Tag Archives: Mangaia

Pycnomerus sp. ‘Mangaia’

Mangaian Ironclad Beetle (Pycnomerus sp.)

This form has not yet been described, it is known from subfossil remains that were recovered from substrate that was collected on the island of Mangaia, Cook Islands. [1]

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References:

[1] Nick Porch; Tessa R. Smith: New Pycnomerus Erichson (Coleoptera: Zopheridae: Pycnomerini) from Rimatara, French Polynesia. Zootaxa 4237(1): 154-166. 2017

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edited: 11.06.2020

Ptilinopus rarotongensis ssp. ‘Mangaia’

Mangaia Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus rarotongensis ssp.)

This form is known based on a single subfossil femur that was found in the Te Rua Rere Cave on the island of Mangaia, Cook Islands.

The species still occurs (with two subspecies which may in fact be candidates for splitting) on the islands of ‘Atiu and Rarotonga, both likewise in the Cook archipelago, and may have constituted another distinct, now extinct subspecies. [2]

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There is yet (of course) an interesting account, which is given by  D. T. Holyoak and J. C. Thibault in 1984.:

P. r. sous-espèce?

… 
Mangaia: un habitant de cette île déclara, en 1973, qu’il connaissaitle «Kukupa» et que cet oiseau habitait seulement les bois de la région corallienne. Il sut imiter l’appel et décrivit le nid. Toutefois, Ducula pacifica, qui est également inconnue dans cette île, pourrait être l’oiseau décrit.
” [1]

translation:

P. r. subspecies?


Mangaia: a resident of this island declared, in 1973, that he knew «Kukupa» and that this bird lived only in the woods of the coral region. He knew how to imitate the call and described the nest. However, Ducula pacifica, which is also unknown on this island, could be the described bird.

Kukupa is the local name for the Lilac-crowned Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus rarotongensis Hartlaub & Finsch), and (most if not all) Polynesians make a clear distinction between the smaller green fruit-doves (Ptilinopus spp.) and the larger imperial pigeons (Ducula spp.), which on the Cook Islands are called rupe.

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References:

[1] D. T. Holyoak; J.-C. Thibault: Contribution à l’étude des oiseaux de Polynésie orientale. Mémoires du Muséum national d’histoire naturelle 127(1): 1-209. 1984
[2] David W. Steadman: Fossil birds from Mangaia, southern Cook Islands. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club 105(2): 58-66. 1985

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edited: 09.03.2020

Zapornia sp. ‘Mangaia’

Small Mangaian Crake (Zapornia sp. 

The fossil record proves that once as many as three species of the genus Zapornia occurred next to each other on the island of Mangaia, Cook Islands.  

These are the extant Spotless Crake (Zapornia tabuensis (Gmelin)), which is probably locally extinct, the Mangaian Crake (Zapornia rua (Steadman)), which was endemic to the island and is now extinct, and a third species, not yet described.  

This third species was smaller than the Mangaian Crake and was very likely flightless too. [1]  

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References:  

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

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edited: 20.03.2018

Zapornia rua (Steadman)

Mangaian Swamphen (Zapornia rua)  

The Mangaian Swamphen was described in 1986 based on subfossil remains that had been found on the island of Mangaia, Cook Islands.  

The species was flightless and lived in sympatry with the slightly smaller Spotless Crake (Zapornia tabuensis (Gmelin)) and another not yet described form of the same genus. [1]  

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References:  

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

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edited: 20.03.2018