Tag Archives: Huahine

Succinea tahitensis Pfeiffer

Huahine Amber Snail (Succinea tahitensis)

This species was described in 1847, it was, despite its species epithet, not found on Tahiti but was endemic to the island of Huahine, Society Islands.

This ground-dwelling species was originally found to be “Abundant on the ground in moist places, and distributed throughout the island of Huaheine.” [1] It was last recorded in 1987 and is now extinct.

The reasons for its extinction are the same as for all the other extinct gastropod species from French Polynesia. [2]

***

syn. Succinea papillata Carpenter

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

Depiction from: ‘Andrew Garrett: The terrestrial Mollusca inhabiting the Society Islands. Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. Ser. 2. Vol. 9(1): 17-114. 1884’

(public domain)

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

References:

[2] Andrew Garrett: The terrestrial Mollusca inhabiting the Society Islands. Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. Ser. 2. Vol. 9(1): 17-114. 1884
[2] Justin Gerlach: Land and Freshwater Snails of Tahiti and the other Society Islands. Phelsuma Press, Cambridge 2017

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

edited: 19.02.2024

Pampusana nui (Steadman)

Large Polynesian Ground Dove (Pampusana nui)

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

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

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

***

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

***

syn. Alopecoenas nui (Steadman), Gallicolumba nui Steadman

*********************  

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

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

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

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]

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

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)

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

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]

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

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)

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

edited: 13.03.2021

Mautodontha consobrina (Garrett)

Huahine Mautodontha Snail (Mautodontha consobrina)

The Huahine Mautodontha Snail was described in 1884; it was restricted to the island of Huahine, Society Islands.

The shells reach an average size of 0,38 cm in diameter, the largest are up to 0,43 cm in diameter; they are light yellowish horn-colored with broad, frequently spaced zigzag-shaped, reddish flammulations. [2] 

Andrew J. Garrett, the species’ author writes in the year 1884.: 

Rare and peculiar to one valley.” [1]

This statement is all, that is known about this now extinct species, of which obviously only seven museum specimens are in existence. 

********************* 

References: 

[1] Andrew J. Garrett: The terrestrial Mollusca inhabiting the Society Islands”. Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. 2nd series 9: 17-114. 1884 
[2] 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; u.a.: Manual of Conchology. Second Series: Pulmonata Vol. 3, Helicidae Vol. 1. 1887’ 

(public domain)

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

edited: 13.03.2021

Porphyrio mcnabi Kirchman & Steadman

McNab‘s Swamphen (Porphyrio mcnabi)  

McNab‘s Swamphen was described in 2006 based on three subfossil femora that were recovered from the archaeological site at Fa’ahia at the northwestern coast of Huahine, Society Islands.

The three femurs are slightly smaller than those of the extant Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio martinicus (L.)) and the extinct Marquesan Swamphen (Porphyrio paepae Steadman), which both are of equal size. [1][2]

***

In life, McNab’s Swamphen may have reached a size of about 30 cm, it was probably still volant but may not have been a good flier.

*********************  

References:  

[1] David W. Steadman: Extinction and Biogeography of Tropical Pacific Birds. University of Chicago Press 2006 
[2] 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: 30.05.2019

Acrocephalus musae ssp. garretti (Holyoak & Thibault)

Huahine Reed-Warbler (Acrocephalus musae ssp. garretti)  

The reed-warblers of the Society Islands were considered as subspecies of the Tahiti Reed-Warbler (Acrocephalus caffer (Sparrman)) until recently, when these forms were examined for their DNA. According to DNA analyses it is now known that the four known forms evolved from three separate colonization events. The reed-warblers of the both islands Huahine and Ra’iatea can be referred to a common ancestor and so can be conflated as two subspecies of a single species. [2]  

***

The Huahine Reed-Warbler was described in 1978 based on two specimens that had been collected sometimes between 1870 and 1887, the species was probably already long extinct at the date of its description.  

Only about a handful of stuffed specimens exist today in several European museums.  

*********************  

References:  

[1] Erwin Stresemann: Birds collected during Capt. James Cook’s last expedition (1776-1780). Auk 67(1): 66-88. 1950 
[2] 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

*********************  

edited: 17.10.2020

Macropygia arevarevauupa Steadman

Society Islands Cuckoo-Dove (Macropygia arevarevauupa)

The Society Islands Cuckoo-Dove is known only from a single subfossil tibiotarsus that was recovered from the archaeological deposits at Fa’ahia on the island of Huahine, Society Islands.

The species was probably distributed all over the Society Islands and maybe beyond, it appears to have been a terrestrial bird and was obviouslyly extirpated shortly after the arrival of the first Polynesians.

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

edited: 29.05.2019

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