islands, a habitat that is now heavily degraded by introduced mammalian herbivores. 

The Wailuku Pug Moth was never recorded since its description and is likely extinct. [1][2]

*********************  

References:  

[1] E. C. Zimmerman: Insects of Hawaii 7, Macrolepidoptera. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu 1958
[2] Steven L. Montgomery: Carnivorous caterpillars: The behavior, biogeography and conservation of Eupithecia (Lepidoptera: Geometridae) in the Hawaiian Islands. GeoJournal 7.6: 549-556. 1983

*********************  

edited: 06.01.2019

Pycnomerus sp. ‘Benneydale’

Benneydale Ironclad Beetle (Pycnomerus sp.)

This up to now undescribed species is known exclusively from subfossil remains that were recovered from deposits near Benneydale, a small town in the Waitomo District of western North Island, New Zealand. [1]

The species is now extinct, it is one of countless large insect species that were eaten into extinction by Polynesian Rats (Rattus exulans (Peale)) that had been introduced by the ancestors of the Maori when they first arrived in New Zealand.

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

References:

[1] 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

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

edited: 05.11.2020

Taylorilygus murrayi (Izzard)

Murray’s Plant Bug (Taylorilygus murrayi)

This species, which is endemic to Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean, was last recorded in 1933, it may now be extinct. [1]

There appear to exist no further information about this species.

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

References:

[1] D. J. James; P. T. Green; W. F. Humphreys; J. C. Z. Woinarski: Endemic species of Christmas Island, Indian Ocean. Records of the Western Australian Museum 34: 55-114. 2019

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

edited: 07.05.2021

Acrotylus mossambicus Brancsik

South-East African Burrowing Grasshopper (Acrotylus mossambicus)

The South-East African Burrowing Grasshopper was described in 1893, it apparently is widely distributed over parts of Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

The species has apparently not been recorded since 1946 and might be extinct, however, given its wide distribution this assumption seems quite strange.

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

edited: 03.11.2020

Taomyia ocellata (Lamb)

Ocellated Fruit Fly (Taomyia ocellata)

This species was described in 1914, it was endemic to the Seychelles Islands (which island(s) exactly?), from where it was not recorded in recent years, it is thus considered extinct. [1]

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

References:

[1] Justin Gerlach: Red Listing reveals the true state of biodiversity: a comprehensive assessment of Seychelles biodiversity. Phelsuma 20: 9-22. 2012

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

edited: 26.11.2018

Homoeodera asteris Wollaston

Scrubwood Fungus Beetle (Homoeodera asteris)

The Scrubwood Fungus Beetle was described in 1877; it is, or probably was, endemic to the island of Saint Helena.

The species was apparently associated with the endemic scrubwood (Commidendrum rugosum (Dryand) DC.).:

It is to Mr. P. Whitehead that we are indebted for this addition to the St.-Helena fauna, – the only two examples which I have seen having been captured by him from some bushes of the scrubwood between Sugarloaf and Flagstaff Hill, in the extreme north of the island.” [1]

***

The Scrubwood Fungus Beetle was not found during the most recent field searches and might well be extinct.

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

References:

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

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

edited: 26.05.2021

Peritropis listeri (Izzard)

Lister’s Capsid Bug (Peritropis listeri)

Lister’s Capsid Bug was restricted to Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean; it is apparently known only from specimens that were collected in 1933. [1]

The species was not found since and is believed to be extinct.

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

References:

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

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

edited: 9.11.2021

Melobasis empyria Olliff

Fiery Jewel Beetle (Melobasis empyria)

The Fiery Jewel Beetle was described in 1889; it was endemic to Lord Howe Island, Australia.

The species reached a length of 1,2 cm; it was “Coppery green, shining; prothorax bright coppery, purplish on the disc; scutellum fiery copper; elytra coppery, with purple refelxions, irregularly striate-punctate, the third and fourth interstices obviously raised.
Head nearly flat in front, coarsely and very densely punctured. Prothorax at the base more than one-third broader than long, considerably narrowed in front, rather strongly and sparingly punctured on the disc, the punctuation at the sides much stronger and denser, the anterior margin slightly produced in the middle, its angles produced and rounded; the sides rounded; the posterior margin nearly straight. Scutellum excessively finely punctured. Elytra about twice as long as broad, coppery, inclining to fiery near the suture and about the middle, rather strongly and irregularly striate-punctate; the sides straight and nearly parallel for about two-thirds of their length, then denticulate, and narrowed to the apex. Underside bright coppery green, the sterna strongly and not very closely punctured, the abdomen with the punctuation somewhat obsolete. legs coppery green, finely punctured, the tarsi darker.
” [1]

The species has not been collected since the 1880s and is very likely extinct now. [2]

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

References:

[1] Sidney Olliff: The insect fauna of Lord Howe Island. The Australian Museum memoir 2: 75-98. 1889
[2] Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSW), Lord Howe Island Biodiversity Management Plan Appendices, Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSW), Sydney 2007

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

edited: 26.04.2022

Blackburnia koebelei (Sharp)

Koebele’s Blackburnia Ground Beetle (Blackburnia koebelei)

Koebele’s Blackburnia Ground Beetle was described in 1903, it was endemic to the western part of the island of Maui, Hawaiian Islands.

The species was not recorded during recent field surveys and might very well be extinct.

********************* 

References: 

[1] James K. Liebherr: Hawaiian Blackburnia beetles (Coleoptera, Carabidae, Platynini): Patterns of specialization with implications for conservation. Mitteilungen der Deutschen Gesellschaft für allgemeine und angewendete Entomologie 15: 57-62. 2006

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

edited: 02.09.2019

Tenebroides mihiura Kolibáč & Porch

Mihiura Bark-gnawing Beetle (Tenebroides mihiura)

This species was described in 2020, it is known only from the type material, a subfossil prothorax, that was collected from a sediment core sample that had been taken from the Mihiura Swamp on the island of Tubuai in the Austral Islands. 

The species reached a size of about 0,6 cm in length; it might have been black in color. [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

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

edited: 02.11.2020

Apetasimus kauaiensis (Scott)

Kauai Sap Beetle (Apetasimus kauaiensis)

The Kauai Sap Beetle was described in 1908; it was endemic to the Waimea region on the island of Kaua’i in the Hawaiian Islands.

The species reached a length of about 0,53 cm; it was brick red colored, with the lateral margins of the elytra being dark brown. [1]

***

Like all members of its group, this species lived under the bark of decaying koa trees (Acacia koa A. Gray), a habitat that now has been overtaken by introduced terrestrial isopods, leading to the extinction of this, and many other endemic invertebrate species. [1]

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

References:

[1] Curtis Ewing: Revision of the endemic Hawaiian sap beetle genus Apetasimus Sharp 1908 (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae). Zootaxa 1385: 1-30. 2006

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

edited: 02.06.2021

Longitarsus helenae Wollaston

St. Helena Leaf Beetle (Longitarsus helenae)

The Saint Helena Leaf Beetle was endemic to the island of Saint Helena.

The species is associated with the likewise endemic Saint Helena Lobelia (Lobelia scaevolifolia Roxb.), which is apparently is main food plant.

The greenish-brassy alutaceous surface and pale elongate limbs of this little Longitarsus, in conjunction with the broad, largely-developed basal joint of its four anterior male feet, will sufficiently characterize it. A single specimen only was taken by Mr. Bewicke. It is quite distinct from any species with which I am acquainted; and Mr. Waterhouse, who has been working lately at the Halticidae, assures me that he knows nothing at all like it.” [1]

***

The Saint Helena Leaf Beetle wasn’t found during the most recent field surveys and is feared to be extinct. [2] 

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

References:

[1] T. Vernon Wollaston: On certain Coleoptera from St. Helena. The Journal of Entomology: descriptive and geographical 1(4): 207-216. 1861
[2] 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

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

edited: 26.05.2021

Peloriolus brunneus (F. H. Waterhouse)

Brown Riffle Beetle (Peloriolus brunneus)

This species was described in 1879, it is apparently known only by the material that was collected by Charles Darwin himself in 1836, allegedly on the island of Saint Helena, where it has never been found again.

The species might be extinct, or, which is in fact more likely, it was just mislabeled and did in fact originate from southern Africa, where all other species of that genus live, and where Darwin had been just prior to his arrival at Saint Helena. [1] 

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

References:

[1] C. Hänel; M. A. Jäch: Beetles of the Tristan da Cunha Islands: Poignant new findings, and checklist of the archipelagos species, mapping an exponential increase in alien composition (Coleoptera). Koleopterische Rundschau 83: 257-282. 2013

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

edited: 29.05.2021

Somatidia pulchella Olliff

Beautiful Lord Howe Longhorn Beetle (Somatidia pulchella)

 

The Beautiful Lord Howe Longhorn Beetle was described in 1889; it was endemic to lord Howe Island, Australia.

The species reached a length of 1 cm; it was “Elongate, very convex, narrowed both in front and behind, bronze green, shining, tinged with purple, very sparingly clothed with erect testaceous setae; elytra strongly punctured near the base; antennae, tibiae, and tarsi pale reddish testaceous; femora fuscous. Head transverse, finely and sparingly pubescent, with a few punctures on the disc; the median line distinct. Antennae with the third joint rather longer than the first, the succeeding joints slightly decreasing in length. Prothorax longer than broad, less narrowed in front than behind, sub-cylindrical, rather strongly and closely punctured, the punctures less strong anteriorly, clothed with very fine pubescence and scattered setae. Scutellum triangular, very small. Elytra elongate-ovate, the punctuation strong and moderately dense near the base, gradually effaced posteriorly, clothed with very fine gray pubescence near the suture and at the sides, with four rows of long erect setae which emanate from punctures, and are separated by considerable intervals; each elytron with three longitudinal elevations on the basal half, of which the first only is conspicuous. Legs moderately long, finely pubescent; the femora thickened.” [1]

The species has not been collected since the 1910s and is now considered most likely extinct. [2]

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

References:

[1] Sidney Olliff: The insect fauna of Lord Howe Island. The Australian Museum memoir 2: 75-98. 1889
[2] Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSW), Lord Howe Island Biodiversity Management Plan Appendices, Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSW), Sydney 2007

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

Depiction from: ‘Sidney Olliff: The insect fauna of Lord Howe Island. The Australian Museum memoir 2: 75-98. 1889’

(public domain)

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

edited: 26.04.2022

Homoeodera elateroides Wollaston

Click Beetle-like Fungus Beetle (Homoeodera elateroides)

This species, endemic to the island of Saint Helena, was described in 1877.

The author of the species gives some information about it.:

The H. elateroides is confined to the loftier portions of the central ridge, and is decidedly scarce – though, by repeated visits to its proper habitat, I secured a tolerable supply of examples. They were nearly all of them taken about Diana’s Peak and Actaeon, though I met with a few towards the summit of High Peak.” [1]

***

As we see, this species was restricted to the higher mountainous areas of the island, it was already rare in 1965/66 and was not found during the most recent field searches in 2015/06. 

The Click Beetle-like Fungus Beetle may be extinct, despite the fact that the plants that it is/was thought to be associated with, the Saint Helena Tree Fern (Dicksonia arborescens L’Hér.) and the Black-scaled Fern (Diplazium filamentosum (Roxb.) Cronk), appear to be still quite common. [2]

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

References:

[1] T. Vernon Wollaston: Coleoptera Sanctae-Helenae. London: John Van Voorst, Paternoster Row 1877 
[2] 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

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

edited: 02.12.2018

Pseudomesoxenus scrobiculatus Wollaston

Boxwood Weevil (Pseudomesoxenus scrobiculatus)

The Boxwood Weevil was described in 1877; it was restricted to the island of Saint Helena in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

The species was obviously adapted to the endemic Boxwood (Mellissia begoniifolia (Roxb.) Hook.f.).:

The only example of this Pseudomesoxenus which I have yet seen has been communicated lately by Mr. P. Whitehead, who found it in the rotten wood of the Mellissia begoniaefolia [Mellissia begoniifolia] on Rock-Rose Hill.” [1]

***

The species was not found during the latest field searches and is thought to be possibly extinct.

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

References:

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

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

edited: 27.05.2021

Staphylinidae gen. & sp. ‘Mo’orea’

Moorean Osoriine Rove Beetle (Staphylinidae gen. & sp.)

This species is known from at least a single head capsule that was recovered from deposits on the island of Mo’orea in the Society Islands; it can at least assigned to the subfamily Osoriinae. [1]

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

References:

[1] Jennifer G. Kahn, Cordelia Nickelsen, Janelle Stevenson, Nick Porch, Emilie Dotte-Sarout, Carl C. Christensen, Lauren May, J. Stephen Athens, Patrick V. Kirch: Mid- to late Holocene landscape change and anthropogenic transformations on Mo‘orea, Society Islands: A multi-proxy approach. The Holocene 1-15. 2014

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

edited: 31.10.2020

Ypthima posticalis Matsumara

Taiwan Ringed Butterfly (Ypthima posticalis)

The Taiwan Ringed Butterfly was described in 1909, it was for some time considered a subspecies of the Small Three-ringed Butterfly (Ypthima norma (Westwood)) from the South-East Asian mainland.

The species seems to be endemic to the island of Taiwan.

The Taiwan Ringed Butterfly reaches a wingspan of about 3,4 cm; its wings are mainly brownish grey colored, the forewings have one eye spot each.

***

The Taiwan Ringed Butterfly is said to be extinct, however, I was not able yet to gain any further information; a subspecies (Ypthima posticalis ssp. aei Shirôzu & Shima) does apparently still live on the Philippine Islands, however, this is probably rather to be treated as a distinct species.

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

edited: 06.11.2020

Bryanites graeffei Liebherr

Graeffe’s Groud Beetle (Bryanites graeffei)

Graeffe’s Ground Beetle was described in 2017 based on a single male specimen that had been collected sometimes between 1862 and 1870 on the mountains near Apia, the capital of Samoa on the island of ‘Upolu. This specimen was housed in the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Paris, France and was only recently rediscovered.

The species is about 1,6 cm long.

Graeffe’s Ground Beetle has never been recorded since the collection of the type and is almost certainly extinct. [1]

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

References:

[1] James K. Liebherr: Bryanites graeffei sp. n. (Colepotera, Carabidae): Museum rediscovery of a relict species from Samoa. Zoosystematics and Evolution 93(1): 1-11. 2017

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

Photo from: ‘James K. Liebherr: Bryanites graeffei sp. n. (Colepotera, Carabidae): museum rediscovery of a reict species from Samoa. Zoosystematics and Evolution 93(1): 1-11. 2017’

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

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

edited: 05.05.2022

Valenfriesia rotundata (Wollaston)

Rotund Fungus Beetle (Valenfriesia rotundata)

The Rotund Fungus Beetle was described in 1877; the species was restricted to the island of Saint Helena in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

The species appears to have already been extremely rare when it was discovered.:

The only two examples of this most interesting little Notioxenus which I have yet seen are from the high central ridge, in the immediate vicinity of Actaeon and Diana’s Peak, – the first of them having been captured by Mr. Gray, and the other by myself. It is evidently, therefore, one of the rarest of the St. Helena Coleoptera.” [1]

***

The Rotund Fungus Beetle was last recorded in the 1970, when a single specimen was collected in at High Peak, it could not be recorded in recent searches and is thus most likely extinct. [2]

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

References:

[1] T. Vernon Wollaston: Coleoptera Sanctae-Helenae. London: John Van Voorst, Paternoster Row 1877 
[2] 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

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

edited: 26.05.2021

Blackburnia perkinsi (Sharp)

Perkins’ Blackburnia Ground Beetle (Blackburnia perkinsi)

Perkins’ Blackburnia Ground Beetle was described in 1903, it was endemic to the island of Moloka’i, Hawaiian Islands.

The species was not found during recent surveys and is very likely extinct. [1]

********************* 

References: 

[1] James K. Liebherr: Hawaiian Blackburnia beetles (Coleoptera, Carabidae, Platynini): Patterns of specialization with implications for conservation. Mitteilungen der Deutschen Gesellschaft für allgemeine und angewendete Entomologie 15: 57-62. 2006

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

edited: 03.09.2019

Telchinia guichardi (Gabriel)

Guichard’s Glasswing Butterfly (Telchinia guichardi)

Guichard’s Glasswing Butterfly was described in 1949. [1]

The species is said to have inhabited the marshy areas and swamps of Lepkempti (very likely Lekempti) in Ethiopia; this and the surrounding areas have been drained for agricultural purposes.

The species is now most likely extinct.

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

References:

[1] A. G. Gabriel: Notes on the Rhopalocera of Abyssinia. Proceedings of the Royal Entomological Society of London. Series B, Taxonomy 18(11-12): 207-216. 1949

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

edited: 07.05.2021

Eupholidoptera pallipes Willemse & Kruseman

Pale-legged Marbled Bush-Cricket (Eupholidoptera pallipes)

The Pale-legged Marbled Bush-Cricket was described in 1976, it is, or maybe was, restricted to its type locality, apparently near the Linoseli spring in the Lefka Ori Mountains on the island of Crete, Greece.

The species was apparently only ever found once and is now believed to be extinct.

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

edited: 03.11.2020

Polyommatus escheri ssp. ahmar (Le Cerf)

Ahmar Blue (Polyommatus escheri ssp. ahmar)

Escher’s Blue (Polyommatus escheri (Hübner)) inhabits northern Africa and southern Europe, the species is divided into several subspecies.

The subspecies discussed here was described in 1928, it is, to my knowledge, known from a single male and female specimen collected at a place named Tizi-n-Tiskrine in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco.

The subspecies appears to have not been recorded since and is likely extinct.

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

edited: 15.04.2019

Banza sp. ‘Hawai’i’

Giant Hawaiian Katydid (cf. Banza sp.)

Hawaiian tradition tells us of a large cricket-like insect, called ‘uhini pa’awela, that lived in the Ka’u District of the island of Hawai’i, and which was a favorite food among the natives until the late 1800s – a few of these animals roasted on a skewer provided a full meal.

There are no surviving specimens of that species, and it is speculated that it was a large cricket, perhaps a Banza or Thaumatogryllus sp.. [1]

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

References:

[1] F. G. Howarth; W. P. Mull: Hawaiian Insects and their kin. University of Hawaii Press 1992

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

edited: 15.01.2019

Elasmotena insulana Olliff

Lord Howe Island Longhorn Beetle (Elasmotena insulana)

 

The Lord Howe Island Longhorn Beetle was described in 1890; it was endemic to Lord Howe Island, Australia.

The species reached a length of about 2 cm; it was dark fuscous and was clothed with very fine decumbent griseous brown pubescence as well as sparingly with long erect hairs of the same color.

The Lord Howe Island Longhorn Beetle has not been collected since the 1880s and is now considered extinct. [1]

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

References:

[1] Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSW), Lord Howe Island Biodiversity Management Plan Appendices, Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSW), Sydney 2007

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

Depiction from: ‘Sydney Olliff: Additions to the insect-fauna of Lord Howe Island, and descriptions of two new Australian Coleoptera. Records of the Australian Museum 1: 72-76. 1890’

(not in copyright)

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

edited: 26.04.2022

Heteragrion beschkii Hagen in Selys

Beschki’s Heteragrion Damselfly (Heteragrion beschkii)

Beschki’s Heteragrion Damselfly was described in 1862; it was apparently restricted to what today is the city of Nova Friburgo in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The species might have been a specialist of the Atlantic Forest, a habitat that today is nearly completely destroyed.

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

edited: 02.05.2022

Pseudostenoscelis sculpturata Wollaston

Sculpturated Pseudostenoscelis Weevil (Pseudostenoscelis sculpturata)  

This species was described in 1877, it was endemic to the island of Saint Helena, where it appears to have been restricted to the mountainous areas of the Central Ridge.

The species was obviously already rare when it was discovered.:

Evidently one of the rarest of the St.-Helena Coleoptera, three examples only having been brought to light during our sojourn in the island, ….” [1]

***

The Sculpturated Pseudostenoscelis Weevil apparently lives/lived within rotten stems of dead Saint Helena tree Ferns (Dicksonia arborescens L’Hér.). The species apparently also produces/produced borings in dead wood of Cabbage Trees and maybe of the Saint Helena White Wood (Petrobium arboreum (J.R . Forst. & G. Forst.) R. Br. ex Spreng.). [1][2]

The species was not found during the most recent searches in 2006 and may be extinct. [2]

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

References:

[1] T. Vernon Wollaston: Coleoptera Sanctae-Helenae. London: John Van Voorst, Paternoster Row 1877 
[2] 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

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

edited: 02.12.2018

Howeotranes insularis (Pascoe)

Mt. Gower Weevil (Howeotranes insularis)

The Mt. Gower Weevil was described in 1874; it was originally thought to be endemic to the summit of Mt. Gower but did also occur on the low elevations of Lord Howe Island, Australia.

The species hasn’t been collected since the 1920s and is now considered extinct.

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

References:

[1] Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSW), Lord Howe Island Biodiversity Management Plan Appendices, Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSW), Sydney 2007

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

edited: 26.04.2022

Carabidae gen. & sp. ‘Rodrigues’

Rodrigues Ground Beetle(s) (Carabidae gen. & sp.)

The subfossil record of the island of Rodrigues, Mascarene Islands held about two or three genera of now extinct platyine carabid beetles.

These species were members of a now completely extinct and still almost unknown insect fauna that disappeared shortly after the islands were settled by European settlers and their livestock.

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

edited: 31.10.2020

Nesolestes pauliani Fraser

Pauliani’s Nesolestes Damselfly (Nesolestes pauliani)

Pauliani’s Nesolestes Damselfly was described in 1951; it is known only from the type specimen which was collected in 1947 on the island of Mwali (Mohéli), the smallest of the three main islands of the Comoro Islands.

The amount of suitable habitat is continuously declining due to deforestation and urban pollution and this species might well be extinct.

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

edited: 14.05.2022

Mellissius eudoxus Wollaston

Eudoxus Scarab Beetle (Mellissius eudoxus)

This species was endemic to the island of Saint Helena, where it apparently was very common in former times; its larvae were called hog-worms and were thought to cause great damage to the grasslands by feeding on the roots of the grasses.:

Indeed we met with the eudoxus almost universally throughout the rather elevated central and south-western parts of the island (particularly in the vicinity of Cason’s, High Peak, and West Lodge), and more sparingly even in the northern ones, whereas of the adumbrates I did not procure so much as a single example during our six months’ sojourn in the island; so that, if the “hog-worms” do really “play so important a part in the destruction of the grass on the high lands, by feeding on its roots, that large patches, and sometimes whole fields, are laid bare,” I suspect that it must be the M. eudoxus, and not the comparatively rare adumbrates, which is mainly responsible for the damage.” [1]

***

The Eudoxus Scarab Beetle was apparently not found during the most recent field searches and appears to be possibly extinct.

***

The depiction below shows another species of that genus, the Shaded Scarab Beetle (Mellissius adumbrates Wollaston), which apparently still survives on the island.

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

References:

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

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

Shaded Scarab Beetle (Mellissius adumbratus)

Depiction from: ‘John Charles Meliss: St. Helena: A Physical, Historical, and Topographical Description of the Island, including its Geology, Fauna, Flora, and Meteorology. London: L. Reeve & Co. 1875’ 

(public domain)

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

edited: 26.05.2021

Xestophasis nasalis Wollaston

Nosed Saint Helena Weevil (Xestophasis nasalis)

The Nosed Saint Helena Weevil was described in 1877; it is, or rather was, endemic to the island of Saint Helena.

The species was apparently already very rare when it was discovered.:

This singular Cossonid, so remarkable for the structure of its basally strangulate, superiorly gibbose, and anteriorly decurved rostrum (which is comparatively long and narrow in the females, but mesially thickened in the males to an extraordinary extent, and which has the antennae median in the latter sex, but post-median in the former) is one of the rarest, so far as my experience is concerned, of all the St.-Helena Coleoptera.  It appears to be attached to the Commidendron robustum, DC. [Commidendrum robustum (Roxb.) DC.], or gumwood, – amongst the old trees of which I have taken it sparingly in Thompson’s Wood (where it was also met with by Mrs. Wollaston), as well as in Peak Gut.” [1]

***

The Nosed Saint Helena Weevil was not recorded during the most recent field searches and is very likely extinct.

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

References:

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

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

edited: 26.05.2021

Comostolopsis regina Thierry-Mieg

Regina’s Comostolopsis Geometer Moth (Comostolopsis regina)

Regina’s Comostolopsis Geometer Moth was described in 1915 based on specimens that had been collected in the years between 1897 and 1898 on Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean.

The species was apparently never found since and might be extinct.

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

References:

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

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

edited: 19.08.2022

Armactica andrewsi Hampson

Andrew’s Owlet Moth (Armactica andrewsi)

This species was described in 1912, it was endemic to Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean and was formerly considered very common during the greater part of the rainy season. [1]

The species has not been found since the 1930s and might now be extinct. [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

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

edited: 08.09.2020

Laparocerus lanatus (Wollaston)

Woolly Weevil (Laparocerus lanatus)

This species was described in 1854, it was endemic to the island of Madeira.

The species reached a length of about 0,45 to 0,47 cm; it was uniformly blackish brown to black.

The species was not found in recent surveys and is considered extinct.

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

Depiction from: Thomas Vernon Wollaston: Insecta maderensia; being an account of the insects of the islands of the Madeiran group. London, J. Van Voorst 1854

(not in copyright)

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

edited: 29.04.2021

Tachys caheni (Basilewski)

Cahen’s Ground Beetle (Tachys caheni)

Cahen’s Ground Beetle was described in 1972, it is, or maybe was, endemic to the island of Saint Helena.

The species was last seen in 1967 and is probably extinct like so many other insect species that inhabited that island.

***

I have to admit that I could not find any additional information about this certain species.

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

edited: 07.05.2021

Mecistogaster pronoti Sjöstedt

Atlantic Helicopter Damselfly (Mecistogaster pronoti)

The Atlantic Helicopter Damselfly was described in 1918, it is still known only from the type specimen, a female, that was discovered in the pristine Mata Atlântica, the Atlantic Forest somewhere in the state of Espirito Santo, Brazil.

The species reaches a length of about 6 cm, its head is black except for the labium which is yellow, the prothorax is mainly black with some pale yellow markings, the thorax itself is blackish brown in front and yellowish further back, the upperside of the abdomen is blackish brown with a blue gloss, the underside is yellowish. The legs are black and yellow. [1]

***

The type locality is now completely deforested, it is long lost and so is the Atlantic Helicopter Damselfly.

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

References:

[1] Yngve Sjörsted: Wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse der schwedischen entomologischen Reise des Herrn Dr. A. Roman in Amazonas 1914-1915. Arkiv för Zoologi 2(16): 1-54. 1918

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

edited: 12.01.2019

Polyura sempronius ssp. tiberius (Waterhouse)

Lord Howe Island Tailed Emperor (Polyura sempronius ssp. tiberius)

The Lord Howe Island Tailed Emperor was described in 1920, it is endemic to Lord Howe Island, Australia.

The biology of this form is not well known, it was apparently last recorded in 1969, it is supposed to be extinct, but might in fact still exist.

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

edited: 08.05.2021

Bocula limbata (Butler)

Bordered Bocula Moth (Bocula limbata)

The Bordered Bocula Moth was described in 1888; it is, or rather was, restricted to Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean.

The species has not been found since the 1930s and is thought to be extinct now. [1]

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

References:

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

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

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

(public domain)

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

edited: 25.04.2022

Xenopsylla nesiotes (Jordan & Rothschild)

Maclear Rat Flea (Xenopsylla nesiotes)

 

The Maclear’s Rat Flea was described in 1908; it was strictly adapted to Maclears Rat (Rattus macleari (Thomas)) as its one and only host species.

The species died out together with its host around 1903.

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

edited: 22.01.2022

Apetasimus atratus (Scott)

Blackish Sap Beetle (Apetasimus atratus)

The Blackish Sap Beetle was described in 1908; it was found on the Haleakala region on the island of Maui in the Hawaiian Islands, but is also known to have occurred on the islands of Hawai’i and Moloka’i too.

The species reached a length of about 0,45 to 0,56 cm; it was dark, nearly black in color with some brick red areas on the elytra that were limited to the elytra’s bases, the antennae and legs were red to dark brown in color. [1]

***

Like all members of its group, this species lived under the bark of decaying koa trees (Acacia koa A. Gray), a habitat that now has been overtaken by introduced terrestrial isopods, leading to the extinction of this, and many other endemic invertebrate species. [1]

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

References:

[1] Curtis Ewing: Revision of the endemic Hawaiian sap beetle genus Apetasimus Sharp 1908 (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae). Zootaxa 1385: 1-30. 2006

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

edited: 0.2.06.2021

Sarothrias sp. ‘Samoa’

Samoan Sarothrias Beetle (Sarothrias sp.)

This species is known (so far) only from a subfossil specimen (at least a single head capsule with a size of about 0,037 cm in diameter), which was recovered by Nick Porch from samplings from the Samoan Islands.

The genus has not been recorded from Samoa before.

***

Despite being known so far only from a single subfossil specimen the species might still be alive.

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

edited: 22.04.2019

Xanthorhoe bulbulata (Guenée)

South Island Yellow Looper Moth (Xanthorhoe bulbulata)

This species is endemic to the South Island of New Zealand and was once quite common.

The population of the species started to decline sometime after the 1940s and was recorded only twice since, once in 1979 and then again for the last time in 1991; since then, the species is lost and might in fact be completely extinct. [1]

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

References:

[1] Brian H. Patrick; Hamish J. H. Patrick; Robert J. B. Hoare: Review of the endemic New Zealand genus Arctesthes Meyrick (Lepidoptera, Geometridae, Laurentiinae) with descriptions of two new range-restricted species. Alpine Entomology 3: 121-136. 2019

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

female
male

Photos: Manaaki Whenua
https://www.landcareresearch.co.nz

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

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

edited: 27.04.2021