Tag Archives: Hiva Oa

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

*********************  

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

*********************  

edited: 16.03.2020

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

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

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]

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

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

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

edited: 08.05.2022

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  

*********************  

Photo: Alexander Lang

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

edited: 16.03.2020

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  

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

edited: 01.09.2020

Taipidon octolamellata (Garrett)

Eight-grooved Taipidon Snail (Taipidon octolamellata)

The Eight-grooved 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 hint of information about it.:

Quelques individus ont été trouvés a l’île Dominique, sous du bois pourri. C’est la proche parente de l’Espèce qui précède, mais elle est plus variée de brun, les plis sont plus distants, et elle possède en outre une lamelle palatale en plus.

translation:

 Some individuals were found on Dominica Island [Hiva Oa] under rotten wood. It is the close relative of the above species [Taipidon woapoensis (Garrett)], but it is more variegated with brown, the folds are more distant, and it has moreover a palatal lamella in addition.” [1][2]

***

The species obviously died out shortly after and to my knowlegde only a single specimen is remaining today, a small shell of about 0,4 cm diameter.

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

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

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

edited: 20.04.2019

Gallirallus sp. ‘Hiva Oa’

Hiva Oa Rail (Gallirallus sp.)

This species is known from subfossil bones only, these had been recovered from archeological deposits on the island of Hiva Oa in the southern Marquesas, French Polynesia.

The Hiva Oa Rail was flightless and thus an easy target for the first Polynesian settlers on the islands; it died out soon after the arrival of the first human settlers. [1]

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

References:

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

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

edited: 02.08.2022

Vini sinotoi Steadman & Zarriello

Sinoto’s Lorikeet (Vini sinotoi)  

The genus Vini contains seven species, two of which are extinct now – all of them are or were endemic to the Polynesian faunal region.  

The populations of all species contracted greatly after the arrival of humans, on the other hand several species were brought to other places by early Polynesians.  

Kuhl’s Lorikeet (Vini kuhlii (Vigors)) for example was, until recently, restricted to the island of Rimatara, Austral Islands, and was actually believed to have always been endemic to that island, but is now known to have once been much more widespread, having inhabited many other islands in the Austral group as well as most of the islands in the Cook Archipelago. The species was introduced to at least two of the atolls in Kiribati by early Polynesians, and was finally reintroduced to the island of ‘Atiu, Cook Islands in 2007.  

The Blue Lorikeet (Vini peruviana (Müller)) was originally probably endemic to the Society Islands, where it is now restricted to two small atolls, but was brought by early Polynesians to Aitutaki in the Cook Islands, and to several atolls in the Tuamotu Archipelago, where it is now much more abundant than in its original range.  

Stephen’s Lorikeet (Vini stepheni (North)) is restricted to Henderson Island, but may probably have been more widespread in former times.  

The Ultramarine Lorikeet (Vini ultramarina (Kuhl)) is endemic to the Marquesas, where it once was widespread, but is now restricted to a single island.  

***

Sinoto’s Lorikeet was described in 1987 from subfossil bones which were found on Huahine, Society Islands and on Hiva Oa, Tahuata, and Ua Huka in the Marquesas, thus this species was widely distributed and often lived sympatric with one or two congeneric species.  Sinoto’s Lorikeet was the largest of its genus, and must have reached a size of about 30 cm. [2]  

***

BTW: There are very interesting accounts of parrots, said to have formerly occured on several of the Society Islands, mentioned by Teuira Henry in ‘Tahiti aux temps anciens’. [1]  

*********************  

References:  

[1] Teuira Henry: Tahiti aux temps anciens; trad. de l’anglais par Bertrand Jaunez. Paris: Société des Océanistes 1951 [2] David W. Steadman: Extinction and Biogeography of Tropical Pacific Birds. University of Chicago Press 2006

*********************  

edited: 11.02.2020