Tag Archives: Ecuador

Naesiotus alethorhytidus (Dall)

Santa Cruz Snail (Naesiotus alethorhytidus)

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

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

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

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References:

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

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

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

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edited: 01.06.2021

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

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

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

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

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References:

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

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edited: 11.06.2020

Naesiotus kublerensis Chambers

Cueva de Kubler Snail (Naesiotus kublerensis)

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

The species was never seen alive and is clearly extinct.

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References:

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

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edited: 01.06.2021

Euphorbia equisetiformis Stewart

Equisetiform Spurge (Euphorbia equisetiformis)

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

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

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References:

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

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edited: 11.06.2020

Atelopus onorei Coloma, Lötters, Duellman & Miranda-Leiva

Onore’s Stub-foot Toad (Atelopus onorei)

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

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

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

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References:

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

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edited: 07.05.2019

Miconia leandroides Cogn. & Gleason ex Gleason

Bolivar Miconia (Miconia leandroides)

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

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

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edited: 28.01.2020

Dicliptera dodsonii Wassh.

Dodson’s Dicliptera (Dicliptera dodsonii)

Dodson’s Dicliptera was described in 1977, it is known from just four collections that were made in a private forest of the Río Palenque Biological Station in the Los Rios Province of Ecuador.

The species was apparently last found in 1986 or maybe sometimes later, but since it hasn’t been found during any recent search it is now considered possibly extinct.

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edited: 13.11.2021

Mikania iserniana Cuatrec.

Guayaquil Mikania (Mikania iserniana)

This species is known only on the basis of the type material which was collected in 1864 near the city of Guayaquil in the Guayas Province, Ecuador.

The vegetation of the region is now highly destroyed due to urban and agricultural development, the species was never recorded since the collection of the type material and is thus probably extinct.

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edited: 25.04.2021

Scyphostelma sodiroi (K. Schum.) Liede & Meve

Sodiro’s Stranglevine (Scyphostelma sodiroi)

Sodiro’s Stranglevine is one of several species in this genus that are endemic to Ecuador. It is known from only two collections, the first one dating from 1887 and the last one from 1936, both were purchased in the Pichincha Province

The species was not found since and appears to be extinct.

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References:

[1] Sigrid Liede-Schumann; Ulrich meve: The Orthosiinae revisited (Apocynaceae, Asclepiadoideae, Asclepiadeae). Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 99(1): 44-81. 2013

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edited: 19.09.2020

Naesiotus saeronius (Dall)

Saeronius Galapagos Snail (Naesiotus saeronius)

This species was described in 1917, it was restricted to the Isla Santa Cruz in the Galápagos archipelago.

The species was last seen in 1974; it could not be found alive during the last recent searches and might thus be extinct. 

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References: 

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

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edited: 01.06.2021

Nesoryzomys sp. ‘1 Isla Isabela’

Isabela Rice Rat (Nesoryzomys sp.)

This is one of two species of rice rats that formerly were endemic to the Isla Isabela in the Galápagos Islands, it disappeared sometimes during the middle of the 19th to the early 20th century.

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edited: 11.06.2020

Polypodium argyrolepis Sodiro

Azuay Polypody (Polypodium argyrolepis)

This fern species is known exclusively from the type material that was collected in the 19th century somewhere in the Azuay Province of Ecuador, an exact locality is not known.

The species was never found again and is presumed to be possibly extinct. 

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edited: 15.04.2019

Eugenia albida Bonpl.

White Eugenia (Eugenia albida)

The White Eugenia is apparently known from a single collection that was made some time in the 18th century somewhere in Ecuador, however this assumption might in fact not be true.

***

There appear to be several species which are named Eugenia albida, and this name is also a synonym for several species; furthermore the species discussed here is sometimes thought as being endemic to Ecuador and sometimes to occur in Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela.

It is mentioned here only for the sake of completness.

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edited: 18.01.2020

Ctenitis pallatangana (Hook.) Ching

Pallatanga Ctenitis Fern (Ctenitis pallatangana)

This species is known only one collection that was made in the 19th century in the high Andean forests somewhere near the village of Pallatanga in the Chimborazo Province of Ecuador.

The species is believed to be extinct due to habitat destruction by agricultural expansion.

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edited: 13.11.2021

Caracara seymouri Suárez & Olson

Seymour’s Caracara (Caracara seymouri)  

This species was described in 2014 based on fossil remains that were recovered from the Talara Tar Seeps in northwestern Peru. These remains have been dated to Late Pleistocene/Earliest Holocene in age.

The species is also known from Late Pleistocene remains found in Ecuador. [1]

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References:  

[1] William Suárez; Storrs L. Olson: A new fossil species of small crested caracara (Aves: Falconidae: Caracara) from the Pacific lowlands of western South America. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 127(2) :299–310. 2014

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edited: 21.09.2020

Geospiza magnirostris ssp. magnirostris Gould

Large Ground Finch (Geospiza magnirostris ssp. magnirostris)

The Large Ground Finch was described in 1837 based on material that was collected by Charles Darwin on the Galápagos Islands.

The species reaches a size of about 16 cm; the males are mostly blackish brown while the females are speckled dark – and light brown.

Today this species can be found on all the main islands within the archipelago, except for Darwin, Española, and San Cristóbal, where it is thought to have become extinct. 

***

When Charles Darwin visited the Galápagos Islands in 1835, he collected several specimens on several of the islands; his specimens, however, don’t always bear reliable labels, and in some cases, he seems to have forgotten on which island he had collected which specimen.

Indeed, Darwin’s typespecimens have provided a considerable nightmare of taxonomic problems for subsequent ornithologists, based largely on their controversial localities. Darwin claimed, for example, that specimens of a peculiar large-beaked form of Geospiza magnirostris came from Chatham [Isla Floreana] and Charles islands [Isla San Cristóbal]. But after more than a century of subsequent collecting without finding any such large-billed specimens, ornithologists found themselves faced with a puzzle. Either this form had become extinct on Chatham and Charles islands, where no magnirostris specimens (large or small) had ever been found by other expeditions; or else Darwin’s specimens must have come from islands other than those indicated.” [1]

***

This very large-billed Large Ground Finch is often treated as some kind of nominate form of the species but may in fact be nothing but a just large-billed population that is now gone for whatever reasons.

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References:  

[1] Frank J. Sulloway: The Beagle collections of Darwin’s finches (Geospizinae).- Bulletin of the British Museum of Natural History (Zoology) 43: 49-94. 1982

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Depiction from: ‘John Gould: The Zoology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle, under the command of Captain Fitzroy, during the years 1832-1836. Part III, Birds. London, Smith, Elder & Co. 1838’  

(public domain)

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edited: 31.05.2021

Prestonia schumanniana Woodson

Schumann’s Prestonia (Prestonia schumanniana)

Schumann’s Prestonia is known only from the type material which had been collected in 1892 near the town of Balao in the Guayas Province of western Ecuador.

The original native vegetation at the type locality is now completely destroyed and this plant is very likely extinct now.

***

The photo below shows a congeneric species, the Starfish Wine (Prestonia mollis (Kunth.)), which is apparently still quite commonly found in Ecuador.

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Starfish Wine (Prestonia mollis)

Photo: kathyliz
https://www.inaturalist.org/people/kathyliz

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

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edited: 24.08.2022

Metaleptobasis gibbosa Tennessen

Gibbose Forest Damselfly (Metaleptobasis gibbosa)

The Gibbose Forest Damselfly was described in 2012 based on specimens that had been collected in 2005; the species has only ever been found in a very small area, a forest wetland in Los Copales in the Pastaza Province of Ecuador.

The species reaches a length of about 4,6 cm; it is quite inconspicuous colored, the eyes are red-orange dorsally and green anteriorly, the thorax is generally brown-orange with darker brown medially stripes, the abdomen is mostly grey-brown.

The only known locality was destroyed in 2012 for the development of houses; the species has not been found anywhere else, despite searches.

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References:

[1] K. J. Tennessen: Two new species of Metaleptobasis from central Ecuador (Odonata: Coenagrionidae). International Journal of Odonatology 15(2): 87-97. 2012

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edited: 26.04.2022

Mikania tafallana Kunth

Rio Daule Mikania (Mikania tafallana)

This species is known only on the basis of the type material which was collected sometimes before 1818 in the vicinity of the Río Daule near the city of Guayaquil in the Guayas Province, Ecuador.

The vegetation of the region is now highly destroyed due to urban and agricultural development, the species was never recorded since the collection of the type material and is thus probably extinct.

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edited: 25.04.2021

Piper stipulosum Sodiro

Stipuled Pepper Tree (Piper stipulosum)

The Stipuled Pepper Tree is known exclusively from the type material that was collected about a century ago at the Cordillera de Angamarca at the western slopes of the andes in the Cotopaxi province of Ecuador at an elevation of about 3500 m.

The species is now considered most likely extinct.

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edited: 27.11.2018

Naesiotus sp. ‘krameri’

Kramer’s Galapagos Snail (Naesiotus sp. ‘krameri’)

This species was described in 1985, its species epithet, however, is now considered a nomen nudum, the reasons therefore are not known to me.

Kramer’s Galapagos Snail appears to have been quite common when it was discovered and described, it was found in all wetlands and in the Scalesia forests north of Cerro Puntudo on the island of Santa Cruz, Galápagos Islands. [1]

The species seems to have not been found alive during the most recent field searches and might be extinct.

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References: 

[1] Guy Coppois: Etude de la spéciation chez les Bulimulidae endémiques de l’archipel des Galápagos (Mollusques, Gastéropodes, Pulmonés). Thèse de Doctorat, Libre de Bruxelles 1-283. 1985

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edited: 01.06.2021

Atelopus petersi Coloma, Lötters, Duellman & Miranda-Leiva

Peters’ Stub-foot Toad (Atelopus petersi)

Peters’ Stub-foot Toad was described in 2007, the species is, respectively was restricted to a small area in Napo Province in the Cordillera Oriental of the Andes in Ecuador. A population that was found in the adjacent Chimborazo Province may also be referable to this species, but this has apparently not be proven yet.

The species was first collected in 1968, the last record of a live individual took place in 1993, when a female was collected, the very last record finally dates from 1996, when a last dead specimen was found.

Peters’ Stub-foot Toad reaches sizes of about 4,3 to 5 cm in females and 3,5 to 4,2 cm in males; The coloration is quite variable, the dorsal areas are bright yellow, with white pustules and warts, most individuals have a white ventral surface, some show orange areas or spots, and some have red bellies. [1] 

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References:

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

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edited: 07.05.2019

Naesiotus achatellinus Forbes

Achatinella-like Galapagos Snail (Naesiotus achatellinus)

The Achatinella-like Galapagos Snail was described in 1850.

There is no doubt that N. achatellinus is one of the rarer Galápagos land snails. It is of special interest because of its superficial resemblance to certain species of Hawaiian tree snails of the genus Achatinella. Also, its straight-sided, conical shape, its non-impressed, nodulose sutures, and its relatively bright color pattern set it apart from any other known species of Naesiotus from the Galápagos Islands or from the South American mainland.” [2]

The species was found first on Island San Cristóbal in the early 1830s and in 1846; in 1868, it was apparently also found on Isla Española.

The shells reach sizes of about 1,2 to 1,6 cm in height, they are: “perforated, ovate-pyramidal with long, conic spire, rather thin; variously colored, being banded with chestnut on an olivaceous or whitish ground, or chestnut below, white above, always with a white line below the suture; surface smooth and glossy, like an Achatinella with slight growth-wrinkles and an impressed band below the suture, pinched up into tubercles at irregular intervals.” [1]

***

The Achatinella-like Galapagos Snail disappeared from Isla Española at an unknown date and was last seen on Isla San Cristóbal in the 1980s; it is now most likely extinct.

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References: 

[1] George W. Tryon; Henry A. Pilsbry; a.o.: Manual of Conchology. Second series: Pulmonata. Vol 11: American Bulimulidae: Bulimulus, Neopetraeus, Oxychona, and South American Drymaeus. 1897-1898
[2] Allyn G. Smith: New record for a rare Galápagos land snail. Nautilus 85(1): 5-8. 1971

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Depiction from: ‘George W. Tryon; Henry A. Pilsbry; a.o.: Manual of Conchology. Second series: Pulmonata. Vol 11: American Bulimulidae: Bulimulus, Neopetraeus, Oxychona, and South American Drymaeus. 1897-1898’

(public domain)

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edited: 01.06.2021

Heliaster solaris A. H. Clark

24-rayed Sunstar (Heliaster solaris)

The 24-rayed Sunstar was described in 1840 as Asterias multiradiata Gray, a name that was already used for another species and that thus was replaced in 1920.

The species was endemic to the Galápagos Island group, where it appears to have been strictly restricted to the waters around the Isla Espanola.

The 24-rayed Sunstar disappeared during the El Niño southern oscillation event which affected the Galápagos Islands in 1982/83.

***

It appears very remarkable, at least to me, that all these extinctions of sealife from the Galápagos Islands in 1982/83 remained almost unnoticed til today.

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References:

[1] Graham J. Edgar; Stuart A. Banks; Margarita Brandt; Rodrigo H. Bustamantes; Angel Chiriboga; Lauren E. Garske; Peter W. Glynn; Jack S. Grove; Scott Henderson; Cleve P. Hickman; Kathy A. Miller; Fernando Rivera; Gerald M. Wellington: El Niño, grazers and fisheries interact to greatly elevate extinction risk for Galapagos marine species. Global Change Biology 16: 2876-2890. 2010

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edited: 29.11.2018

Peperomia leucorrhachis Sodiro ex C. DC.

White-shafted Peperomia (Peperomia leucorrhachis)

The White-shafted Peperomia, described in 1920, is known only from the type collection that was made in the 19th century in the forests of the western Andean slopes in the Pichincha Province of Ecuador.

The species was never recorded since and is possibly extinct.

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edited: 03.05.2022

Andinobates abditus (Myers & Daly)

Collin’s Poison Frog (Andinobates abditus)

This species is known only from its type locality, the forests on the eastern base of the Reventador Volcano in the Napo Province of Ecuador.

The species was last seen during the 1980s and, due to habitat destruction and the spread of the amphibian chytrid fungus, is now most likely extinct.

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edited: 23.08.2022

Naesiotus duncanus Dall

Duncan Island Snail (Naesiotus duncanus)

The Duncan Island Snail was described in 1893, it is restricted to the Isla Pinzón (aka. Duncan Island) in the Galapágos archipelago.

Except the largest specimens of B. nux, these shells are the largest Bulimuli described from the islands.” [1]

The shells reach sizes of about 1,8 cm in height and about 1,1 cm in diameter. [1]

***

The species was never observed alive and is known exclusively from empty shells, thus it certainly was already extinct before it was scientifically described; it probably fell victim to a severe drought. [2]

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References:

[1] George W. Tryon; Henry A. Pilsbry; a.o.: Manual of Conchology. Second series: Pulmonata. Vol 11: American Bulimulidae: Bulimulus, Neopetraeus, Oxychona, and South American Drymaeus. 1897-1898’    
[2] Guy Coppois; Sue Wells: Threatened Galápagos snails. Oryx 21(4): 236-241. 1987

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Depiction from: ‘George W. Tryon; Henry A. Pilsbry; a.o.: Manual of Conchology. Second series: Pulmonata. Vol 11: American Bulimulidae: Bulimulus, Neopetraeus, Oxychona, and South American Drymaeus. 1897-1898’  

(public domain)

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edited: 31.05.2021

Desmarestia tropica W. R. Taylor

Tropical Acidweed (Desmarestia tropica)

The Tropical Acidweed was endemic to the Galápagos archipelago, where, however, it was only ever found at two localities off Isla Floreana and off Isla Isabela, it was discovered in 1935 and described in 1945.

The species disappeared together with everal other marine algae species after a devastating El Niño event in 1982/83 and is now considered most likely extinct.

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References:

[1] Graham J. Edgar; Stuart A. Banks; Margarita Brandt; Rodrigo H. Bustamantes; Angel Chiriboga; Lauren E. Garske; Peter W. Glynn; Jack S. Grove; Scott Henderson; Cleve P. Hickman; Kathy A. Miller; Fernando Rivera; Gerald M. Wellington: El Niño, grazers and fisheries interact to greatly elevate extinction risk for Galapagos marine species. Global Change Biology 16: 2876-2890. 2010

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edited: 29.11.2018

Bifurcaria galapagensis (Piccone & Grunow) Womersley

Galapagos Sargasso Grass (Bifurcaria galapagensis)

This alga species was once one of the most common species growing in the lower intertidal and shallow subtidal habitats on the Galápagos Islands, but disappeared after a devastating El Niño event in 1982/83.

The species is now considered extinct. [1]

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References:

[1] Graham J. Edgar; Stuart A. Banks; Margarita Brandt; Rodrigo H. Bustamantes; Angel Chiriboga; Lauren E. Garske; Peter W. Glynn; Jack S. Grove; Scott Henderson; Cleve P. Hickman; Kathy A. Miller; Fernando Rivera; Gerald M. Wellington: El Niño, grazers and fisheries interact to greatly elevate extinction risk for Galapagos marine species. Global Change Biology 16: 2876-2890. 2010

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edited: 29.11.2018

Nesoryzomys darwini Osgood

Darwin’s Galapagos Mouse (Nesoryzomys darwini)  

Darwin’s Galapagos Mouse was described in 1929; it was endemic to the Isla Santa Cruz in the Galápagos archipelago.

It reached lengths of about 22 cm, including the tail; it was predominantly cinnamon rufous colored, the upper parts with a mixture of blackish hairs, the tail was dusky above and whitish below. [1]

Darwin’s Galapagos Mouse was last seen in 1930; the species disappeared shortly after, perhaps due to the introduction of Norway Rats (Rattus norvegicus (Berkenhout)), Black Rats (Rattus rattus (L.)), and feral cats.

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References:  

[1] Wilfred H. Osgood: A new rodent from the Galapagos Islands. Field Museum of Natural History 17(2): 21-24. 1929

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edited: 01.06.2021

Piper angamarcanum C. DC.

Angamarca Pepper Tree (Piper angamarcanum)

The Angamarca Pepper Tree was endemic to the province of Zamora Chinchipe, Ecuador, where it was restricted to the Páramo vegetation at elevations of 3000 to 3500 m.

The species is apparently known only from material that was collected in 1905 (or 1912 depending on which source).

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edited: 27.11.2018 

Spatoglossum schmittii W. R. Taylor

Schmitt’s Brown Alga (Spatoglossum schmittii)

Schmitt’s Brown Alga was endemic to the waters surrounding the Galápagos Islands, where in former times it was quite common.

The species disappeared following a devastating El Niño in 1982/83 and is now considered most likely extinct.

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References:

[1] Graham J. Edgar; Stuart A. Banks; Margarita Brandt; Rodrigo H. Bustamantes; Angel Chiriboga; Lauren E. Garske; Peter W. Glynn; Jack S. Grove; Scott Henderson; Cleve P. Hickman; Kathy A. Miller; Fernando Rivera; Gerald M. Wellington: El Niño, grazers and fisheries interact to greatly elevate extinction risk for Galapagos marine species. Global Change Biology 16: 2876-2890. 2010

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edited: 29.11.2018

Piper baezanum C. DC.

Baeza Pepper Treelet (Piper baezanum)

Baeza Pepper Treelet was described in 1920, it is apparently known only from the type material that was collected almost a century ago.

The species was restricted to a small region somewhere near the city of Baeza in the Napo Province of Ecuador, where it was found in mountain forests at elevations between 500 and 1000 m.

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edited: 27.11.2018

Nesoryzomys indefessus (Thomas)

Santa Cruz Rice Rat (Nesoryzomys indefessus)  

The Santa Cruz Rice Rat was described in 1899, it was restricted to the Isla Santa Cruz, Galápagos Islands.

The species disappeared soon after its description due to the introduction of Black Rats (Rattus rattus (L.)) and feral cats.

***

The Fernandina Rice Rat (Nesorhyzomys narboroughi Heller), one of only four Galápagos Islands rice rat species surviving until today, was formerly treated as a subspecies of the Santa Cruz Rice Rat.

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edited: 11.06.2020

Erigeron adscendens Turcz.

Napo Fleabane (Erigeron adscendens)

The Napo Fleabane was described in 1851, the species was only ever found once, growing in wet wasteland at an elevation of 4000 to 4500 m somewhere at the foothills of the Antisana volcano in the Napo Province of Ecuador.

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

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edited: 09.09.2019

Piper trachyphyllum C. DC.

Rough-leaved Pepper Tree (Piper trachyphyllum)

This species was restricted to the mountain forests of the western slopes oft he Andes in the Chimborazo Province of ecuador, where it was found at elevations of 1600 to 2000 m.

The species is known only from material that was collected about a century ago and may well be already extinct.

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edited: 27.11.2018

Hymenophyllum helicoideum Sodiro

Helicoid Filmy Fern (Hymenophyllum helicoideum 

The Helicoid Filmy Fern was described in 1892, it is known only from the type material that was collected in the 19th century near San Nicolás in the Pichincha Province of Ecuador.

The type consists of heavily fragmented material that is now kept within a closed pocket on its former herbarium sheet.

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edited: 03.11.2020

Peperomia pichinchae C. DC.

Pichincha Peperomia (Peperomia pichinchae)

The Pichincha Peperomia was found growing along the streams on the slopes of the Pichincha Volcano in the Pichincha Province, Ecuador.

The species was apparently not found in recent decades and is considered possibly extinct, yet it could also exist in nearby areas, however, I unfortunately could not find out anything about it so far.

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edited: 20.09.2020

Desmodus draculae Morgan et al.

Giant Vampire Bat (Desmodus draculae)  

The Giant Vampire Bat was described in 1988 based on bones that were recovered from deposits of a cave in the state of Monagas, northern Venezuela. Further remains were found in Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, and Mexico.  

The exact age of these bones cannot be determined, they may be of late Pleistocene or early Holocene age, some scientists even think that this species may still exist. [1]  

***

The Giant Vampire Bat wasn’t a real giant, in fact it was only 30% larger than its next living relative, the Common Vampire Bat (Desmodus rotundus Geoffroy) (see photo).  

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References:  

[1] G. S. Morgan; O. J. Linares; C. E. Ray: New species of fossil vampire bats (Mammalia, Chiroptera, Desmodontidae) from Florida and Venezuela”. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. 101(4): 912–928. 1988  

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Common Vampire Bat (Desmodus rotundus Geoffroy)  

Photo: Uwe Schmidt 

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

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edited: 23.03.2018

Phaseolus rimbachii Standl.

Rimbach’s Bean (Phaseolus rimbachii 

Rimbach’s Bean is a somewhat enigmatic species, that is known from the type collection which was collected at an elevation of about 2800 m near the city of Riobamba in the Chimborazo Province, Ecuador at an unknown date. [?]  

The species was described in 1940, it was a up to 5 m tall climbing liana with the leaves having a conspicuously glaucous under surface.  

Rimbach’s Bean was never found again since, the type locality is now more or less destructed, so the species is most probably extinct.  

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edited: 22.03.2018

Hoffmannia modesta Diels

Rio Pastaza Hoffmannia (Hoffmannia modesta)  

This species is known only from the type, that had been collected in 1933 in the Río Pastaza valley, near the town of Río Negro in the Tungurahua Province, Ecuador.  

The status of this species is unknown, the type was destroyed during World War II, it may be extinct or may turn out to be identical with another species.  

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edited: 22.03.2018

Bidens simplicifolia C.H. Wright

Simple-leaved Beggartick (Bidens simplicifolia)

The Simple-leaved Beggartick was a terrestrial herb that was found only once, in 1897, near the Hacienda El Recreo in the Manabí Province of Ecuador.

The region has now lost almost all of its original forest cover and this species might well be extinct.

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Depiction from: ‘Earl Edward Sherff: The genus Bidens. Botanical Series. Field Museum of Natural History 16(1): 1-346. 1937’

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

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edited: 16.05.2022

Hylocharis pyropygia Salvin & Godman

Flame-rumped Sapphire (Hylocharis pyropygia)  

The enigmatic Flame-rumped Sapphire was described in 1881, it is thought to originate from Brazil, however, according to the original description it doesn’t.:

This is also one of Mr. Whitely’s recent discoveries, he having found it in company with a number of well-known Ecuador species of Humming- and other birds; so that it is reasonable to suppose it came from that country.” [1]

The Flame-rumped Sapphire might well be an now extinct species, however, it is now widely believed to be a hybrid of two other hummingbird species, the Glittering-bellied Emerald (Chlorostilbon lucidus (Shaw)) and the White-chinned Sapphire (Hylocharis cyanus Vieillot); I have included it here for the sake of completeness.

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References:  

[1] Osbert Salvin; F. D. Godman: On some new and little-known species of Trochilidae. The Ibis 4(5):  595-597. 1881

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Depiction from: ‘Osbert Salvin; F. D. Godman: On some new and little-known species of Trochilidae. The Ibis 4(5):  595-597. 1881’

(public domain)

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edited: 03.11.2020

Piper manabinum C. DC.

Manabi Pepper Tree (Piper manabinum)

The Manabi Pepper tree is known exclusively from material that was collected in 1892 or 1893 on the Hacienda El Recreo in the province Manabí and in the vicinity oft he city of Balao in the province Guayas in Ecuador.

The type material was destroyed during World War II.

The Manabi Pepper Tree is possibly extinct.

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edited: 27.11.2018

Peperomia glandulosa C. DC.

Glandulose Peperomia (Peperomia glandulosa)

The Glandulose Peperomia was described in 1890, it was originally only known from the type material that was collected in the late 19th century somewhere in the surroundings of the city of Loja in the Loja Province, Ecuador.

The species was collected again in the 1960s but apparently not again, it might already be extinct. 

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edited: 20.09.2020

Aegialomys galapagoensis ssp. galapagoensis (Waterhouse)

Galapagos Rice Rat (Aegialomys galapagoensis ssp. galapagoensis)  

In 1835, when Darwin visited the Galapagos Islands, he found a native mouse inhabiting Chatham Island [Isla San Cristóbal] and supposed it to be the only indigenous mammal of the islands. This species was described as Mus galapagoensis by Waterhouse … who adds Darwin’s notation as follows: “This mouse or rat is abundant in Chatham Island. I could not find it on any other island of the group.” From this it is evident that Darwin made an effort to obtain further rodents, but his narrative seems to indicate that he did not spend any time on Narborough and Indefatigable islands, the principal ones from which specimens have been taken subsequently.” [1]

The Galapagos Rice Rat is one of several virtually unknown endemic rodent species that inhabit, or inhabited, the Galápagos Islands.

This species, which might include two subspecies, is known from at least two, maybe three, of the islands, with Isla San Cristóbal having been inhabited by the nominate, which was endemic to that island.

This form was apparently last collected in 1855 by Charles Darwin himself during the second voyage of HMS Beagle, it must have gone extinct only some decades later and all subsequent findings were of subfossil remains only. 

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References:  

[1] Wilfred H. Osgood: A new rodent from the Galapagos Islands. Field Museum of Natural History 17(2): 21-24. 1929

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Depiction from: ‘John Gould: The Zoology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle, under the command of Captain Fitzroy, during the years 1832-1836. Part III, Birds. London, Smith, Elder & Co. 1838’ 

(public domain)

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edited: 01.06.2021

Megaoryzomys sp. ‘Isla Isabela’

Isabela Giant Rice Rat (Megaoryzomys sp.)  

This is an up to date undescribed and thus unnamed species that is known exclusively from subfossil remains that had been found on Isla Isabele, Galápagos Islands. [1]

***

The Isabela sp. is apparently sometimes considered conspecific with the Galapagos Giant Rice Rat (Megaoryzomys curioi (Niethammer)) from the Isla Santa Cruz, another extinct rice rat species known only from subfossil remains.

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References:  

[1] Gustavo Jiménez-Uzcátegui; Bryan Milstead; Cruz Márquez; Javier Zabala; Paola Buitrón; Alizon Llerena; Sandie Salazar; Birgit Fessl: Galapagos vertebrates: endangered status and conservation actions. Galapagos Report 2006-2007

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edited: 11.06.2020

Monteverdia manabiensis (Loes.) Biral

Manabi Maytenus (Monteverdia manabiensis)

The manabi Maytenus is or was a small treelet that was discovered in the 19th century in a unspecified localitay in the Manabí Province of Ecuador.

The species was never recorded again and is considered most likely extinct.

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edited: 03.09.2020

Scyphostelma velutina (Morillo) Liede & Meve

Velvety Stranglevine (Scyphostelma velutina)

The Velvety Stranglevine is known only from the type material collected in 1858 at the Río Pangor near Juan de Velasco, a local community in the Chimborazo Province in central Ecuador.

The exact locality appears to be unknown, however, no additional material has ever been collected and the species very likely is extinct. 

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References:

[1] Sigrid Liede-Schumann; Ulrich meve: The Orthosiinae revisited (Apocynaceae, Asclepiadoideae, Asclepiadeae). Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 99(1): 44-81. 2013

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edited: 19.09.2020

Galaxaura barbata R. Chou

Bearded Galaxaura Alga (Galaxaura barbata)

The Bearded Galaxaura Alga, described in 1945, was endemic to the waters around the Galápagos archipelago, where, however, it apparently was restricted to three localities only.

The species disappeared together with many other marine algae species after the devastating El Niño from 1982/83.

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References:

[1] Graham J. Edgar; Stuart A. Banks; Margarita Brandt; Rodrigo H. Bustamantes; Angel Chiriboga; Lauren E. Garske; Peter W. Glynn; Jack S. Grove; Scott Henderson; Cleve P. Hickman; Kathy A. Miller; Fernando Rivera; Gerald M. Wellington: El Niño, grazers and fisheries interact to greatly elevate extinction risk for Galapagos marine species. Global Change Biology 16: 2876-2890. 2010

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edited: 29.11.2018

Annona ecuadorensis R. E. Fr.

Ecuadorian Annona (Annona ecuadorensis)

The Ecuadorian Annona is a large tree that was found only once, in 1995, in the wet coastal forests in Cerro Azul in the Guayas Province of Ecuador.

The only known locality is now a working quarry and this species is very likely almost if not completely extinct now.

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edited: 27.01.2022

Gracilaria skottsbergii W. R. Taylor

Skottsberg’s Alga (Gracilaria skottsbergii)

This marine algae species was endemic to the ocean surrounding the Galápagos Islands.

The species disappeared in 1982/83 due to the effects of a devastating El Niño event and is now considered extinct.

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References:

[1] Graham J. Edgar; Stuart A. Banks; Margarita Brandt; Rodrigo H. Bustamantes; Angel Chiriboga; Lauren E. Garske; Peter W. Glynn; Jack S. Grove; Scott Henderson; Cleve P. Hickman; Kathy A. Miller; Fernando Rivera; Gerald M. Wellington: El Niño, grazers and fisheries interact to greatly elevate extinction risk for Galapagos marine species. Global Change Biology 16: 2876-2890. 2010

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edited: 29.11.2018

Marcgravia polyadenia Sleumer

Pacayacu Marcgravia (Marcgravia polyadenia 

The genus Marcgravia contains about 60 or 65 species which occur in South- and Central America.  

***

This species is known only based on the type material, which was collected in the 1930s in a primary forest near the town of Pacayacu in Ecuador.  

The original vegetation at the locality is now almost completely destroyed, and as the species was never found again, it may be extinct now.

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edited: 03.09.2020

Xyris andina Malme

Andean Yellow-eyed Grass (Xyris andina 

This species is known only from the type material, which was collected sometimes between 1861 and 1863 at an unknown place at the western slopes of the Andes in Ecuador.  

The plant could not be found again up to the present day.

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edited: 03.11.2020

Centrolene gemmatum (Flores)

Pampas Giant Glass Frog (Centrolene gemmatum 

This species was described in the year 1985.  

The Pampas Giant Glass Frog inhabited a quite small area near San Francisco de Las Pampas in the Cotopaxi Province of Ecuador. The frog was found near streams in the cloud forest, it is assumed that the females attached their eggs to vegetation hanging over water, and that the tadpoles, while hatchings, dropped into the water where they continued to develop.  

There have been intensive search operations near the type locality, but, since not even a single individual was ever found, the species may very well be extinct now.

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edited: 18.09.2020

Naesiotus lycodus (Dall)

Indefatigable Island Snail (Naesiotus lycodus)

The Indefatigable Island Snail was described in 1917, it is, or maybe was, endemic to Isla Santa Crus in the Galápagos Islands.

The species was found on tree trunks at 135 to 165 m elevation. [1]

The Indefatigable Island Snail was apparently not found during the most recent field searches and might be extinct.

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References: 

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

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Photo from: ‘’Abraham S. H. Breure: Annotated type catalogue of the Orthalicoidea (Mollusca, Gastropoda) in the Royal Belgian Institute of Sciences, Brussels, with descriptions of two new species. ZooKeys 101: 1-50. 2011

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

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edited: 01.06.2021

Hieracium sprucei Arv.-Touv.

Spruce’s Hawkweed (Hieracium sprucei)  

Spruce’s Hawkweed is known only from a single collection made somewhere in Ecuador in the 1880s, which, however lacks any information about the exact collection locality.  

The species may now be extinct, but this claim has to be resolved yet.

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edited: 02.10.2020

Tournefortia obtusiflora Benth.

Blunt-leaved Tree Heliotrope (Tournefortia obtusiflora)  

This small treelet is known from a single collection from the first half of the 19th century.  

The Blunt-leaved Tree Heliotrope was probably restricted to dry coastal forest, most of which has been altered due to the expansion of Guayaquil, now the largest city in Ecuador.  

The species is most likely extinct.

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edited: 20.09.2020

Matelea ecuadorensis (Schltr.) Morillo

Ecuadorian Matelea (Matelea ecuadorensis)

The Ecuadorian Matelea is apparently known only from the type material which was collected sometimes in the 19th century somewhere near the city of Quito in the Pichincha Province of Ecuador.

The species was never recorded since and might be extinct.

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edited: 28.04.2021

Piper bullatifolium Sodiro

Bubble-leaved Pepper Tree (Piper bullatifolium)

The Bubble-leaved Pepper Tree is known only on the basis of the type material that was collected about one century ago.

The species was restricted to the Andean mountain forests in the province Chimborazo in ecuador, where it was found at elevations between 2000 and 2500 m. 

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edited: 27.11.2018

Dictyota galapagensis (Farlow) De Clerck

Galapagos Seaweed (Dictyota galapagensis)

This marine algae species was endemic to the ocean surrounding the Galápagos Islands.

The species disappeared after a decastating El Niño event in 1982/83 and is now considered extinct.

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References:

[1] Graham J. Edgar; Stuart A. Banks; Margarita Brandt; Rodrigo H. Bustamantes; Angel Chiriboga; Lauren E. Garske; Peter W. Glynn; Jack S. Grove; Scott Henderson; Cleve P. Hickman; Kathy A. Miller; Fernando Rivera; Gerald M. Wellington: El Niño, grazers and fisheries interact to greatly elevate extinction risk for Galapagos marine species. Global Change Biology 16: 2876-2890. 2010

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edited: 29.11.2018

Grammitis recondita C. V. Morton

Concealed Grammtis Fern (Grammitis recondita)

Der Concealed Grammtis Fern, described in 1971, is a middle-sized epiphytic fern species that was only ever recorded once in the 19th century near of what today is the town of Archidona in the Napo Province in central Ecuador. [1]

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

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References:

[1] C. V. Morton: Supplementary notes on Grammitis in Ecuador. Phytologia 22(2):  71-82. 1971

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edited: 12.06.2020

Atelopus boulengeri Peracca

Boulenger’s Stub-foot Toad (Atelopus boulengeri)

Boulenger’s Stubfoot Toad was described in 1904, the species is known from only six places in the provinces of Morona-Santiago and Loja in the eastern Andes of Ecuador, where it was last seen in 1984.  

The reasons for the disappearance of this species are the same as for most of the other extinct amphibian species: habitat loss and the fungal disease chytridiomycosis.  

Boulenger’s Stubfoot Toad is now most probably extinct.

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edited: 10.09.2019

Naesiotus sp. ‘nilsodhneri’

Nils Odhner’s Galapagos Snail (Naesiotus sp. ‘nilsodhneri’)

Nils Odhner’s Galapagos Snail was described in 1985, its species epithet, however, is now considered a nomen nudum. 

The species was restricted to the arid zones in the south-east of Isla Santa Cruz in the Galápagos archipelago; it was not found alive during the last recent field surveys and is now feared to be extinct. 

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References: 

[1] Guy Coppois: Etude de la spéciation chez les Bulimulidae endémiques de l’archipel des Galápagos (Mollusques, Gastéropodes, Pulmonés). Thèse de Doctorat, Libre de Bruxelles 1-283. 1985

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edited: 01.06.2021

Arenaria radians Benth.

Radiated Sandwort (Arenaria radians)

The Radiated Sandwort was endemic to Ecuador, where it apparently was restricted to the vicinity of the Chimborazo volcano.

The species is known from the type material only which was collected in 1841 or 1842, there is, however, some additional material, which, despite being very similar, seems not to belong to that species.

The Radiated Sandwort may be extinct, or may be identical with another species, Arenaria dicranoides Kunth. 

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edited: 14.04.2019

Euphorbia quitensis Boiss.

Quito Spurge (Euphorbia quitensis)

The Quito Spurge is known only from two collections, the first one from 1862 and the other one from 1887, the species was found in mountain forests at elevations of 2500 to 3000 m on the western slopes of the Andes.

The species was never recorded since and is very likely already extinct. 

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edited: 21.01.2019

Miconia longisetosa Wurdack

Long-bristled Miconia (Miconia longisetosa)

The Long-bristled Miconia is known exclusively from the type material that was collected in 1886 on the western slopes of the Pichincha volcano in the Pichncha Province of Ecuador.

The species was never recorded again and is feared to be extinct.

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edited: 28.01.2020

Niphogeton sprucei (H. Wolff) Mathias & Constance

Spruce’s Niphogeton (Niphogeton sprucei)

Spruce’s Niphogeton is endemic to Ecuador; it is only known from two collections, the first one collected sometime between 1857 to 1860 and the second one between 1826 to 1873.

The species has never been found since and is quite well extinct today.

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Photo: Field Museum of Natural History (F: Botany)
https://herbariovaa.org

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

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edited: 14.05.2022

Hypericum hartwegii Benth.

Hartweg’s St. John’s Wort (Hypericum hartwegii 

Hartweg’s St. John’s Wort was described in 1843, it is apparently known only from the type material that was collected in 1841 near the city of Chuquiribamba in the Loja Province of Ecuador.

The species was never recorded again since and is likely extinct.

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edited: 03.11.2020

Piper wibomii Yunck.

Wibom’s Pepper (Piper wibomii)

Wibom’s Pepper was found only near the town of Quinindé east of the Río Blanco in the province Esmeraldas, Ecuador, a region that is now more or less completely deforested and transformed into farmland. 

According to different sources this species is/was either a climbing liana or a tree.

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edited: 27.11.2018

Atelopus planispina Jiménez de la Espada

Napo Stub-foot Toad (Atelopus planispina)

The Napo Stub-foot Toad was described in 1875, the species was found very abundantely near a place named San José de Moti, which today is named San José de Mote in the Napo Province of eastern Ecuador, it inhabited humid montane forests at elevations of 1000 to 2000 m.

The species fed on beetles, insect larvae and even scorpions (based on the dissection of at least one sindividual). [1]

The Napo Stub-foot Toad was last seen in 1985, it appears to have be among the first amphibian species that have disappeared due to the deadly fungal chytridiomycosis disease.

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References:

[1] Marcos Jiménez de la Espada: Vertrebrados del viaje al Pacifico : verificado de 1862 a 1865 por una comisión de naturalistas enviada por el Gobierno Español. Madrid: M. Ginesta 1875 

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edited: 10.09.2019

Psychotria acutiflora DC.

Sharp-leaved Psychotria (Psychotria acutiflora)  

The Sharp-leaved Psychotria is or was restricted to the dry coastal forests in the Guayaquil area in the Guayas Province, Ecuador.

The species was not found again and might well be extinct.

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edited: 03.09.2020

Chelonoidis sp. ‘Santa Fé’

Santa Fe Tortoise (Chelonoidis sp.)  

The Isla Santa Fé, also known as Barrington Island, is a small, only about 24 km² large island, but may very well have once harbored its own endemic population of tortoises.  

There are three reasons to assume the former existence of a local population.:  

Firstly: Contemporaneous accounts by settlers and whalers, the latest of which dating from 1890, which also mention tortoise hunts on the island.  

Secondly: Subfossil and recent tortoise bones are well known from the island, yet no part of a carapace is known, thus the exact status of these remains cannot be ascertained.  

However, tortoises were transported in the 19th century from one island to another, without any kind of registering, thus these two abovementioned reasons may in fact also apply to a imported tortoise population.  But there is still the third and best reason ….  

Thirdly: By far the best evidence for the former existence of a endemic tortoise population comes from the island’s flora – the Barrington Island Tree Opuntia (Opuntia echios var. barringtonensis E. Y. Dawson) is an endemic variety of the typical tree-like opuntias that have evolved only on islands with tortoises, while the opuntia forms on tortoise-free islands are always growing as low creeping bushes, because, in the absence of large herbivorous tortoises they just did not need to develop a trunk.  

Thus there simply must have been a local race or species of tortoise on the Isla Santa Fé!  

***

In spite of everything, the Santa Fe Tortoise is still officially regarded as a hypothetical form.  

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References:  [1] Dennis M. Hansen; C. Josh Donlan; Christine J. Griffiths; Karl J. Campbell: Ecological history and latent conservation potential: large and giant tortoises as a model for taxon substitutions. Ecography Vol. 33(2) 272–284. 2010

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edited: 26.07.2013