Tag Archives: Cook Islands

Libera tumuloides (Garrett)

Rarotongan Libera Snail (Libera tumuloides)

The Rarotongan Libera Snail was described in 1872; it was restricted to the island of Rarotonga, Cook Islands.

The species was apparently very common when it was first collected.:

I took over three hundred examples of this species, all obtained in a small area of about one-half an acre, and nearly two miles inland, at Rarotonga. Through carefully searched for, I failed to discover a single example in any other part of the island.” [1]

The shells reach sizes of 0.62 to 0.72 cm in diameter; they are light yellow horn-colored, with broad, irregular, light- to dark-toned reddish flammulations; the umbilicus was strongly constricted to form a brood chamber.

The species disappeared shortly after its description.

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Depiction from: ‘George W. Tryon; Henry A. Pilsbry; a. o.: Manual of Conchology. Second series: Pulmonata. Vol 3: Helicidae – Volume I. 1887’

(public domain)

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References:

[1] Andrew Garrett: The terrestrial Mollusca inhabiting the Cook’s or Harvey Islands. Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. Ser. 2. Vol. 8(4): 381-412. 1881
[2] George W. Tryon; Henry A. Pilsbry; a. o.: Manual of Conchology. Second series: Pulmonata. Vol 3: Helicidae – Volume I. 1887
[3] Alan Solem: Endodontoid land snails from Pacific Islands (Mollusca: Pulmonata: Sigmurethra). Part I, Family Endodontidae. Field Museum of Natural History Chicago, Illinois 1976

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edited: 17.02.2024

Pampusana nui (Steadman)

Large Polynesian Ground Dove (Pampusana nui)

The Large Polynesian Ground Dove, which is known only from subfossil remains, was a widespread species that occurred on several island groups in central Polynesia including the Cook Islands, the Society Islands and the Marquesas.

The species was sympatric on the Cook-, and Society Islands with the smaller Polynesian Ground Dove (Pampusana erythroptera (Gmelin)) and with the Marquesan Ground Dove (Pampusana rubescens (Vieillot)) on the Marquesas Islands, and very likely with additional, yet extinct species.  

The Large Polynesian Ground Dove, sometimes also named Giant Ground Dove in fact was not truly a giant, yet with a probable size of around 36 cm was still larger than all its Polynesian congeners. [1][2]

***

The species was also thought, based on subfossil remains, to have occurred on the Gambier Islands, these remains, however, were later found out to be assignable to another species, the Henderson Island Archaic Pigeon (Bountyphaps obsoleta Worthy & Wragg). [3][4]

***

syn. Alopecoenas nui (Steadman), Gallicolumba nui Steadman

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References:  

[1] David W. Steadman: Extinction and Biogeography of Tropical Pacific Birds. University Of Chicago Press 2006
[2] Jean-Claude Thibault; Alice Cibois: From early Polynesian settlements to present: bird extinctions in the Gambier Islands. Pacific Science 66(3): 1-26. 2011 
[3] Knud A. Jønsson; Martin Irestedt; Rauri C. K. Bowie; Les Christidis; Jon Fieldså: Systematics and biogeography of Indo-Pacific ground-doves. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 59: 538-543. 2011
[4] Stanislas Rigal; Patrick V. Kirch; Trevor H. Worthy: New prehistoric avifaunas from the Gambier Group, French Polynesia. Palaeontologia Electronica 21.3.4A 1-35. 2018

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edited: 16.03.2020

Sinployea titikaveka Brook

Titikaveka Sinployea Snail (Sinployea titikaveka)

The Titikaveka Sinployea Snail was described in 2010; it is known only from subfossil shells that were recovered from deposits near the southern coast of Rarotonga in the Cook Islands.

The shells reach sizes of only up to 0,16 cm in diameter.

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References:  

[1] Fred J. Brook: Coastal landsnail fauna of Rarotonga, Cook Islands: systematics, diversity, biogeography, faunal history, and environmental influences. Tuhinga 21: 161-252. 2010

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edited: 02.08.2022

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]

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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

Sinployea planospira (Garrett)

Plane-spired Sinployea Snail (Sinployea planospira)

This species was described in 1881; it was restricted to the island of Rarotonga, Cook Islands.

The shells reach sizes of 0,34 to 0,43 cm in diameter.

The species is now extinct.

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References:

[1] Alan Solem: Endodontoid land snails from Pacific Islands (Mollusca: Pulmonata: Sigmurethra). Part II, Families Punctidae and Charopidae, Zoogeography. Field Museum of Natural History Chicago, Illinois 1983

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edited: 02.08.2022

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]

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References:

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

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edited: 11.06.2020

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]

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References:

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

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edited: 11.06.2020

Sinployea peasei Solem

Pease’s Sinployea Snail (Sinployea peasei)

Pease’s Sinployea Snail was described in 1983; it is known from the slopes of Mt. Maungaroa and several other mountainous areas on the island of Rarotonga, Cook Islands, it was formerly quite common and widespread.

The shells reached sizes of 0,29 to about 0,4 cm in diameter.

The species is now extinct.

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References:

[1] Alan Solem: Endodontoid land snails from Pacific Islands (Mollusca: Pulmonata: Sigmurethra). Part II, Families Punctidae and Charopidae, Zoogeography. Field Museum of Natural History Chicago, Illinois 1983

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edited: 02.08.2022

Ptilinopus rarotongensis ssp. ‘Mangaia’

Mangaia Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus rarotongensis ssp.)

This form is known based on a single subfossil femur that was found in the Te Rua Rere Cave on the island of Mangaia, Cook Islands.

The species still occurs (with two subspecies which may in fact be candidates for splitting) on the islands of ‘Atiu and Rarotonga, both likewise in the Cook archipelago, and may have constituted another distinct, now extinct subspecies. [2]

***

There is yet (of course) an interesting account, which is given by  D. T. Holyoak and J. C. Thibault in 1984.:

P. r. sous-espèce?

… 
Mangaia: un habitant de cette île déclara, en 1973, qu’il connaissaitle «Kukupa» et que cet oiseau habitait seulement les bois de la région corallienne. Il sut imiter l’appel et décrivit le nid. Toutefois, Ducula pacifica, qui est également inconnue dans cette île, pourrait être l’oiseau décrit.
” [1]

translation:

P. r. subspecies?


Mangaia: a resident of this island declared, in 1973, that he knew «Kukupa» and that this bird lived only in the woods of the coral region. He knew how to imitate the call and described the nest. However, Ducula pacifica, which is also unknown on this island, could be the described bird.

Kukupa is the local name for the Lilac-crowned Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus rarotongensis Hartlaub & Finsch), and (most if not all) Polynesians make a clear distinction between the smaller green fruit-doves (Ptilinopus spp.) and the larger imperial pigeons (Ducula spp.), which on the Cook Islands are called rupe.

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References:

[1] D. T. Holyoak; J.-C. Thibault: Contribution à l’étude des oiseaux de Polynésie orientale. Mémoires du Muséum national d’histoire naturelle 127(1): 1-209. 1984
[2] David W. Steadman: Fossil birds from Mangaia, southern Cook Islands. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club 105(2): 58-66. 1985

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edited: 09.03.2020

Ptilinopus rarotongensis ssp. ‘Ma’uke’

Mauke Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus rarotongensis ssp.)

There is an interesting account, which is given by D. T. Holyoak and J. C. Thibault in 1984.:

P. r. sous-espèce?

Mauke: il semble qu’un ptilope ait habité l’île. L’Exp. de la «Blonde» rapportait que deux sortes de pigeons, dont un pigeon frugivore vert, habitaient Mauiki en 1825. Savage (1962) donne une information obtenue avant 1940; d’après la population locale le «Kukupa… se rencontre en abondance dans les îles de Mauke et Atiu». En 1973, il ne fut pas trouvé au cours d’une brève visite; les habitants interrogés à ce sujet donnèrent des informations contradictoires.
….
” [1]

translation:

P. r. subspecies?

Mauke: it seems that a Ptilinopus inhabited the island. The Exp. de la “Blonde” reported that two kinds of pigeons, including a green frugivorous pigeon, inhabited Mauiki in 1825. Savage (1962) gives information obtained before 1940; local people say “Kukupa … occurs in abundance on the islands of Mauke and Atiu”. In 1973 it was not found during a brief visit; the inhabitants questioned on this subject gave contradictory information.
….

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References:

[1] D. T. Holyoak; J.-C. Thibault: Contribution à l’étude des oiseaux de Polynésie orientale. Mémoires du Muséum national d’histoire naturelle 127(1): 1-209. 1984

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edited: 09.03.2020

Sinployea youngi (Garrett)

Young’s Sinployea Snail (Sinployea youngi)

This species was described in 1872; it was endemic to a single (unknown) valley on the island of Rarotonga, Cook Islands and was described by its author as: “A somewhat rare species, easily known by its wide open umbilicus, few whorls, deep uniform brown color, and plicate striae. On the ground in damp woods, and only noticed in a single valley.“. [1]

The shells reach sizes of about 0,49 cm in diameter; they are: “Widely, perspectively umbilicated, thin, shining, subpellucid, uniform dark brown, closely, obliquely, arcuately, plicately striate, more slightly below, suture channeled; whorls 4 1/2, convex, rapidly increasing, the last deflected above, convex below.” [2]

The species is now extinct.

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References:

[1] Andrew J. Garrett: Descriptions of new species of land and fresh-water shells. American Journal of Conchology 7: 219-230. 1872
[2] G. W. Tryon; Henry A. Pilsbry; a. o.: Manual of Conchology. Second Series: Pulmonata Vol. 3, Helicidae Vol. 1. 1887
[3] Alan Solem: Endodontoid land snails from Pacific Islands (Mollusca: Pulmonata: Sigmurethra). Part II, Families Punctidae and Charopidae, Zoogeography. Field Museum of Natural History Chicago, Illinois 1983

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Depiction from: ‘G. W. Tryon; Henry A. Pilsbry; a. o.: Manual of Conchology. Second Series: Pulmonata Vol. 3, Helicidae Vol. 1. 1887’

(not in copyright)

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edited: 02.08.2022

Libera subcavernula (Tryon)

Cavity-bearing Libera Snail (Libera subcavernula)

The Cavity-bearing Libera Snail was described in 1887; it was restricted to the island of Rarotonga, Cook Islands.

Found plentifully in the mountain ravines, and is peculiar to Rarotonga.
It is closely related to the preceding species
 [Libera fratercula (Pease)], but may be distinguished by its darker color, smaller ribs, less prominent keel, and the shallow groove immediately above the revolving keel is not so conspicuous. In a careful comparison of numerous young examples of different ages I remark the umbilicus is considerably broader in cavernula than in fratercula” [1]

The shells reach sizes of 0.53 to 0.76 cm in diameter; they are yellowish horn-colored with numerous, somewhat irregular, reddish flammulations that fade out near the umbilicus.

The Cavity-bearing Libera Snail died out soon after its description.

***

syn. Libera cavernula (Garrett)

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Depiction from: ‘George W. Tryon; Henry A. Pilsbry; a. o.: Manual of Conchology. Second series: Pulmonata. Vol 3: Helicidae – Volume I. 1887’

(public domain)

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

References:

[1] Andrew Garrett: The terrestrial Mollusca inhabiting the Cook’s or Harvey Islands. Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. Ser. 2. Vol. 8(4): 381-412. 1881
[2] George W. Tryon; Henry A. Pilsbry; a. o.: Manual of Conchology. Second series: Pulmonata. Vol 3: Helicidae – Volume I. 1887
[3] Alan Solem: Endodontoid land snails from Pacific Islands (Mollusca: Pulmonata: Sigmurethra). Part I, Family Endodontidae. Field Museum of Natural History Chicago, Illinois 1976

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edited: 17.02.2024

Sinployea harveyensis (Garrett)

Harvey’s Sinployea Snail (Sinployea harveyensis)

Harvey’s Sinployea Snail was described in 1872; it was endemic to the island of Rarotonga, Cook Islands, where it was considered: “A common species found under rotten wood.“. [1]The shells reached sizes of 0,39 to about 0,52 cm in diameter; they are: “Moderately, deeply umbilicated, thin, subpellucid, greenish ash color, arcuately tessellated with chestnut, densely finely plicate-striate, striae oblique, sinuous, less distinct on the base, suture channeled; whorls 5, slowly increasing, the last obtusely angulated, deflected above, convex below.“. [2]

The species is now extinct.

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References:

[1] Andrew J. Garrett: Descriptions of new species of land and fresh-water shells. American Journal of Conchology 7: 219-230. 1872
[2] G. W. Tryon; Henry A. Pilsbry; a. o.: Manual of Conchology. Second Series: Pulmonata Vol. 3, Helicidae Vol. 1. 1887
[3] Alan Solem: Endodontoid land snails from Pacific Islands (Mollusca: Pulmonata: Sigmurethra). Part II, Families Punctidae and Charopidae, Zoogeography. Field Museum of Natural History Chicago, Illinois 1983

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

Depiction from: ‘G. W. Tryon; Henry A. Pilsbry; a. o.: Manual of Conchology. Second Series: Pulmonata Vol. 3, Helicidae Vol. 1. 1887’

(not in copyright)

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edited: 02.08.2022

Mautodontha unilamellata (Garrett)

Rarotongan Mautodontha Snail (Mautodontha unilamellata)

This species was described in 1874; it was restricted to the island of Rarotonga, Cook Islands. 

The shells reach sizes of 0,36 to about 0,43 cm in diameter; they are light yellowish horn-colored with numerous, crowded zigzag-shaped, reddish flammulations. [1] 

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References:

[1] Alan Solem: Endodontoid land snails from Pacific Islands (Mollusca: Pulmonata: Sigmurethra). Part I, Family Endodontidae. Field Museum of Natural History Chicago, Illinois 1976

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edited: 13.03.2021

Australdonta degagei (Garrett)

De Gage’s Australdonta Snail (Australdonta degagei)

De Gage’s Australdonta Snail was described in 1879; it is allegedly known from specimens collected in Ma’uke, Cook Islands as well as from Rimatara and Rurutu, Austral Islands, which is very strange.

The shells reach sizes of about 0.28 to 0.35 cm in diameter; they are light yellow horn-colored with light somewhat irregular, reddish flammulations.

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References:

[1] Alan Solem: Endodontoid land snails from Pacific Islands (Mollusca: Pulmonata: Sigmurethra). Part I, Family Endodontidae. Field Museum of Natural History Chicago, Illinois 1976

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edited: 18.02.2024

Aplonis mavornata Buller

Mauke Starling (Aplonis mavornata)

This species was for a long time known as the “Mysterious Starling”, since the origin of the only existing specimen was not known.

The mystery was solved in 1986, when Storrs l. Olson found out that the bird was originally caught on the island of Ma’uke in the Cook Islands in 1825. [1]

The Mauke Starling reached a size of 19 cm; it was dusky black colored with lighter brown edges on the body feathers, the iris was yellow, the beak and the feet were dusky brownish.

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References:

[1] Storrs L. Olson: An early account of some birds from Mauke, Cook Islands, and the origin of the “mysterious starling” Aplonis mavornata Buller. Notornis 33(4): 197-208. 1986

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edited: 30.04.2021

Sinployea tenuicostata (Garrett)

Weak-grooved Sinployea Snail (Sinployea tenuicostata)

This species was described in 1872; it is endemic to the island of Rarotonga, Cook Islands; it was originally described by its author as: “A very pretty and somewhat rare species, having a wide range on the island, and generally found on the ground on the sides of ravines” [1]

The shells reach average sizes of about 0,45 cm; they are: “Perspectively umbilicated, thin, pellucid, a little shining, light corneous, not variegated, laminately costate, the ribs thin, rather close, oblique, slightly sinuous, continued on the base, interstices lightly, closely striate, suture deep; whorls 4, plano-convex, rapidly enlarging, base convex.” [2]

The species is now extinct.

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References:

[1] Andrew J. Garrett: Descriptions of new species of land and fresh-water shells. American Journal of Conchology 7: 219-230. 1872
[2] G. W. Tryon; Henry A. Pilsbry; a. o.: Manual of Conchology. Second Series: Pulmonata Vol. 3, Helicidae Vol. 1. 1887
[3] Alan Solem: Endodontoid land snails from Pacific Islands (Mollusca: Pulmonata: Sigmurethra). Part II, Families Punctidae and Charopidae, Zoogeography. Field Museum of Natural History Chicago, Illinois 1983

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Depiction from: ‘G. W. Tryon; Henry A. Pilsbry; a. o.: Manual of Conchology. Second Series: Pulmonata Vol. 3, Helicidae Vol. 1. 1887’

(not in copyright)

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edited: 02.08.2022

Acalypha wilderi Merr.

Wilder’s Copperleaf (Acalypha wilderi)  

Wilder’s Copperleaf was restricted to Rarotonga, the largest of the Cook Islands, and was scientifically described in the year 1931.  

The species was a mostly unbranched, about 2 m tall shrub, with long-stemmed, about 30 x 20 cm large leaves. It was monoecious, with plants producing either only female or male flowers, which appeared at the tops of the branches, the female flowers in short upright inflorescences, the male flowers in long, drooping ones.  

***

The Night-blooming Cestrum (Cestrum nocturnum L.), a plant introduced to Rarotonga, is known for displacing other plant species by forming dense impenetrable thickets, and is thought to be one of the invasive species that are responsible for the extinction of Wilder’s Copperleaf.  

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edited: 23.09.2017

Zapornia sp. ‘Mangaia’

Small Mangaian Crake (Zapornia sp. 

The fossil record proves that once as many as three species of the genus Zapornia occurred next to each other on the island of Mangaia, Cook Islands.  

These are the extant Spotless Crake (Zapornia tabuensis (Gmelin)), which is probably locally extinct, the Mangaian Crake (Zapornia rua (Steadman)), which was endemic to the island and is now extinct, and a third species, not yet described.  

This third species was smaller than the Mangaian Crake and was very likely flightless too. [1]  

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References:  

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

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edited: 20.03.2018

Sinployea proxima (Garrett)

Rarotongan Sinployea Snail (Sinployea proxima)
 

This species was described in 1872; it was endemic to the island of Rarotonga,Cook Islands, where it apparently was quite common and widespread; A. J. Garrett, the author of the species, gave the following information about it.: 

A common species lurking under stones and among rotten wood. It was found in several villages.” [1] 

***

The shells reach an average size of about 0,35 cm in diameter. 

The Rarotongan Sinployea Snail was not recorded since the mid-1800s and thus is considered extinct. [2] 

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References: 

[1] Andrew J. Garrett: Descriptions of new species of land and fresh-water shells. American Journal of Conchology 7: 219-230. 1872
[2] Fred J. Brook: Coastal landsnail fauna of Rarotonga, Cook Islands: systematics, diversity, biogeography, faunal history, and environmental influences. Tuhinga 21: 161-252. 2010 

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Depiction from: ‘G. W. Tryon; Henry A. Pilsbry; a. o.: Manual of Conchology. Second Series: Pulmonata Vol. 3, Helicidae Vol. 1. 1887’

(not in copyright)

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edited: 02.08.2022

Sinployea muri Brook

Muri Sinployea Snail (Sinployea muri)

This species was described in 2010; it is known only from subfossil shells that were recovered from the coastal plain near Muri on the eastern coast of Rarotonga in the Cook Islands.

The shells were very small, reaching sizes of only up to 0,26 cm in diameter.

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References:

[1] Fred J. Brook: Coastal landsnail fauna of Rarotonga, Cook Islands: systematics, diversity, biogeography, faunal history, and environmental influences. Tuhinga 21: 161-252. 2010

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edited: 02.08.2022

Sinployea otareae (Garrett)

Otarea Sinployea Snail (Sinployea otareae)

The Otarea Sinployea Snail was described in 1872; the species was endemic to the island of Rarotonga, Cook Islands.

This species is confined to a single valley, where I found it abundantly, under dead wood on the banks of a stream. Living examples are uniform deep black.“. [1]

The shells reached sizes of up to 0,52 cm in diameter. [2]

The species is now clearly extinct.

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References:

[1] Andrew J. Garrett: Descriptions of new species of land and fresh-water shells. American Journal of Conchology 7: 219-230. 1872
[2] Alan Solem: Endodontoid land snails from Pacific Islands (Mollusca: Pulmonata: Sigmurethra). Part II, Families Punctidae and Charopidae, Zoogeography. Field Museum of Natural History Chicago, Illinois 1983

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Depiction from: ‘G. W. Tryon; Henry A. Pilsbry; a. o.: Manual of Conchology. Second Series: Pulmonata Vol. 3, Helicidae Vol. 1. 1887’

(not in copyright)

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edited: 02.08.2022

Sinployea tupapa Brook

Tupapa Sinployea Snail (Sinployea tupapa 

The Tupapa Sinployea Snail was described in 2010 based on subfossil shells that had been found at Matavera, Pue, and Tupapa on the northeastern coast of Rarotonga, Cook Islands.  

The species differs from other species of similar small size by its widely open umbilicus, the shells reach an average size of about 0,19 to 0,22 cm in diameter.  

The species is now extinct. [1]  

********************* 

References:  

[1] Fred J. Brook: Coastal landsnail fauna of Rarotonga, Cook Islands: systematics, diversity, biogeography, faunal history, and environmental influences. Tuhinga 21: 161-252. 2010

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edited: 11.06.2020

Dendrocygna sp. ‘Aitutaki’

Cook Islands Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna sp.)

This species is known so far only from a single subfossil, a complete terminal phalanx of a third pes digit. 

This single remain points to a very large species, much larger than any other related species. [1]

***

The only other whistling duck species that is known to have at least historically bred withing the Polynesian region is the Wandering Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna arcuata ssp. pygmaea Mayr), that once inhabited the Fiji Islands, where it is, however, extinct now. 

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References:

[1] David W. Steadman: Extinct and extirpated birds from Aitutaki and Atiu, southern Cook Islands. Pacific Science 45(4): 325-347. 1991

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Wandering Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna arcuata); nominate form (bird in the middle)

Depiction from: ‘John C. Phillips: A Natural History of the Ducks. Boston; Houghton Mifflin Company; 1922-1926’  

(public domain)

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edited: 11.06.2020

Zapornia rua (Steadman)

Mangaian Swamphen (Zapornia rua)  

The Mangaian Swamphen was described in 1986 based on subfossil remains that had been found on the island of Mangaia, Cook Islands.  

The species was flightless and lived in sympatry with the slightly smaller Spotless Crake (Zapornia tabuensis (Gmelin)) and another not yet described form of the same genus. [1]  

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References:  

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

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edited: 20.03.2018

Aerodramus manuoi (Steadman)

Mangaia Swiftlet (Aerodramus manuoi)

The Mangaia Swiftlet was described in 2002 based on subfossil bones recovered from a rockshelter on the island of Mangaia, Cook Islands.

The species was closely related to the extant Atiu Swiftlet (Aerodramus sawtelli (Holyoak)) from the island of ‘Atiu, the neighbor island of Mangaia, but was larger.

***

syn. Collocalia manuoi Steadman

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Atiu Swiftlet (Aerodramus sawtelli)

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

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References:

[1] David W. Steadman: A new species of swiftlet (Aves: Apodidae) from the late Quaternary of Mangaia, Cook Islands, Oceania. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 22(2): 326-331. 2002

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edited: 10.01.2024

Sinployea rudis (Garrett)

Rough Sinployea Snail (Sinployea rudis)  

This species, which was endemic to Rarotonga, Cook Islands, was discovered in 1869 and described three years later, in 1872.  

A. J. Garrett, the author of the species, gave the following information about it.:  

A common species of a very rude aspect, easily distinguished by its rude, irregular lamellar ribs. We found examples in several different villages; all found on the ground in damp woods.” [1]  

***

The species is also known from subfossil shells that were commonly found in coastal deposits in northern, southeastern, and southern Rarotonga.  

The shells of this species reached an average size of about 0,35 to 0,48 cm in diameter, with the subfossil shells being generally smaller than those found alive in the 19th century.  

The Rough Sinployea Snail was not found during the next field studies in the 1920s, it obviously disappeared shortly after the date of its discovery. [2]  

*********************  

References:  

[1] Andrew J. Garrett: Descriptions of new species of land and fresh-water shells. American Journal of Conchology 7: 219-230. 1872 
[2] Fred J. Brook: Coastal landsnail fauna of Rarotonga, Cook Islands: systematics, diversity, biogeography, faunal history, and environmental influences. Tuhinga 21: 161-252. 2010  

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Depiction from: ‘G. W. Tryon: Manual of Conchology. Second Series: Pulmonata Vol. 3, Helicidae Vol. 1. 1887’  

(not in copyright)

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edited: 19.03.2017

Minidonta pue Brook

Pue Minidonta Snail (Minodonta pue)

This species was described in 2010 on the basis of subfossil shells that were recovered from sandy coral rubble near Pue near the north-eastern coast of Rarotonga, Cook Islands.

The shells reach sizes of only about 0,24 cm in diameter.

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References:

[1] Fred J. Brook: Coastal landsnail fauna of Rarotonga, Cook Islands: systematics, diversity, biogeography, faunal history, and environmental influences. Tuhinga 21: 161-252. 2010

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edited: 17.08.2022

Sinployea decorticata (Garrett)

Decorticated Sinployea Snail (Sinployea decorticata)

This species was described in 1872; it was endemic to the island of Rarotonga, Cook Islands and was considered: “A common species found on the ground in a mountain ravine.“. [1]

The shells reach sizes of 0,37 to 0,51 cm in diameter; they are: “Moderatley, deeply umbilicated, thin, subpellucid, ash-colored under a brownish corneous epidermis, decorticated in adults, rarely strigated with chestnut, arcuately costate, the interstices very lightly striated, suture channeled; whorls 5, convex, slowly increasing, the last deflected above, rounded below, periphery obsoletely angulated.“. [2]

The species is now extinct.

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References:

[1] Andrew J. Garrett: Descriptions of new species of land and fresh-water shells. American Journal of Conchology 7: 219-230. 1872
[2] G. W. Tryon; Henry A. Pilsbry; a. o.: Manual of Conchology. Second Series: Pulmonata Vol. 3, Helicidae Vol. 1. 1887
[3] Alan Solem: Endodontoid land snails from Pacific Islands (Mollusca: Pulmonata: Sigmurethra). Part II, Families Punctidae and Charopidae, Zoogeography. Field Museum of Natural History Chicago, Illinois 1983

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Depiction from: ‘G. W. Tryon; Henry A. Pilsbry; a. o.: Manual of Conchology. Second Series: Pulmonata Vol. 3, Helicidae Vol. 1. 1887’

(not in copyright)

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edited: 02.08.2022

Sinployea canalis (Garrett)

Grooved Sinployea Snail (Sinployea canalis)

 

The Grooved Sinployea Snail was described in 1872, apparently based on 13 specimens; at that time, it was already: “A somewhat rare species, found on the ground in damp forests, and confined to a single valley. its flat spire, deeply channeled suture, and very wide umbilicus are its most important characters.” [1]

The shells reached sizes of about 0,4 to 0,55 cm in diameter; they are: “widely umbilicate, flatly discoid, thin, subpellucid, slightly glossy, closely and very finely ribbed, ribs oblique, sinuous, light brownish horn color, with darker radiating spots; spire very flat, not rising above the penultimate whorl; suture deeply channeled; whorls 5, strongly convex, regularly increasing, last one declivous above the periphery, rounded below; umbilicus deep, perspective, freely exposing all the whorls, nearly half the diameter of the shell; aperture oblique, sinuously rounded; peristome thin, simple, slightly sinuous.” [1]

The species disappeared shortly after its description.

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References:

[1] Andrew J. Garrett: Descriptions of new species of land and fresh-water shells. American Journal of Conchology 7: 219-230. 1872
[2] Alan Solem: Endodontoid land snails from Pacific Islands (Mollusca: Pulmonata: Sigmurethra). Part II, Families Punctidae and Charopidae, Zoogeography. Field Museum of Natural History Chicago, Illinois 1983

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Depiction from: ‘G. W. Tryon; Henry A. Pilsbry; a. o.: Manual of Conchology. Second Series: Pulmonata Vol. 3, Helicidae Vol. 1. 1887’

(not in copyright)

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edited: 02.08.2022

Minidonta arorangi Brook

Arorangi Disc Snail (Minidonta arorangi)  

This species was described in the year 2010 from subfossil shells that were found in the sandy soil of the coastal plains between the villages of Aro’a and Arorangi on the southwest coast of the island of Rarotonga.  

The shells reach an average size of 0,3 to 0,36 cm in diameter.  

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References:  

[1] Fred J. Brook: Coastal landsnail fauna of Rarotonga, Cook Islands: systematics, diversity, biogeography, faunal history, and environmental influences. Tuhinga 21: 161-252. 2010

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edited: 11.06.2020

Helicarionidae sp. ‘QQsp4’

Te Kou Snail (Helicarionidae sp.)  

The Te Kou Snail is an undescribed species known only from empty shells that were collected in 2005 and 2010 in the upper regions of Takuvaine and Te Kou, two of the mountains in central Rarotonga, Cook Islands.

The species is very likely already extinct now.

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edited: 23.02.2024

Thaumatodon multilamellata (Garrett)

Rarotongan Thaumatodon Snail (Thaumatodon multilamellata)  

The Rarotongan Thaumatodon Snail was described in the year 1872.  

According to A. J. Garrett, the author of the species, the snails were found exclusively in two remote valleys on the island of Rarotonga, with the two populations most probably representing distinct subspecies. [1][2]  

The shell reached a size of about 3,4 cm in diameter.  

The last life specimens were found in the middle of the 19th century (around 1860), since then the species is considered extinct.  

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References:  

[1] Andrew J. Garrett: Descriptions of new species of land and fresh-water shells. American Journal of Conchology 7: 219-230. 1872 
[2] Alan Solem: Endodontoid land snails from Pacific Islands (Mollusca: Pulmonata: Sigmurethra). Part I, Family Endodontidae. Field Museum of Natural History Chicago, Illinois 1976  

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Depiction from: G. W. Tryon: Manual of Conchology. Second Series: Pulmonata Vol. 3, Helicidae Vol. 1. 1887’  

(not in copyright)

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edited: 19.03.2017