Tag Archives: France

Pycnomerus sp. ‘Nuku Hiva’

Nuku Hiva Ironclad Beetle (Pycnomerus sp.)

This interesting taxon is known only on the basis of two subfossil remains that were recovered from an archeological site in the Ho’oumi Valley on the island of Nuku Hiva, Marquesas. [1]

Within the Polynesian region, this genus now very likely contains more species known only from subfossil remains than living ones.

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References:  

[1] Melinda S. Allen; Tara Lewis; Nick Porch: Lost bioscapes: Floristic and arthropod diversity coincident with 12th century Polynesian settlement, Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Islands. PLoS ONE 17(3): e0265224. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal. pone.0265224

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edited: 20.02.2024

Miocalles sp. ‘Nuku Hiva1’

Nukuhiva Miocalles Weevil (Miocalles sp.)

The genus is occurring in French Polynesia with more than 100 species, all of which are endemic to a single island; however, only three of them are found on the Marquesan Islands. This number must once have been larger as being indicated by subfossil findings.

This taxon is one of two that are known from subfossil remains (two in that case) that were recovered from an archeological site in the Ho’oumi Valley on the island of Nuku Hiva, Marquesas. [1]

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References:  

[1] Melinda S. Allen; Tara Lewis; Nick Porch: Lost bioscapes: Floristic and arthropod diversity coincident with 12th century Polynesian settlement, Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Islands. PLoS ONE 17(3): e0265224. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal. pone.0265224

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edited: 20.02.2024

Laemophloeidae gen. & sp. ‘Nuku Hiva 1’

Nuku Hiva Lined Flat Bark Beetle (Laemophloeidae gen. & sp.)

This taxon is known from subfossil material that was recovered from an archeological site in the Ho’oumi Valley on the island of Nuku Hiva, Marquesas.

Today, no indigenous member of this family is known to inhabit the Marquesas; however, two genera with one species each are known to be indigenous to the Society Islands which represents the geographically closest region in French Polynesia.

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left elytron

Photo from: ‘Melinda S. Allen; Tara Lewis; Nick Porch: Lost bioscapes: Floristic and arthropod diversity coincident with 12th century Polynesian settlement, Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Islands. PLoS ONE 17(3): e0265224. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal. pone.0265224’

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

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References:  

[1] Melinda S. Allen; Tara Lewis; Nick Porch: Lost bioscapes: Floristic and arthropod diversity coincident with 12th century Polynesian settlement, Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Islands. PLoS ONE 17(3): e0265224. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal. pone.0265224

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edited: 27.01.2024

Pseudolibera solemi Sartori, Gargominy & Fontaine

Solem’s Pseudolibera Snail (Pseudolibera solemi)

Solem’s Pseudolibera Snail was described in 2014 based on subfossil shells, it was endemic to the raised coral island Makatea in French Polynesia.

The shells reach sizes of less than 0,8 cm in diameter, they are depressed to subdepressed, dome-shaped to trigonal, they are white with regularly spaced and bear amber-colored flammulations on the periphery. [1]

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References:

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

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edited: 13.06.2020

Sinployea sp. ‘Bora Bora’

Bora Bora Sinployea Snail (Sinployea sp.)

This species, which has not been described so far, is known on the basis of a single subadult specimen that was found on the slopes of a mountain ridge on the island of Bora Bora, Society Islands.

This form might well be extinct now.

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References:  

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

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edited: 02.08.2022

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

Bitoma sp. ‘Rimatara’

Rimataran Bark Beetle (Bitoma sp.)

This up to now undescribed form is known only from subfossil remains, including at least one pronotum and one elytron, that were found on the island of Rimatara in the Austral Islands.

The species had a dark ochre ground color, the elytra were decorated with a pattern of very dark brown square-shaped spots that melted into a complete brown-colored outer margin.

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edited: 02.11.2020

Succinea papillata Pfeiffer

Papillary Amber Snail (Succinea papillata)

The Papillary Amber Snail was described in 1850.

The species was endemic to the island of Ra’iatea, Society Islands, where it was apparently already quite uncommon when it was discovered and described, it is now entirely extinct.

***

syn. Succinea labiata Pease

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References:

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

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edited: 26.11.2018

Australdonta tubuaiana Solem

Tubuai Australdonta Snail (Australdonta tubuaiana)

The Tubuai Australdonta Snail was described in 1976; it is known only from subfossil specimens that were found in the western parts of Tubuai, Austral Islands.

The shells reach sizes of 0.42 to 0.5 cm; they are light yellowish white with broad reddish flammulations that fade out on the shell’s base.

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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
[2] Olivier Gargominy; Benoît Fontaine: A Global Overview of the Terrestrial and Freshwater Molluscs. In: Jean-Yves Meyer; Elin. M. Claridge: Biodiversity of the Austral Islands, French Polynesia. Muséum national d´Histoire naturelle, Paris. 55-91. 2014

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edited: 18.02.2024

Proterhinus sp. ‘Mo’orea’

Moorean Proterhinus Weevil (Proterhinus sp.)

This species, which has not yet been described, is known from subfossil remains (at least one pronotum) that were collected on the island of Mo’orea, Society Islands.

***

The genus Proterhinus occurs on some of the islands in the tropical Pacific, with a strinking radiation of more than 130 species inhabiting the Hawaiian Islands alone.

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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 25(2): 1-15. 2014

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edited: 31.10.2020

Monarcha nigra ssp. ‘Mo’orea’

Moorea Monarch (Monarcha nigra ssp.)

The Tahiti Monarch (Monarcha nigra (Sparrman)) is the sole surviving of formerly several monarch species that inhabited the Society Islands; as its name implies, it is endemic to Tahiti, the largest of the islands in the archipelago.

The smaller sister of Tahiti, Mo’orea, very likely once also harbored a monarch population, and this might well have been an endemic one.

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edited: 07.05.2022

Tenebroides rimatara Kolibáč & Porch

Rimatara Bark-gnawing Beetle (Tenebroides rimatara)

This species was described in 2020 on the basis of subfossil remains, ncluding an articulated head and prothorax as well as at least three elytra, that were recovered from sediment cores that had been obtained on the island of Rimatara in the Austral Islands.

The remains can be dates to an age of about 4500 to 3500 BP.. 

the Rimatara Bark-gnawing Beetle reached a size of about 0,48 cm in length, it appears to have been dark brown in color. [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

Antilissus sp. ‘Mo’orea’

Moorea Bark Beetle (Antilissus sp.)

This taxon, which has not yet been formally described, is known from subfossil remains (at least one pronotum) found on the island of Mo’orea, Society Islands. [1]


The genus is today known only from the Hawaiian Islands and does only contain a single surviving species. 

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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

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edited: 24.10.2020

Pritchardia sp. ‘Tubuai’

Tubuai Fan Palm (Pritchardia sp.)

This unnamed species was identified from subfossil fruits excavated in the Mihiura Swamp on the island of Tubuai, Austral Islands, at a depth of just over 3 m. 

These fruits predate the settlement of the island and can be dated back to around 1100 CE. date. [1]


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References:

[1] M. Prebble; J. L. Dowe: The late Quaternary decline and extinction of palms on oceanic Pacific islands. Science Reviews 27: 2546-2567. 2008

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edited: 18.07.2012

Bitoma sp. ‘Tubuai’

Tubuaian Bark Beetle (Bitoma sp.)

 

This form has up to now not been described, it is known only from subfossil remains, including at least one pronotum and one elytron.

The pronotum was dark reddish brown colored while the elytra had a very light, almost whitish ground color and were decorated with about seven, square-shaped, dark brown spots that formed a bark-like pattern.

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edited: 02.11.2020

Pseudolibera aubertdelaruei Sartori, Gargominy & Fontaine

Aubert de la Rüe’ Pseudolibera Snail (Pseudolibera aubertdelaruei)

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

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

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References:

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

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edited: 13.06.2020

Staphylinidae gen. & sp. ‘Austral Islands’

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

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

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

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edited: 31.10.2020

Ceodes rapaensis (J. Florence) E. F. S. Rossetto & Caraballo

Rapa Pisonia (Ceodes rapaensis)

This species was described in 2004; it was endemic to the island of Rapa in the Austral archipelago and is known from material that was apparently collected in 1921.

The species is now considered extinct, the reasons for its extinction are found in the ongoing habitat destruction by deforestation as well as in the introduced ungulates like cattle and goats who eat away any remaining native vegetation.

***

syn. Pisonia rapaensis J.Florence

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edited: 26.02.2024

Pseudolibera matthieui Sartori, Gargominy & Fontaine

Matthieu’s Pseudolibera Snail (Pseudolibera matthieui)

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


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

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References:

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

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edited: 13.06.2020

Cyanoramphus sp. ‚Rapa‘

Rapa Parakeet (Cyanoramphus sp.)


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

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

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

***

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

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References:

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

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edited: 08.02.2020

Acrocephalus sp. ‘Raivavae’

Raivavae Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus sp.)

No Reed Warbler species are known to inhabit the Austral Islands today, yet their former existence in that archipelago is more than likely, given the fact that such species are found on the Cook Islands to the north and on the Tuamotu archipelago to the east.

And, there is indeed at least one record of a reed warbler that was heard singing on one of the Austral Islands – Raivavae.:

A. v. sous-espèce ? 

Raevavae: des fauvettes furent entendues par Lacan (J.-L. Mougin, comm. pers.) en mai 1968.
” [1]

translation:

A. v. subspecies? 

Raevavae: warblers were heard by Lacan (J.-L. Mougin, pers. Comm.) in May 1968.

and:

Une espèce non identifiée d’Acrocephalus a été notée à Raivavae en 1968 mais n’a pas été retrouvé en 1990 (Seitre et Seitre 1991) et pouvait donc être un oiseau erratique.” [1]

translation:

An unidentified species of Acrocephalus was recorded at Raivavae in 1968 but was not found in 1990 (Seitre and Seitre 1991) and could therefore be an erratic bird.

This one, brief record may in fact refer to a last remaining tiny population of an endemic reed warbler population that went extinct so after. 

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References:

[1] D. T. Holyoack; J.-C. Thibault: Contribution à l’étude des oiseaux de Polynésie orientale. Mémoire du MNHN, Série A Zoologie 27: 121-122. 1984

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edited: 03.01.2024

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]

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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

Curculionidae gen. & sp. ‘Rimatara’

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

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

***

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

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

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edited: 31.10.2020

Succinea pallida Pfeiffer

Pallid Amber Snail (Succinea pallida)

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

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

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References:

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

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edited: 26.11.2018

Turdus lherminieri ssp. ‘Martinique’

Martinique Forest Thrush (Turdus lherminieri ssp.)

The Forest Thrush (Turdus lherminieri (Lafresnaye)) inhabits, respectively inhabited some of the islands of the Lesser Antilles, where it is known from Dominica, Guadeloupe, and Montserrat as well as from Saint Lucia. 

The species is, however, not known from Martinique, which is located between Dominica and Saint Lucia, but almost for sure did once occur there as well and probably did so with an endemic subspecies; yet currently there is no proof so far for that assumption, thus I will only briefly mention this assumption here.

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edited: 02.05.2022

Megalomys sp. ‘La Desirade’

La Desirade Rice Rat (Megalomys sp.)

This species is known from subfossil remains that were recovered from archaeological sites on the small island of La Desirade off the northeast coast of Guadeloupe in the Lesser Antilles.

The remains were dated to about 600 to 1400 AD.. [1][2]

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References:

[1] S. T. Turvey: Holocene Extinctions. Oxford University Press, USA 2009
[2] Myriam Boudadi-Maligne; Salvador Bailon; Corentin Bochaton; Fabrice Casagrande; Sandrine Grouard; Nathalie Serrand; Arnaud Lenoble: Evidence for historical human-induced extinctions of vertebrate specieson La Désirade (French West Indies). Quaternary Research 85: 54-65. 2016

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edited: 17.02.2020

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]

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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

Mautodontha makateaensis Sartori, Gargominy & Fontaine

Makatea Mautodontha Snail (Mautodontha makateaensis)

This species was described in 2014, it is known from subfossil material that was found near the port of Temao on the island of Makatea in the Tuamotu Archipelago.

The shells are less than 0,4 cm in diameter; they are subdepressed, white and do not bear any markings.

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References:

[1] André F. Sartori; Olivier Gargominy; Benoît Fontaine: Radiation and decline of endodontid land snails in Makatea, French Polynesia. Zootaxa 3771(1): 1-68. 2014  

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edited: 13.03.2021

Todiramphus sp. ‚Rapa‘

Rapa Kingfisher (Todiramphus sp.)

The Rapa Kingfisher is yet a hypothetical species that I like to erect based on an account from the 1920s. [1]

This account speaks about the color symbolism of Rapan feather cloaks and says that royal cloaks incorporated dark blue feathers from a bird named “kotokoto”, which was supposed to have been a kingfisher, apparently most likely the Tuamotu Kingfisher (Todiramphus gertrudae Murphy) [but named Halcyon gambieri in the paper [1]].

I personally think that this is rather unlikely, if the feathers came from any kind of imported kingfisher species, as the paper [1] suggests, then probably not from birds from Mangareva (which were already almost extinct at that time) but even more unlikely from birds from the Niau atoll, which is located far, far away from the island of Rapa. They may, however, have come from the far more closely situated Cook Islands, which harbors more than one endemic kingfisher forms. But there may very well once have been an endemic kingfisher species on the island of Rapa as well, because why not?!

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References:

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

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edited: 08.02.2020

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]

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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

Libera incognata Solem

Unknown Libera Snail (Libera incognata)

This species was described in 1976; it was restricted to the island of Tahiti in the Society Islands.

The shells reach sizes of 0.68 to 0.79 cm; they are yellowish white with numerous broad wine-red flammulations; the umbilicus is contracted and forms a brood chamber by a broad expansion of the entire last whorl. [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: 17.02.2024

Cricetidae gen. & sp. ‘St. Martin’

St. Martin Rice Rat (Cricetidae gen. & sp.)

The St. Martin Rice Rat is known from subfossil remains that were recovered from an archaeological site named Hope Estate on the island of St. Martin/Sint Maarten in the Lesser Antilles. 

The species survived into the Holocene, most likely even well into the 19th century. [1]

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References:

[1] Elizabeth Reitz; C. Margaret Scarry; Sylvia J. Scudder: Case Studies in Environmental Archaeology (Interdisciplinary Contributions to Archaeology). Springer; Second Edition 2007

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edited: 17.02.2020

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]

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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

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edited: 31.10.2020

Acrocephalus musae ssp. musae (J. R. Forster)

Raiatea Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus musae ssp. musae)

The Raiatea Reed Warbler was first collected in 1773 during James Cook’s second expedition into the South Sea, it was described in 1844.

The bird was depicted by Georg Forster (see below).

The species was collected again in the 1870s but apparently disappeared sometimes later because it was not found by the famous WSSE (Whitney South Sea Expedition) in 1922. Today only a single specimen remains in the collection of the ‘Übersee-Museum’ in Bremen, Germany

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References:

[1] Alice Cibois; Jean-Claude Thibault; Eric Pasquet: Systematics of the extinct reed warblers Acrocephalus of the Society Islands of eastern Polynesia. Ibis 150: 365–376. 2008

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Depiction: Georg Forster; between 1772 and 1775

(public domain)

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edited: 21.01.2019

Libera kondoi Christensen, Khan & Kirch

Kondo’s Libera Snail (Libera kondoi)

Kondo’s Libera Snail was described in 2018; it is known only from subfossil remains that were recovered from at least two areas on the island of Mo’orea in the Society Islands.

The shells are ‘extremely’ large for a member of its family, reaching a size of up to 0.97 cm in diameter.

Kondo’s Libera Snail is quite similar to Jacquinot’s Libera Snail (Libera jacquinoti (Pfeiffer)) in its large size, its overall shape and apertural barriers but can be distinguished from that species by having consistently much finer and more numerous riblets on the apical surface of the shell and by the absence of a strong basal sculpture. [1]

Like so many snail species endemic to Polynesia, also this one is now sadly extinct.

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References:

[1] C. C. Christensen; J. G. Kahn; P. V. Kirch: Nonmarine Mollusks from Archaeological Sites on Mo‘orea, Society Islands, French Polynesia, with Descriptions of Four New Species of Recently Extinct Land Snails (Gastropoda: Pulmonata: Endodontidae). Pacific Science 72(1): 95-123. 2018

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edited: 17.02.2024

Samoana inflata (Reeve)

Infated Samoana Snail (Samoana inflata)

The Inflated Samoana Snail was described in 1842, it was endemic to the island of Tahuata in the Marquesas.

This arboreal species inhabited the native forests at elevations of about 400 to 500 m above sea level, where it was commonly found on trees. [1]

***

The Inflated Samoana Snail is now considered extinct.

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References:

[1] Justin Gerlach: Icons of Evolution: Pacific Island Tree-Snails of the Family Partulidae. Phelsuma Press 2016

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Depiction from: ‘George W. Tryon; Henry A. Pilsbry; a.o.: Manual of Conchology. Second Series: Pulmonata Vol. 20, Caecilioides, Clessula and Partulidae. Index to Vols. 16-20. 1909-1910’ 

(public domain)

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edited: 04.06.2021

Libera dubiosa Ancey

Dubious Libera Snail (Libera dubiosa)

The Dubious Libera Snail was described in 1889; it inhabited some of the valleys on the eastern- and northern sides of the island of Mo’orea in the Society Islands. 

The shells reach sizes of 0.48 to 0.58 cm. [1]

The species was apparently never recorded alive subsequently. [2]

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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
[2] C. C. Christensen; J. G. Kahn; P. V. Kirch: Nonmarine Mollusks from Archaeological Sites on Mo‘orea, Society Islands, French Polynesia, with Descriptions of Four New Species of Recently Extinct Land Snails (Gastropoda: Pulmonata: Endodontidae). Pacific Science 72(1): 95-123. 2018

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edited: 17.02.2024

Dryolimnas augusti Mourer-Chauviré, Bour, Ribes & Moutou

Reunion Wood Rail (Dryolimnas augusti)

This species, also known as Dubois’ Wood Rail, is known from subfossil remains that were recovered from deposits in the Caverne de la Tortue, a ccave on the island of Réunion.

There is, however, one contemporary report of a “Râle des Bois“, a wood-rail, that was made in 1674 by Sieur Dubois, a French traveler, that might possibly refer to this species.

The Reunion Rail must have gone extinct shortly after that date.

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References:

[1] Anthony Cheke; Julian P. Hume: Lost Land of the Dodo: The ecological history of Mauritius, Réunion, and Rodrigues. Yale University Press 2008

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edited: 03.01.2024

Mautodontha spelunca Sartori, Gargominy & Fontaine

Cave Mautodontha Snail (Mautodontha spelunca)

This species was described in 2014 based on at least 405 subfossil shell specimens that were collected from a cave south of the village of Temao near the eastern coast of Makatea in the Tuamotu Archipelago.

The shells are less than 0,5 cm in diameter; they are depressed, white and do not bear any markings. [1]

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References:

[1] André F. Sartori; Olivier Gargominy; Benoît Fontaine: Radiation and decline of endodontid land snails in Makatea, French Polynesia. Zootaxa 3771(1): 1-68. 2014  

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edited: 13.03.2021

Mumfordia sp. ‘Tubuai’

Tubuaian Fungus Beetle (Mumfordia sp.)

This species is known from subfossil remains recovered from deposits on the island of Tubuai, Austral Islands.

***

As far as I know, the genus today contains only three species, The Mountain Fungus Beetle (Mumfordia monticola Zimmerman) from Tahiti, Society Islands, and the Spined Fungus Beetle (Mumfordia spinata Van Dyke) as well as the Tubercled Fungus Beetle (Mumfordia tuberculata Van Dyke) from the Marquesas.

It is obviously quite clear that the genus once contained many more species.

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edited: 31.10.2020

Otus grucheti (Mourer-Chauviré, Bour, Moutou & Ribes)

Reunion Scops Owl (Otus grucheti)

The Reunion Scops Owl was restricted to the island of Réunion in the Mascarene Islands; it was described in 1994 and is known exclusively from subfossil remains.

The species has not been mentioned in any of the many contemporary reports; thus it is believed that it died out very shortly after the arrival of the first human settlers on the island.

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edited: 02.05.2022

Australdonta oheatora Sartori, Gargominy & Fontaine

Oheatora Australdonta Snail (Australdonta oheatora)

The Oheatora Australdonta Snail was described in 2013; it is known from about 35 specimens that were recovered from the island of Rurutu, Austral Islands.

The shells are small, thin, relatively high, subdepressed, opaque to pellucid, white to light fawn-colored and show no traces of markings. [1]

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Photo: André F. Sartori
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

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

References:

[1] André F. Sartori; Olivier Gargominy; Benoît Fontaine: Anthropogenic extinction of Pacific and snails: A case study of Rurutu, French Polynesia, with description of eight new species of endodontids (Pulmonata). Zootaxa 3640(3): 343-372. 2013

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edited: 18.02.2024

Curculionidae gen. & sp. ‘Mo’orea’

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

At least five genera/species assignable to the weevil subfamily Cossoninae are known from subfossil pronota found in deposits on the island of Mo’orea, Society Islands.

These remains belong to species of very different dimensions; the largest of them being almost nine times as large as the smallest.

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

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

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edited: 31.10.2020

Tetrablemmidae gen. & sp. ‘Raivavae’

Raivavaean Armored Spider (Tetrablemmidae gen. & sp.)

The family Tetrablemmidae is a rather small familiy of spiders that mainly occurs in southeast Asia.

This form is known from subfossil remains found on the island of Raivavae, Austral Islands.

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edited: 31.10.2020

Australdonta yoshii Solem

Yoshi’s Australdonta Snail (Australdonta yoshii)

Yoshi’s Australdonta Snail was described in 1976 on the basis of subfossil specimens that were found on the foot of the Matonaa plateau on the island of Rurutu, Austral Islands.

The shells reach sizes of 0.29 to 0.35 cm in diameter; they are light yellowish white with prominent somewhat irregular, zigzag-shaped, reddish flammulations, becoming narrower and more sharply angled on the shell’s base, merging near or in the umbilicus. [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: 18.02.2024

Aplonis diluvialis Steadman

Huahine Starling (Aplonis diluvialis)

The Huahine Starling was described in 1989, it is known only from subfossil remains, which were excavated from archaeological deposits on the island of Huahine in the Society Islands. [1]

The species was quite large, it might have reached a size of up to 29 cm.

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

References:

[1] David W. Steadman: A new species of starling (Sturnidae, Aplonis) from an archaeological site on Huahine, Society Islands. Notornis 36: 161–169. 1989

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edited: 30.04.2021

Mautodontha subtilis (Garrett)

Subtile Mautodontha Snail (Mautodontha subtilis)

This species was described in 1884; it is, or rather was, endemic to the island of Huahine in the Society archipelago.

The shells reach sizes of about 0,29 to 0,34 cm in diameter; they are light yellowish horn-colored with evenly spaced, wide, slightly zigzag-shaped, reddish flammulations which fade out on the base of the shell. [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

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

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

(public domain)

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edited: 13.03.2021

Australdonta teaae Sartori, Gargominy & Fontaine

Tea’s Australdonta Snail (Australdonta teaae)

This species was described in 2013; it is known by 24 subfossil specimens that were collected on the island of Rurutu in the Austral archipelago.

The shells are very large, much wider than high, discoidal, white with reddish-brown flammulations on the apical surface, often faintly visible peripherally on the shell’s base through the subpellucid shell wall.

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Photo: O. Gargominy
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

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

References:

[1] André F. Sartori; Olivier Gargominy; Benoît Fontaine: Anthropogenic extinction of Pacific and snails: A case study of Rurutu, French Polynesia, with description of eight new species of endodontids (Pulmonata). Zootaxa 3640(3): 343-372. 2013

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edited: 18.02.2024

Ampagia sp. ‘Moorea’

Moorean Ampagia Weevil (Ampagia sp.)

This species is apparently only known from a subfossil head capsule that was recovered from deposits on the island of Mo’orea in the Society Islands.

The species might have been mainly black in color. [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

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edited: 02.05.2021

Miocalles sp. ‘Mo’orea’

Black Moorea Miocalles Weevil (Miocalles sp.)

This species is known from a subfossil pronotum that was recovered from deposits on the island of Mo’orea in the Society Islands.

The species apparently was generally black in color. [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 25(2): 1-15. 2014

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edited: 08.05.2022

Taipidon anceyana (Garrett)

Ancey’s Taipidon Snail (Taipidon anceyana)

Ancey’s Taipidon Snail was endemic to the island of Hiva Oa, Marquesas, it was described in 1887 when the species apparently was still alive, the author gives some slight information about it.:

Sa grande taille, son large ombilic, ses grandes lamelles aperturales blanches et bien visibles, empêcheront de confondre cette Espèce avec ses congénerès.

translation:

Its large size, its large umbilicus, and its large, white apertural lamellae, well visible, will prevent this species from being confused with its congeners.

***

Ancey’s Taipidon Snail was apparently a lowland species and might already have been extinct at the time of its discovery.

As far as I know, only three specimens of the species remain today with the holotype reaching a heigth of 0,23 cm and 0,5 cm in diameter, it is furthermore light yellow-brown and decorated with irregular, reddish flammulations.

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

References:

[1] Andrew Garrett: Mollusques terrestres des Iles Marquises (Polynésie). Bulletins de la Société malacologique de France 4: 1-48. 1887
[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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edited: 20.04.2019

Monarcha mendozae ssp. mendozae (Hartlaub)

Hiva Oa Monarch (Monarcha mendozae ssp. mendozae)

The Hiva Oa Monarch is the nominate form of a species that not only occurred on the islands of Hiva Oa and Tahuata but also on the neighboring island of Mohotani, where a distinct, endemic subspecies, the Mohotani Monarch (Monarcha medozae ssp. motanensis Murphy & Mathews), survives until today.

The species was locally known as kamokao atua respectively koma’o atu’a; the birds reached a length of 17 cm; the males of the nominate form were completely velvety black, while the females had a black head, the body was white with a pinkish tinge on the underside, the wings were black and white, the tail was white and had black subterminal spots.

The Hiva Oa Monarch disappeared from Tahuata shortly after 1922, when some specimens were collected by the Whitney South Sea Expedition; the very last record, however, was of a single bird that was seen in 1975 in a small valley of the O’otua Plateau on Hiva Oa. [1][2][3]

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References:

[1] Robert Cushman Murphy; Gregory M. Mathews: Birds collected during the Whitney South Sea Expedition. V. American Museum Novitates 337: 1-18. 1928
[2] D. T. Holyoak; Jean-Claude Thibault: Contribution à l’étude des oiseaux de Polynésie orientale. Mémoires du Muséum national d’histoire naturelle 127(1): 1-209. 1984
[3] Jean-Claude Thibault; Jean-Yves Meyer: Contemporary extinctions and population declines of the monarchs (Pomarea spp.) in French Polynesia, South Pacific. Oryx 35(1): 73-80. 2001

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edited: 08.05.2022

Succinea atollica Hertlein & Allison

Atoll Amber Snail (Succinea atollica)

This very interesting species was described in 1968 based on about 30 specimens that were collected on Clipperton Island in the Pacific Ocean apparently 10 years earlier, when the species appeared to be very abundant on the atoll.

The rather unusal shell (for a member of that genus) reaches a length of about 1,1 cm, it is elongately ovate, thin, andr tanslucent, the upper whorls are light amber-colored, the last whorl is grayish-yellow with iregularely spaced brown lines which parallel the growth lines. [1]

***

The Atoll Amber Snail was not found alive since 1958 and it is obviously extinct. [2]

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References:

[1] L. G. Hertlein; E. C. Allison: Descriptions of new species of gastropods from Clipperton Island. Occasional Papers of the California Academy of Science 66: 1-33. 1968

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Photo from: ‘Kirstie L. Kaiser: The recent molluscan fauna of Île Clipperton (Tropical Eastern Pacific). The Festivus 39. 2007’

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

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edited: 31.10.2020

Leiocephalus sp. ‘ Guadeloupe’

Guadeloupe Curly-tailed Lizard (Leiocephalus sp.)

This undescribed form, which may or may not be related to or even conspecific with the Barbuda Curly-tailed Lizard (Leiocephalus cuneus Etheridge) is known from subfossil remains of Latest Holocene age found in 1984 in an unnamed cave at Pointe du Capucin at the northern shore of the island of Basse Terre in the Guadeloupe archipelago.

The Guadeloupe Curly-tailed Lizard survived into historical times, the remains have not yet been dated but were found associated with the bones of rats, which were introduced to the Caribbean only in the 15th century. [1]

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References:

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

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edited: 08.09.2019

Tubuaia voyana ssp. oromanaensis Kondo

Oromana Tubuaia Snail (Tubuaia voyana ssp. oromanaensis)

The Oromana Tubuaia Snail was described in 1962; it was only ever known from its type locality, the Oromana Hills on the island of Rimatara in the Austral archipelago, a place that today is completely degraded and transformed into agricultural fields (like actually most of the island).

This snail is now clearly extinct. [1]

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References:

[1] Olivier Gargominy; Benoît Fontaine: A Global Overview of the Terrestrial and Freshwater Molluscs. In: Jean-Yves Meyer; Elin. M. Claridge: Biodiversity of the Austral Islands, French Polynesia. Muséum national d´Histoire naturelle, Paris. 55-91. 2014

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edited: 02.05.2022

Mautodontha saintjohni Solem

St. John’s Mautodontha Snail (Mautodontha saintjohni)

This species was described in 1976; it was endemic to the island of Bora Bora in the Society archipelago.

The shells reach about 0,26 to 0,3 cm in diameter; they are white and bear prominent zigzag-shaped, 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: 13.03.2021

Lantzia carinata Jousseaume

Keeled Lantzia Snail (Lantzia carinata)

The Keeled Lantzia Snail was described in 1872; it is (or probably was) restricted to a single locality on the island of Réunion in the Indian Ocean.

The species inhabited wet moss that grew along a waterfall in the interior of the island at an elevation of 1200 to 1300 m above sea level.

The Keeled Lantzia Snail was thought to have gone extinct sometimes during the early 19th century but was rediscovered in 199; however, it seems to have disappeared again and is now most likely indeed extinct.

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Depiction from: ‘F. P. Jousseaume: Description de quatre mollusques nouveaux. Revue et magasin de zoologie pure et appliquée, series 2(23): 5-15. 1872’

(public domain)

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edited: 21.08.2022

Mautodontha temaoensis Sartori, Gargominy & Fontaine

Temao Mautodontha Snail (Mautodontha temaoensis)

The Temao Mautodontha Snail was described in 2014, it is known only from subfossil material that was found near the port of Temao on the island of Makatea in the Tuamotu Archipelago.

The shells are less than 0,3 cm in diameter; they are depressed, white and bear no markings at all. [1]

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

References:

[1] André F. Sartori; Olivier Gargominy; Benoît Fontaine: Radiation and decline of endodontid land snails in Makatea, French Polynesia. Zootaxa 3771(1): 1-68. 2014  

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edited: 13.03.2021

Australdonta rimatarana Solem

Rimatara Australdonta Snail (Australdonta rimatarana)

The Rimatara Australdonta Snail was described in 1976; it is known from about 12 specimens that were collected near Anapoto, a village in western Rurutu on the Austral Islands.

The shells reach sizes of 0.29 to 0.32 cm; they are light yellow horn-colored with rather broad, irregular, reddish flammulations that fade out on the shell’s base.

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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

Samoana pilsbryi Gerlach

Pilsbry’s Samoana Snail (Samoana pilsbryi)

Pilsbry’s Samoana Snail was described in 2016, it is known from several specimens that were collected in 1923 on the island of Fatu Hiva in the Marquesas.

The species lived an arboreal life and was usually found on the leaves of puarata (Metrosideros collina (J. R. Forst. & G. Forst.) A. Gray).

The shells are: “Light brown with some streaking, sometimes a faint narrow brown peripheral band, usually with a white subsutural band caused by decortications. A few bicolorous: light brown with wide supraperipheral white band but this is due to decortication, not pigmentation. A very uniform species.” [1]

We also have some information about the appearance of the animals themselves.:

Mantle in juveniles is blackish with white maculae, becoming white with black threads and finally fully white in adults ….” [1]

***

Pilsbry’s Samoana Snail is now considered extinct.

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

References:

[1] Justin Gerlach: Icons of Evolution: Pacific Island Tree-Snails of the Family Partulidae. Phelsuma Press 2016

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edited: 04.06.2021

Viola cryana Gillot

Cry Violet (Viola cryana)

The Cry Violet, described in 1878, was endemic to strongly restricted limestone outcrops in the region of Cry, a commune in the Department Yonne in northern central France.

The species disappeared because of limestone quarrying and finally due to overexploitation by plant collectors. It was extinct in the wild by 1930 and survived in cultivation – but only for some 30 years longer; the Cry Violet is now extinct. 

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Photo: Unknown; MNHN  
http://www.mnhn.fr     
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

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edited: 04.10.2020

Libera jacquinoti (Pfeiffer) 

Jacquinot’s Libera Snail (Libera jacquinoti)

Jacquinot’s Libera Snail was described in 1850; its actual place of origin was not known until 2018, when subfossil shells were recovered from archaeological sites on the island of Mo’orea, Society Islands.

The shells reach sizes of 0.75 to 0.92 cm, making it very large for a member of its family; they ae faint yellowish white, with irregular, zigzag, reddish flammulations above, absent from the base of the shells; the umbilicus is small and strongly constricted by the diagonal inward growth of the last whorls.

Jacquinot’s Libera Snail is now extinct.

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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] Alan Solem: Endodontoid land snails from Pacific Islands (Mollusca: Pulmonata: Sigmurethra). Part I, Family Endodontidae. Field Museum of Natural History Chicago, Illinois 1976
[2] C. C. Christensen; J. G. Kahn; P. V. Kirch: Nonmarine Mollusks from Archaeological Sites on Mo‘orea, Society Islands, French Polynesia, with Descriptions of Four New Species of Recently Extinct Land Snails (Gastropoda: Pulmonata: Endodontidae). Pacific Science 72(1): 95-123. 2018

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edited: 17.02.2024

Samoana minuta (Pfeiffer)

Minute Samoana Snail (Samoana minuta) 

The Minute Samoana Snail was described in 1857, it was endemic to the island of Fatu Hiva in the Marquesas.

The species was originally considered very abundant and widespread but was found to be restricted to the Teavapuhia Valley in 1995; it was not found subsequently and is now considered extinct. [1]
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References:

[1] Justin Gerlach: Icons of Evolution: Pacific Island Tree-Snails of the Family Partulidae. Phelsuma Press 2016

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

Depiction from: ‘George W. Tryon; Henry A. Pilsbry; a.o.: Manual of Conchology. Second Series: Pulmonata Vol. 20, Caecilioides, Clessula and Partulidae. Index to Vols. 16-20. 1909-1910’ 

(public domain)

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edited: 04.06.2021

Ptilinopus mercierii ssp. tristrami (Salvadori)

Hiva Oa Red-mustached Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus mercierii ssp. tristrami 

The Hiva Oa Red-mustached Fruit-Dove is known only from the island of Hiva Oa, Marquesas, but might indeed have been more widespread in former times.   

This form, which differs from the nominate by the narrow yellow band below its pink head-cap, is known from several specimens and some rather scarce accounts like the following by the American ornithologist Rollo H. Beck in 1921.:

January 24

I went up onto the plateau and on up to Mt. Ootua several miles to the eastward, and around its base saw several red-capped doves of which three were secured. they were as reported, found near the heads of canyons and usually seen when flying to or from the canyon where the stream of water was flowing. As I stood on the top of the ridge with a brisk breeze sweeping over, one flew back and forth to windward of me several times looking at me. Their call notes did not seem to have the half douen rapid “Coos” at the end of the cooing as does the white-crowned and the Tahitian species. … The red-crown would come to my calling occasionally, but in the thick forest would fly past or light unseen. No white-crowns were seen where the reds were found, but they occurred just below them.” [1]

The white-capped Fruit-Dove (Ptilnopus dupetithouarsii (Neboux) is still found on most of the Marquesan Islands, it is thus somewhat strange that the Rad-capped Fruit-Dove is now extinct. [2]

*********************  

References:  

[1] Whitney South Sea Expedition of the American Museum of Natural History. Extracts from the journal of Rollo H. Beck. Vol. 1, Sept 1920 – June 1923
[2] David Gibbs, Eustace Barnes, John Cox: Pigeons and Doves, A Guide to the Pigeons and Doves of the World. Pica Press, Sussex 2001  

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Photo: Alexander Lang

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edited: 16.03.2020

Malagarion borbonica (Morelet)

Reunion Ariophantid Snail (Malagarion borbonica)

This species was described in 1860, it was endemic to the island of Réunion and is now considered extinct.

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Photo: The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

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

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edited: 28.04.2021

Boa sp. ‘Martinique’

Martinique Boa (Boa sp.)

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This taxon is known from subfossil remains that were found on the island of Martinique in the Lesser Antilles; some of these remains are bones that originate from archaeological deposits and that were manufactured into beads.

The Martinique Boa might have been a distinct species or may have been conspecific with either the Dominicia Boa (Boa nebulosa (Lazell)) (see photo below) or the St. Lucia Boa (Boa orophias L.), which are its closest neighbors and which both are sometimes regarded as subspecies of the South-American Boa Constrictor (Boa constrictor L.).

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Dominica Boa (Boa nebulosa)

Photo: Matt Becker
https://www.inaturalist.org/people/matt_becker
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

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References:

[1] Corentin Bochaton: First records of modified snake bones in the Pre-Columbian archaeological record of the Lesser Antilles: Cultural and paleoecological implications. The Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology 17(1): 126-141. 2022
[2] Roger S. Thorpe; Anita Malhotra: Systematics and biogeography of snakes of the genus Boa in the Lesser Antilles. Caribbean Herpetology 88:1-14. 2023

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edited: 29.02.2024

Porphyrio paepae Steadman

Marquesan Swamphen (Porphyrio paepae)

The Marquesan Swamphen was described based on subfossil bones that were found in archaeological sites, or rather in midden remains on the islands of Hiva Oa and Tahuata.

The wing elements were of equal size to that of the extant Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio martinicus (L.)) but slightly stouter built.

Since the species occurred on both, Hiva Oa and Tahuata, it apparently was not flightless, however, it might also have been transported from one island to another by the Polynesian settlers. [1] 

***

It is very likely that additional congeneric species inhabited other islands in the Marquesan group.

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

References:

[1] Jeremy J. Kirchman; David W. Steadman: New Species of Rails (Aves: Rallidae) from an Archaeological Site on Huahine, Society Islands. Pacific Science 60(2): 281-297. 2006  

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edited: 01.09.2020

Australdonta sp. ‘Rimatara 3’

Undescribed Australdonta Snail (Australdonta sp.)

This form is known only on the basis of subfossil material that was found on the island of Rurutu, Austral Islands.

The taxon is apparently not identical with any of the already described taxa from the island but apparently the remains are too scanty for a proper description yet. [1]

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

References:

[1] Olivier Gargominy; Benoît Fontaine: A Global Overview of the Terrestrial and Freshwater Molluscs. In: Jean-Yves Meyer; Elin. M. Claridge: Biodiversity of the Austral Islands, French Polynesia. Muséum national d´Histoire naturelle, Paris. 55-91. 2014

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edited: 18.02.2024

Monarcha mira (Murphy & Mathews)

Ua Pou Monarch (Monarcha mira)

The Ua Pou Monarch was described in 1928, originally as a subspecies of the Marquesan Monarch (Monarcha mendozae (Hartlaub)); it was endemic to the island of Ua Pou in the Marquesas.

The species was originally found all over the island, but in the 1970s its population was restricted to the higher elevations and its numbers were estimated to be about 150 to 200 pairs; these number soon dropped and finally, the last birds, two immature individuals, were seen in 1985 in the Hakahetau Valley near the north-western coast of the island.

The bird were locally known as pati’oti’o; the males were completely glossy black while the females were black with a white area covering the proximal two-thirds of the wings and a white tail. [1][2][3]

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References:

[1] Robert Cushman Murphy; Gregory M. Mathews: Birds collected during the Whitney South Sea Expedition. V. American Museum Novitates 337: 1-18. 1928
[2] D. T. Holyoak; Jean-Claude Thibault: Contribution à l’étude des oiseaux de Polynésie orientale. Mémoires du Muséum national d’histoire naturelle 127(1): 1-209. 1984
[3] Jean-Claude Thibault; Jean-Yves Meyer: Contemporary extinctions and population declines of the monarchs (Pomarea spp.) in French Polynesia, South Pacific. Oryx 35(1): 73-80. 2001

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edited: 08.05.2022

Mautodontha passosi Sartori, Gargominy & Fontaine

Passos’ Mautodontha Snail (Mautodontha passosi)

This species was described in 2014, it is known from subfossil material that was found in rocky substrate at a cliff north of Moumu village on the eastern shore of the island of Makatea in the Tuamotu Archipelago.

The shells are less than 0,4 cm in diameter; they are subdepressed and white in color, they do not bear any markings. [1]

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References:

[1] André F. Sartori; Olivier Gargominy; Benoît Fontaine: Radiation and decline of endodontid land snails in Makatea, French Polynesia. Zootaxa 3771(1): 1-68. 2014  

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edited: 13.03.2021

Mautodontha parvidens (Pease)

Small-toothed Mautodontha Snail (Mautodontha parvidens)

The Small-toothed Mautodontha Snail was described in 1861; this species is known to occur on at least three islands, Huahine, Mo’orea, and Tahiti in the Society Islands.

The shells reach sizes of about 0,28 to 0,39 cm in diameter; they are light yellowish white with broad, protractively sinuate, reddish flammulations which become faint or absent on the base of the shell. [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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Depiction from: ‘G. W. Tryon; H. A. Pilsbry; a.o.: Manual of Conchology. Second Series: Pulmonata Vol. 3, Helicidae Vol. 1. 1887’   

(public domain)

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edited: 13.03.2021

Australdonta pharcata Solem

Taahuaia Australodonta Snail (Australdonta pharcata)

This species was described in 1976; it is known only from the type locality, which today is the village of Taahuaia on the island of Tubuai, Austral Islands.

The shells reach sizes of about 0.46 cm; the original color isn’t known, however, they still show traces of irregularly spaced, narrow to broad, reddish flammulations above the periphery.

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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
[2] Olivier Gargominy; Benoît Fontaine: A Global Overview of the Terrestrial and Freshwater Molluscs. In: Jean-Yves Meyer; Elin. M. Claridge: Biodiversity of the Austral Islands, French Polynesia. Muséum national d´Histoire naturelle, Paris. 55-91. 2014

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edited: 18.02.2024

Monarcha fluxa (Murphy & Mathews)

Eiao Monarch (Monarcha fluxa)

The Eiao Monarch was described in 1928, originally as a subspecies of the Marquesan Monarch (Monarcha mendozae (Hartlaub)).

The males had the head, the nape, the chest and the upper tail coverts black with a very slight iridescence and variably mottled with white feathers, the wings were sooty black, the outermost one or two pairs of rectrices of the tail usually were white, but this character was very variable.

The forests that once covered Eiao are now highly reduced to little remnants; the last Eiao Monarchs were seen in 1977, all subsequent searches failed to find any remaining birds. [1][2][3]

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References:

[1] Robert Cushman Murphy; Gregory M. Mathews: Birds collected during the Whitney South Sea Expedition. V. American Museum Novitates 337: 1-18. 1928
[2] D. T. Holyoak; Jean-Claude Thibault: Contribution à l’étude des oiseaux de Polynésie orientale. Mémoires du Muséum national d’histoire naturelle 127(1): 1-209. 1984
[3] Jean-Claude Thibault; Jean-Yves Meyer: Contemporary extinctions and population declines of the monarchs (Pomarea spp.) in French Polynesia, South Pacific. Oryx 35(1): 73-80. 2001

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edited: 08.05.2022

Pseudolibera cookei Sartori, Gargominy & Fontaine

Cooke’s Pseudolibera Snail (Pseudolibera cookei)

Cooke’s Pseudolibera Snail was described in 2014, it is known from nine specimens that were collected from a limestone cave at the western coast of the island of Makatea in the Tuamotu Archipelago.

The shells reach sizes of less than 0,7 cm, they are depressed, dome-shaped, white with a amber tint covering most of their surface but being absent from the vicinity of the umbilicus, their apex and spires are elevated, the peripheral keel is slightly angled towards the shell base. [1]

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References:

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

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edited: 13.06.2020

Mautodontha occidentalis Sartoti, Gargominy & Fontaine

Western Mautodontha Snail (Mautodontha occidentalis 

This species was described in 2014.  

The species appears to be known from only 32 specimens, which were collected from the deposits inside a cave at the west coast of Makatea, Tuamotu Archipelago.  

The shells reach a size of less than 0,3 cm in diameter, they are subdepressed and bear no flammulations. [1]  

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References:  

[1] André F. Sartori; Olivier Gargominy; Benoît Fontaine: Radiation and decline of endodontid land snails in Makatea, French Polynesia. Zootaxa 3771(1): 1-68. 2014  

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edited: 02.10.2017

Mautodontha domaneschii Sartoti, Gargominy & Fontaine

Domaneschi’s Mautodontha Snail (Mautodontha domaneschii 

Domaneschi’s Mautodontha Snail was described in 2014.  

The species is known from as much as 744 specimens, all collected in the northeastern part of Makatea, some from the deposits of the caves in the impressive cliffs.  

The shells reach a size of about 0,35 cm in diameter, they are discoidal and bear no signs of flammulations. [1]  

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References:  

[1] André F. Sartori; Olivier Gargominy; Benoît Fontaine: Radiation and decline of endodontid land snails in Makatea, French Polynesia. Zootaxa 3771(1): 1-68. 2014  

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edited: 19.04.2018

Ducula tihonireasini Rigal, Kirch & Worthy

Mangarevan Imperial Pigeon (Ducula tihonireasini)

This species was already known from subfossil remains for several years when it was described in 2018.

The Mangarevan Imperial Pigeon apparently was still alive when the first Europeans set foot on the Gambier Islands in the 1820s.:  

Of the feathered tribe, oceanic bird form the greater part; but even these are rare compared with the numbers that usually frequent the islands of the Pacific, arising, no doubt, from the Gambier Islands being inhabited. The whole consist of three kinds of tern, the white, black, and slate-coloured – of which the first are most numerous, and the last very scarce; together with a species of procellaria, the white heron, and the tropic and egg birds. Those frequent the shore are a kind of pharmatopus, curlew, charadrine, and totanus; and the woods, the wood-pigeon, and a species of turdus, somewhat resembling a thrush in plumage, but smaller, possessing a similar though less harmonious note.” [1]

It died out sometimes later.

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References:

[1] Narrative of a voyage to the Pacific and Beering’s Strait, to co-operate with the polar expeditions : performed in His Majesty’s ship Blossom, under the command of Captain F. W. Beechey in the years 1825, 26, 27, 28. London: Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley 1831
[2] 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: 04.05.2021

Australdonta sp. ‘Rimatara 1’

Undescribed Australdonta Snail (Australdonta sp.)

This form is known only on the basis of subfossil material that was found on the island of Rurutu, Austral Islands.

The taxon is apparently not identical with any of the already described taxa from the island but apparently the remains are too scanty for a proper description yet. [1]

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References:

[1] Olivier Gargominy; Benoît Fontaine: A Global Overview of the Terrestrial and Freshwater Molluscs. In: Jean-Yves Meyer; Elin. M. Claridge: Biodiversity of the Austral Islands, French Polynesia. Muséum national d´Histoire naturelle, Paris. 55-91. 2014

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edited: 18.02.2024

Gallirallus astolfoi Salvador, Anderson & Tennyson

Rapa Rail (Gallirallus astolfoi)

This species is known from subfossil remains that were recovered from deposits on the island of Rapa, Austral Islands; it was described in 2021.

The form apparently was similar yet smaller than the Buff-banded Rail (Gallirallus philippensis (L.)), like all now extinct Polynesian rails, also this form was completely flightless. [1]

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References:

[1] J. D. Tennyson; Atholl Anderson: Bird, reptile and mammal remains from archaeological sites on Rapa Island. In: Atholl Anderson; Douglas J. Kennett: Taking the High Ground; The archaeology of Rapa, a fortified island in remote East Polynesia. In: Terra Australis 37. 105-114. Canberra, ANU E Press 2012
[2] Rodrigo B. Salvador; Atholl Anderson; Alan J. D. Tennyson: An Extinct New Rail (Gallirallus, Aves: Rallidae) Species from Rapa Island, French Polynesia. Taxonomy 1(4): 448-457. 2021

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edited: 08.02.2020

Leiolopisma ceciliae Arnold & Bour

Arnold’s Skink (Leiolopisma ceciliae)

 

Arnold’s Skink was described in 2008 based on subfossil remains that had been recovered from deposits of the Grotte au Sable in Saint-Paul, the second-largest commune of Réunion.

The species was closely related to Telfair-Skink (Leiolopisma telfairii (Desjardins)) (see photo below) from Mauritius, but was even larger; in life, this species must have had a size of over 40 cm (including the tail).

In contrast to many other animals that formerly inhabited the Mascarene islands, no written accounts exist that could be assigned to this species. [1]

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References:

[1] E. Nicholas Arnold; Roger Bour: A new Nactus gecko (Gekkonidae) and a new Leiolopisma skin (Scincidae) from La Réunion, Indian Ocean, based on recent fossil remains and ancient DNA sequence. Zootaxa 1705: 40-50. 2008
[2] Anthony Cheke; Julian P. Hume: Lost Land of the Dodo: The ecological history of Mauritius, Réunion, and Redrigues. Yale University Press 2008

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Telfair Skink (Leiolopisma telfairii); Photo: Wouter Van Landuyt (public domain)

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edited: 04.05.2022

Mautodontha virginiae Sartori, Gargominy & Fontaine

Virginie’s Mautodontha Snail (Mautodontha virginae)

Virginie’s Mautodontha Snail was described in 2014; it is a now extinct species that was endemic to the island of Makatea in the Tuamotu Archipelago.

The shells of this species are less than 0,4 cm in diameter; they are depressed, white to fawn in color and bear irregularly spaced, amber-colored flammulations which persist on the shell base or are fading out in the vicinity of the umbilical margin.

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References:

[1] André F. Sartori; Olivier Gargominy; Benoît Fontaine: Radiation and decline of endodontid land snails in Makatea, French Polynesia. Zootaxa 3771(1): 1-68. 2014  

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edited: 13.03.2021

Minidonta haplaenopla Solem

Simply-armed Minidonta Snail (Minidonta haplaenopla 

This species was described in 1976 from empty shells that were collected at the Matonaa Plateau on the island of Rurutu, Austral Islands.  

The shells are rather large for the genus, about 0,23 to 0,3 cm in diameter. [1]  

***

The species was not recorded during recent searches and is now best considered extinct. [2]  

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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 
[2] Olivier Gargominy; Benoît Fontaine: A Global Overview of the Terrestrial and Freshwater Molluscs. In: Jean-Yves Meyer; Elin. M. Claridge: Biodiversity of the Austral Islands, French Polynesia. Muséum national d´Histoire naturelle, Paris. 55-91. 2014  

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edited: 04.10.2017

Australdonta radiella ssp. rurutuensis (Garrett)

Rurutuan Round Australdonta Snail (Australdonta radiella ssp. rurutuensis)

This somewhat enigmatic form was described in 1879, apparently based on a single specimen from the island of Rurutu that differs only slightly from the ‘normal’ Australdonta radiella (Pfeiffer) from the neighboring island of Tubuai. 

The only significant difference from Australdonta radiella radiella lies in having 17 distinguishable parietals. Shape and sculpture fall within the limits of variation observed for the nominate race. The diameter (3.52 mm.) is less than that of nearly all adult A. radiella radiella, but the shell is clearly subadult and this difference has no significance.” [1]

***

syn. Endodonta rurutuensis (Garrett), Helix rurutuensis (Garrett), Patula rurutuensis Garrett

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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

Microcystis kondoi Baker

Kondo‘s Microcystis-Schnecke (Microcystis kondoi 

This species, described in 1938, is endemic to the island of Tubuai, Austral Islands in French Polynesia. [1]  

The species was not found during recent searches and is thought to be extinct. [2]  

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References:  

[1] H. Burrington Baker: Zonitid snails from Pacific Islands: Southern genera of Microcystinae. Bishop Museum Bulletins 158: 1-101. 1938 
[2] Olivier Gargominy; Benoît Fontaine: A Global Overview of the Terrestrial and Freshwater Molluscs. In: Jean-Yves Meyer; Elin. M. Claridge: Biodiversity of the Austral Islands, French Polynesia. Muséum national d´Histoire naturelle, Paris. 55-91. 2014  

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edited: 22.03.2018

Microcystis andersoni H. B. Baker

Anderson’s Microcystis Snail (Microcystis andersoni)

Anderson’s Microcystis Snail was described in 1938, it is known from specimens that had been collected in 1934 under logs and stones at a hillside of Mt. Tavaetu on the island of Tubuai, Austral Islands.

The author gives a description of the life animal.:

Animal similar to M. ornatella but with row of black dots between pedal grooves, similar squarish ones above this and vaguer, smaller ones below; mantle-lobes and shell-laps edged with dark spots.” [1]

***

The species could not be found during recent searches and is considered most likely extinct. [2]

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References:

[1] H. Burrington Baker: Zonitid snails from Pacific Islands: Southern genera of Microcystinae. Bishop Museum Bulletins 158: 1-101. 1938 
[2] Olivier Gargominy; Benoît Fontaine: A Global Overview of the Terrestrial and Freshwater Molluscs. In: Jean-Yves Meyer; Elin. M. Claridge: Biodiversity of the Austral Islands, French Polynesia. Muséum national d´Histoire naturelle, Paris. 55-91. 2014

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edited: 16.05.2019

Australdonta magnasulcata Solem

Large-furrowed Australdonta Snail (Australdonta magnasulcata)

The Large-furrowed Australdonta Snail was described in 1976; it is known from subfossil specimens that had been collected from the Matonaa plateau on the island of Rurutu, Australian Islands.

The shells reach sizes of about 0.37 cm in diameter; they are light yellow horn-colored with faint, irregular, rather widely spaced, reddish flammulations that fade out on the shell’s base.

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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

Peristylus cryptostylus (Rchb. f.) Ormerod

Hidden-Column Peristylus (Peristylus cryptostylus)

The Hidden-Column Peristylus was described in 1878, it was a terrestrial orchid growing in the rain forests of Tahiti in the Society Islands.

The species is now considered extinct.

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edited: 09.11.2021

Pseudolibera parva Sartori, Gargominy & Fontaine

Small Pseudolibera Snail (Pseudolibera parva)

The Small Pseudolibera Snail was described in 2014, it is known from 44 specimens that were collected from the base of a limestone cliff on the island of Makatea in the Tuamotu Archipelago.

This is the smallest of the species within its genus, the shells reach sizes of less than 0,5 cm, they are depressed, white and are decorated with regularely spaced amber- to maroon-colored flammulations that quickly fade out on the shell base, the first two to three whorls, in addition to the flammulations, often show a fawn background coloration. [1]

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References:

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

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edited: 13.06.2020

Electrina succinea ssp. orites Cooke & Clench

Smaller Electrina Snail (Electrina succinea ssp. orites 

This subspecies was described in the year 1943 on the basis of specimens, which were collected at the Mt. Perahu at elevations of about 365 to 548 m, and which differ from the nominate race.  

The shells are smaller, thinner, and obviously distinctly colored.  

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References:  

[1] C. Montague Cooke Jr.; William J. Clench: Land Shells (Synceridae) from the Southern and Western Pacific. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers 17(20): 249-262. 1943 
[2] Olivier Gargominy; Benoît Fontaine: A Global Overview of the Terrestrial and Freshwater Molluscs. In: Jean-Yves Meyer; Elin. M. Claridge: Biodiversity of the Austral Islands, French Polynesia. Muséum national d´Histoire naturelle, Paris. 55-91. 2014

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edited: 10.09.2020

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

cf. Ducula sp. ‚Rapa‘

Large Rapa Pigeon (cf. Ducula sp.)

This species is known from several subfossil remains that were recovered from deposits on the island of Rapa, Austral Islands. 

These remains come from a larger species, like a larger Ducula sp., and shows some indications of reduced powers of flight or even flightlessness, which is now known from several extirpated Polynesian pigeon species. [1]

***

The sole surviving pigeon species on the island of Rapa today is the Rapa Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus huttoni Finsch), which itself is somewhat aberrant and unusual large for a member of its genus.

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References:

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

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edited: 08.02.2020

Cookeana vindex H. B. Baker

Vindex Snail (Cookeana vindex)

The Vindex Snail was described in 1938, specimens were collected in 1934 at the northeastern slope of Mt. Pane on the island of Tubuai, Austral Islands.

The shells were turbinate and had large whorls, they were light brown, dull and hairy above with a polished base and bright chestnut with a light-brown band just below the angle.

The author of the species also gives a description of the animal itself.:

Animal with foot usually dark, more deeply pigmented between pedal grooves, in 3 middorsal stripes on head and over mantle-lobes and shell-lap; lung dark or with network of transparent, whitish patches around kidney and pulmonary vein; apical whorls with considerable dark pigment and with blood vessels outlined by chalky deposit, Tail with distinct dorsomedian groove and short tail horn.” [1]

***

This species was not found during all recent surveys and is believed to be extinct. [2]

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References:

[1] H. Burrington Baker: Zonitid snails from Pacific Islands: Southern genera of Microcystinae. Bishop Museum Bulletins 158: 1-101. 1938 
[2] Olivier Gargominy; Benoît Fontaine: A Global Overview of the Terrestrial and Freshwater Molluscs. In: Jean-Yves Meyer; Elin. M. Claridge: Biodiversity of the Austral Islands, French Polynesia. Muséum national d´Histoire naturelle, Paris. 55-91. 2014

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edited: 16.05.2019

Pavonia papilionacea A. J. Cavanilles

Tahitian Pavonia (Pavonia papilionacea 

The oldest known specimen of this species was collected on the island of Tahiti, Society Islands in 1769 during Cook’s first voyage around the world, the species was subsequently collected only five more times with the last specimen having been taken around 1850.

The species was apparently more widespread in the Society Islands, as at least one specimen was found on the island of Bora Bora, this was described as a distinct species in 1981, however, was later downgraded to synonymous status. [1]

The Tahitian Pavonia disappeared at the middle of the 19th century.

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References:

[1] F. R. Fosberg; M.-H. Sachet: Pavonia (Malvaceae) in the Society Islands. Bulletin du Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle 4 sér. 3, section B, Adansonia 1: 15-18. 1981

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Depiction from: ‘Sydney Parkinson: A Journal of a Voyage to the South Seas, in his Majesty’s Ship the Endeavour. London: Stanfield Parkinson 1773’  

(public domain)

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edited: 19.06.2020

Australdonta tapina Solem

(Australdonta tapina)

This species was described in 1976 on the basis of subfossil specimens found on a Makatea cliff in the lowlands of western Rurutu, Austral Islands.

The shells reach sizes of about 0.31 to 0.38 cm in diameter; the are light yellowish white with widely spaced, irregularly shaped, reddish markings that fade out below the periphery.

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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: 18.2.2024

Mautodontha aurora Sartori, Gargominy & Fontaine

Aurora Mautodontha Snail (Mautodontha aurora)

This species was described in 2014, it is known from subfossil material that was found on top of a cliff on the island of Makatea in the Tuamotu Archipelago.

The shells are less than 0,35 cm in diameter; they are depressed white to fawn in color and do not bear any markings. [1]

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References:

[1] André F. Sartori; Olivier Gargominy; Benoît Fontaine: Radiation and decline of endodontid land snails in Makatea, French Polynesia. Zootaxa 3771(1): 1-68. 2014  

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edited: 13.03.2021

Nesoenas duboisi Rothschild

Reunion Pink Pigeon (Nesoenas duboisi)

This species was described in 1907, it is known from at least one contemporaneous account and from subfossil bones.

The species was somewhat similar to the Mauritius Pink Pigeon (Nesoenas mayeri (Prevost)) (see photo below) that is still found on the island of Mauritius.

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References:

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

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Mauritius Pink Pigeon (Nesoenas mayeri)

Photo: Dick Daniels

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

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edited: 07.05.2022