Tag Archives: Guadalcanal

Ceyx pusillus ssp. aolae Ogilvie-Grant

Guadalcanal Little Kingfisher (Ceyx pusillus ssp. aolae)

The Guadalcanal Little Kingfisher is one of the nine subspecies of the Little Kingfisher (Ceyx pusillaTemminck), a species that occurs from Australia to parts of melanesia; it is known only from the type specimen that was collected on the island of Guadalcanal, eastern Solomon Islands.

The single known specimen is very similar to Richard’s Little Kingfisher (Ceyx pusillus ssp. richardsi Tristram) (see depiction) from the central Solomon Islands, it differs from that subspecies by its incomplete pectoral band and by its white, blue-tipped undertail coverts. [1]

The Guadalcanal Little Kingfisher is often thought to be extinct, this, however, is not entirely certain.



[1] C. Hilary Fry; Kathie Fry: Kingfishers, Bee-eaters, & Rollers. Helm 1992


Richard’s Little Kingfisher (Ceyx pusillus ssp. richardsi Tristram)

Depiction from: ‘H. B. Tristram: Notes on a collection of birds from the Solomon Islands, with descriptions of new species. The Ibis 133-146. 1882’

(not in copyright)


edited: 01.11.2020

Uromys porculus Thomas

Guadalcanal Giant Rat (Uromys porculus)  

The Guadalcanal Giant Rat, described in 1904, was endemic to the island of Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, it is known from a single male specimen that had been cought sometimes between 1886 and 1888.  

The species shared its habitat with another species of the same genus, the Emperor Rat (Uromys imperator (Thomas)), in contrast to that species, the Guadalcanal Giant Rat was not a giant at all, it reached a total length of only 35 cm, being half he size of its larger congener.  

The Guadalcanal Giant Rat is now most likely extinct, the main reason for this are the same as in its congeneric ‘cousin’ – predation by introduced feral cats.  


edited: 06.05.2019

Uromys imperator (Thomas)

Emperor Rat (Uromys imperator)

The Emperor Rat, described in 1888, was endemic to the island of Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, the species is known from only three specimens that all were taken between 1886 and 1888.


The Emperor Rat was very large, reaching a total length of about 60 cm, including the tail. It is believed that this species inhabited the rainforests, probably being a ground-dweller and feeding on fruits and other plant material.

The species may have survived until the 1960s, since the native people at that time still knew of a large, ground-dwelling rat living in the forests. The main reason for its extinction very likely lies in the predation by introduced feral cats.


edited: 06.05.2019