Tag Archives: Jamaica

Celestus fowleri (Schwartz)

Bromeliad Galliwasp (Celestus fowleri)

The Bromeliad Galliwasp aka. Fowler’s Galliwasp was described in 1971; it is known only from the type locality near the Windsor Caves in the Trelawny Parish in Jamaica.

The species is associated with large epiphytic bromeliads, it is hiding between the leaf rosettes where it is also feeding insects and other invertebrates.

The Bromeliad Galliwasp was apparently last seen (and photographed) in the 1990s; however, subsequent searches in the type locality did not yield any record and the species might well be extinct now.

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edited: 01.08.2022

Leiocephalus sp. ‘Jamaica’

Second Jamaican Curly-tailed Lizard (Leiocephalus sp.)

This somewhat enigmatic form is known from at least one subfossil frontal bone that differed from the other frontal bones by its well-developed rugosities while being of comparable size to other frontal bones from other deposits.

These frontal bones are not really assignable to either the named species (Leiocephalus jamaicensis Etheridge) or to the second, unnamed one because they were found unassociated to other remains. [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: 07.09.2019

Anoma tricolor (Pfeiffer)

Tricolored Anoma Snail (Anoma tricolor)

The Tricolored Anoma Snail was desribed in 1847, it apperas toe have been restricted to a place named Moncrieff Gully (named Fern Gully today) in the St. Ann Parish at the north coast of Jamaica. [1]

The shells reach sizes of about 1,8 cm in heigth, they have up to 15 whorls and are glossy whitish and bear some grayish stripes.

The species is apparently extinct now.

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References:

[1] George W. Tryon; Henry A. Pilsbry; a.o.: Manual of Conchology. Second series: Pulmonata. Vol 16: Urocoptidae, Achatinidae. 1904
[2] Gary Rosenberg; Igor Muratov: Status Report on the Terrestrial Mollusca of Jamaica. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 155: 117-161. 2006

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Depiction from: ‘Louis Pfeiffer: Die Gattung Cylindrella Pfr.: in Abbildungen nach der Natur. Nürnberg: Verlag von Bauer und Raspe, Julius Merz 1862’

(not in copyright)

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edited: 22.09.2020

Leiocephalus jamaicensis Etheridge

Jamaican Curly-tailed Lizard (Leiocephalus jamaicensis)

The Jamaican Curly-tailed Lizard was described in 1966 based on fossil or subfossil left dentary that had been recovered from Dairy Cave 2,5 kilometers away from Dry Harbour in the parish of St. Ann, Jamaica, as well as several other remains from other caves on the island.

In life, the species might have reached a size of about 26 to 30 cm or even larger (including the tail). [1][2]

***

The species survived into historical times, some of the remains that have been found were unmineralized and had been collected from surface deposits. [2]

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References:

[1] Richard Etheridge: An extinct lizard of the genus Leiocephalus from Jamaica. Quarterly Journal of the Florida Academy of Sciences 29(1): 47-59. 1966
[2] 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: 07.09.2019

Anoma dohrniana (Pfeiffer)

Dohrn’s Anoma Snail (Anoma dohrniana)  

Dohrn’s Anoma Snail was described in 1871.

The shells reach sizes of about 1,75 cm in length; they are subperforate, subfusiform, slender, smooth, glossy coffee-colored and bear a white band at their suture. [1]

The species was not found during recent searches and might well be extinct. [2]

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References:  

[1] George W. Tryon; Henry A. Pilsbry; a.o.: Manual of Conchology. Second series: Pulmonata. Vol 16: Urocoptidae, Achatinidae. 1904
[2] Gary Rosenberg; Igor Muratov: Status Report on the Terrestrial Mollusca of Jamaica. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 155: 117-161. 2006

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Depiction from: ‘George W. Tryon; Henry A. Pilsbry; a.o.: Manual of Conchology. Second series: Pulmonata. Vol 16: Urocoptidae, Achatinidae. 1904’

(public domain)

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edited: 24.10.2020

Anoma radiata (Chitty)

Radiate Anoma Snail (Anoma radiata)

The Radiate Anoma Snail was described in 1853, originally as a subspecies of another species, Mauger’s Anoma Snail (Anoma maugeri Wood); it occurred near 
Bog Walk, a small town in the Saint Catherine Parish in southeast Jamaica.

The species was well distinguishable from related species by its fusiform shape, the finely plicate surface, the strong basal angle, the absense of bands or streaks, and the small, oblique, angular aperture. [1]

The Radiate Anoma Snail is now likely extinct.

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References:  

[1] Gary Rosenberg; Igor Muratov: Status Report on the Terrestrial Mollusca of Jamaica. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 155: 117-161. 2006

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Depiction from: ‘George W. Tryon; Henry A. Pilsbry; a.o.: Manual of Conchology. Second series: Pulmonata. Vol 16: Urocoptidae, Achatinidae. 1904’

(public domain)

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edited: 07.10.2020

Anoma gracilis (C. B. Adams)

Gracile Anoma Snail (Anoma gracilis 

The Gracile Anoma Snail was described in 1851, apparently based on empty shells; it seems that the species was already extinct at that time.

The species is endemic to the island of Jamaica, an exact locality, however, seems not to be known.

The shells are quite slender; they are pearl-white with a pure white keel and lip, they are coarsely striated at the end of the last whorl and bear excessively minute stirae otherwise. [1]

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References:  

[1] George W. Tryon; Henry A. Pilsbry; a.o.: Manual of Conchology. Second series: Pulmonata. Vol 16: Urocoptidae, Achatinidae. 1904

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Depiction from: ‘Louis Pfeiffer: Die Gattung Cylindrella Pfr.: in Abbildungen nach der Natur. Nürnberg: Verlag von Bauer und Raspe, Julius Merz 1862’

(not in copyright)

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edited: 21.09.2020

Oryzomys antillarum Thomas

Jamaican Rice Rat (Oryzomys antillarum)

The Jamaican Rice Rat was described in 1898; it was restricted to the island of Jamaica.

The species reached a size of about 26 cm (including the tail); it was furthermore described as: “Color. Above rufous sparsely lined with black, brightest on the rump; head suffused with grayish; under parts yellowish, hairs gray at base; tail pale brown above, lighter beneath; hands and feet whitish; ears blackish outside, yellowish inside.“. [1]

In 1872, Small Indian Mongooses (Urva auropunctata (Hodgson)) had been imported to Jamaica to control the likewise introduced rats in the sugarcane plantations; the mongooses, however, were also very effective in eradicating the native rodents. Feral cats and dogs certainly played their part too and finally, in 1877, the Jamaican Rice Rats were seen for the last time.

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References:

[1] Daniel Giraud Elliot: The Land and Sea Mammals of Middle America and the West Indies. Publication of the field Columbian Museum, Zoological Series 4(1). 1904

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Photo from: ”Clayton E. Ray: The Oryzomyine Rodents of the Antillean Subregion. Doctor of Philosophy thesis, Harvard University, 2111 pp. 1962′

(Public domain)

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edited: 29.04.2022

Anoma solida (C. B. Adams)

Solid Anoma Snail (Anoma solida)  

The Solid Anoma Snail was described in 1851, it was apparently restricted to a small area in the vicinity of the Peace River in the eastern Manchester Parish in southern Jamaica.

The shells are about 1,95 cm heigh and about 0,67 in diameter.

The species was not found during recent surveys and is possibly extinct.

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References:  

[1] George W. Tryon; Henry A. Pilsbry; a.o.: Manual of Conchology. Second series: Pulmonata. Vol 16: Urocoptidae, Achatinidae. 1904

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Depiction from: ‘George W. Tryon; Henry A. Pilsbry; a.o.: Manual of Conchology. Second series: Pulmonata. Vol 16: Urocoptidae, Achatinidae. 1904’

(public domain)

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edited: 22.09.2020

Anoma pulla (Chitty)

Maroon Town Anoma Snail (Anoma pulla)  

This species was described in 1853, it was for some time treated as a variety of another species, the Beautiful Anoma Snail (Anoma pulchella Chitty).

The species was found in the vicinity of Maroon Town, a settlement in the St. James Parish in northwestern Jamaica.

… from the description.:

Shell small, rather slender, dark red-brown, almost black at the back of peritreme. Lip cream-white, and so also around the back of it, and a white line running along the top (below the suture) of one-half of the last whorl, narrow and gradually dimishing. I have but three specimens before me, not the best I imagine, and, though the brown body-color is good, each seems covered with a white substance which scales off on application of a steel instrument, as though the substance were the natural exterior.” [1]

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References:  

[1] Gary Rosenberg; Igor Muratov: Status Report on the Terrestrial Mollusca of Jamaica. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 155: 117-161. 2006

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Depiction from: ‘George W. Tryon; Henry A. Pilsbry; a.o.: Manual of Conchology. Second series: Pulmonata. Vol 16: Urocoptidae, Achatinidae. 1904’

(public domain)

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edited: 24.10.2020

Anoma integra (C. B. Adams)

Integer Anoma Snail (Anoma integra)  

The Integer Anoma Snail was described in 1851 by Charles Baker Adams; it is obviously constantly getting misidentified with a form from the island of Cuba, which apparently was described under exactly the same name by Carl Georg Ludwig Pfeiffer in 1856.

It is possible that these two are in fact one and the same and that it indeed originates from the island of Cuba – I was not able so far to find any further information about this case.

***

The depiction below apparently shows the form from Cuba.

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References:  

[1] Gary Rosenberg; Igor Muratov: Status Report on the Terrestrial Mollusca of Jamaica. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 155: 117-161. 2006

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Depiction from: ‘Louis Pfeiffer: Die Gattung Cylindrella Pfr.: in Abbildungen nach der Natur. Nürnberg: Verlag von Bauer und Raspe, Julius Merz 1862’

(not in copyright)

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edited: 24.10.2020

Hypsirhynchus ater (Gosse)

Jamaican Racer (Hypsirhynchus ater)  

The Jamaican Racer was described in 1851, it is, or rather was endemic to the island of Jamaica, where it was historically common and found island-wide.  

The species reached a lenth of about 85 cm (or about 1 m according to other sources), its back was black or dark olive-colored with black spots, the belly was plain black or olive-colored.  

The Jamaican Racer was a diurnal species that actively hunted for its prey, mainly smaller reptiles, especially so-called galliwasps (Celestus spp.).  

When the species was described in 1851, it was considered to be one of the most common snakes on Jamaika, but then during the 1940s its populations begun to vanish due to habitat loss and predation by Javan Mongooses (Herpestes javanicus (É. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire)) that had been introduced to the island by 1872.  

The last ‘sighting’ was a shed skin that was found in the early 1970s, as well as an alleged video made in around 2010 that is assumed to show this snake. It is officially considered critically endangered, yet is most likely already completely extinct.  

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edited: 15.09.2019

Dendropanax cordifolius Britton

Heart-leaved Dendropanax (Dendropanax cordifolius)

The Heart-leaved Dendropanax, described in 1912, is known from wooded limestone hills at the summit of Dolphin Head Mountain on the island of Jamaica.

The species is a small, slender tree, about 6 m tall.

The Heart-leaved Dendropanax has not found during recent searches, habitat declines and degradation apparently led to its possible extinction.

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edited: 13.11.2021v

Urania sloanus (Cramer)

Sloan’s Urania Moth (Urania sloanus)  

The so-called Swallowtail moths are actually mostly nocturnal moths, some species however, like those of the genus Urania, are diurnal and almost always extremely colorful, resembling swallowtail species (Papilionidae) to which they are not related.  

***

Sloan’s Urania Moth was described in 1779, it was endemic to the island of Jamaica, where it apparently was restricted to the Blue Mountains, a mountainous region in the eastern part of the island.  

The species reached a wingspan of about 7,5 cm, it was depending on the Jamaica Navelspurge (Omphalea diandra L.) and the Jamaican Cobnutspurge (Omphalea triandra L.) as larval host plants.  

Sloan’s Urania Moth was last recorded in 1894 or 1895, depending on the source, the reasons for its extinction, however, are not fully understood but may be connected with the international butterfly collecting trade, plus a probable decline of its host plants.  

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Depiction from: ‘William Swainson: Zoological Illustrations or original figures and descriptions of new, rare, or interesting animals: selected chiefly from the classes of Ornithology, Entomology, and Conchology, and arranged on the principles of Cuvier and other modern zoologists. London: printed by R. and A. Taylor for Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy; and W. Wood 1820-1823’

(public domain)

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edited: 12.09.2019

Tyto noeli Arredondo

Noel’s Giant Barn Owl (Tyto noeli)

Noel’s Giant Barn Owl was described in 1972 on the basis of subfossil and fossil remains that had been found at abundant cave sites on the island of Cuba, as well as some very few remains found on Jamaica.

The species occurred also on Barbuda, were its remains originally had been described as a distinct species (Tyto neddi Steadman & Hilgartner) in 1999, but were later assigned to this species.

The Noel’s Giant Barn Owl survived well into the Holocene, the remains that had been found on Jamaica could be dated to an age of about 3700 years.

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References:

[1] William Suárez; Storrs L. Olson: Systematics and distribution of the giant fossil barn owls of the West Indies (Aves: Strigiformes: Tytonidae). Zootaxa 4020 (3): 533-553. 2015

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edited: 08.09.2019

Caracara tellustris Olson

Jamaican Caracara (Caracara tellustris 

The Jamaican Caracara was described on the basis of subfossil remains that were uncovered in the so-called Skeleton Cave in the Jackson’s Bay Cave system on the south coast of Portland Ridge, Jamaica.  

The species was a large, terrestrial bird with reduced wings that even may have been flightless.  

The Jamaican Caracara probably disappeared quite recently, sometimes after the occupation of the island by European settlers. [1]  

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References:  

[1] Storrs L. Olson: A new species of large, terrestrial caracara from Holocene deposits in southern Jamaica (Aves: Falconidae). Journal of Raptor Research. The Raptor Research Foundation. 42 (4): 265–272. 2008

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edited: 21.09.2020

Psidium dumetorum Proctor

Briar Guava (Psidium dumetorum)  

The Briar Guava was described in the year 1967.  

The tree is known only from a single locality, a thicket at a streamside in the Clarendon parish in the south of Jamaica, which was completely cleared shortly after the description of this species.  

The last specimens of this species were recorded in the year 1976.

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edited: 07.10.2020

Celestus occiduus (Shaw)

Jamaica Giant Galliwasp (Celestus occiduus)  

This species was described in the year 1802.  

The animals reached lengths of up to 90 cm (including the tail), whereby the males were larger than the females.  

The Jamaica Giant Galliwasp is now extinct, the last catalogued museum specimen was collected around 1860, and no individual was ever seen since. The introduced Mungo (Herpestes javanicus (É. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire)) is often blamed for this extinction, but this animal was first imported to Jamaica in 1872.  

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References:  

[1] Byron Wilson: On the Brink of Extinction: Saving Jamaica’s Vanishing Species. EFJ’s 7th Annual Public Lecture 2011  

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Photo: Simon J. Tonge  

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

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edited: 21.03.2018

Celestus molesworthi Grant

Portland Coast Galliwasp (Celestus molesworthi)

The Portland Coast Galliwasp was described in 1940; it was apparently restricted to a small region near the north-eastern coast of Jamaica.

The species reaches a size of about 8,5 cm (without the tail).

The Portland Coast Galliwasp was last seen in the 1950s and has not found since; it is thus believed to be very likely extinct.

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edited: 01.08.2022

Tachycineta euchrysea ssp. euchrysea (Gosse)

Golden Swallow (Tachycineta euchrysea ssp. euchrysea)

The Golden Swallow is endemic to the Greater Antilles, where two subspecies are known from the islands of Hispaniola (Tachycineta euchrysea ssp. sclateri Cory) and Jamaica (nominate ssp.).

The species reaches a length of about 12 cm, its upperparts are very glossy bluish green, respectively golden green in the extinct nominate; the under parts are white. 

The Golden Swallow was last seen in Jamaica in 1989, it is now thought to be extinct, the reasons for its extinction are not really well known.

***

In my humble opinion, the two subspecies might better be considered distinct species.

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Depiction from: ‘Richard Bowdler Sharpe; Claude W. Wyatt: A monograph of the Hirundinidae or the family of swallows. London: printed for the authors 1885-1894’  

(public domain)

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edited: 07.05.2021

Aristelliger titan Hecht

Jamaican Giant Gecko (Aristelliger titan)

The Jamaican Giant Gecko was described in 1951 based on subfossil remains that were recovered from cave deposists on the island of Jamaica.

The species apparently disappeared in the late Holocene, this is either after the first appearance of Amerindian settlers or even as late as in the 15th century or even later. [1]

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References:

[1] Raymond M. Wright; Edward Robinson: Biostratigraphy of Jamaica. Geological Society of Amer 1994

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edited: 17.04.2019

Myrcia skeldingii Proctor

Skelding’s Myrcia (Myrcia skeldingii)  

This species was described in 1958 (or 1959?).  

Skelding’s Myrcia is (or was) a 5 m tall tree growing in streamside thickets along the Mason River at the border between the Parishes of Clarendon and Saint Ann in the center of Jamaica.  

The species is easily distinguished from other Jamaican congeners by its subsessile, more or less subcordate, blunt-tipped leaves and its four-lobed calyx. [1]  

***

The species was not found since 1972 and is most likely extinct.  

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References:  

[1] George R. Proctor: Further new records of Myrtaceae from Jamaica. Rhodora 60: 323-326. 1958  

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edited: 24.03.2017