Tag Archives: Marquesas

Mussaenda sp. ‘Nuku Hiva’

Marquesan Mussaenda (Mussaenda sp.)

This form is known from subfossil seeds that were recovered from an archeological site in the Ho’oumi Valley on the island of Nuku Hiva, Marquesas.

The next relative is most likely the Raiatean Mussaenda (Mussaenda raiateensis J. W. Moore) (see photo below), which is still found in other parts of Polynesia, including the Society Islands; the seeds of the Marquesan form, however, differ from the living one and thus represent a distinct, now extinct form that most likely was endemic to the archipelago. [1]

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

Photo:  Peter de Lange
https://www.inaturalist.org/people/pjd1
(public domain)

*********************  

References:  

[1] Melinda S. Allen; Tara Lewis; Nick Porch: Lost bioscapes: Floristic and arthropod diversity coincident with 12th century Polynesian settlement, Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Islands. PLoS ONE 17(3): e0265224. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal. pone.0265224

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

edited: 26.01.2024

Pycnomerus sp. ‘Nuku Hiva’

Nuku Hiva Ironclad Beetle (Pycnomerus sp.)

This interesting taxon is known only on the basis of two subfossil remains that were recovered from an archeological site in the Ho’oumi Valley on the island of Nuku Hiva, Marquesas. [1]

Within the Polynesian region, this genus now very likely contains more species known only from subfossil remains than living ones.

*********************  

References:  

[1] Melinda S. Allen; Tara Lewis; Nick Porch: Lost bioscapes: Floristic and arthropod diversity coincident with 12th century Polynesian settlement, Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Islands. PLoS ONE 17(3): e0265224. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal. pone.0265224

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

edited: 20.02.2024

Miocalles sp. ‘Nuku Hiva1’

Nukuhiva Miocalles Weevil (Miocalles sp.)

The genus is occurring in French Polynesia with more than 100 species, all of which are endemic to a single island; however, only three of them are found on the Marquesan Islands. This number must once have been larger as being indicated by subfossil findings.

This taxon is one of two that are known from subfossil remains (two in that case) that were recovered from an archeological site in the Ho’oumi Valley on the island of Nuku Hiva, Marquesas. [1]

*********************  

References:  

[1] Melinda S. Allen; Tara Lewis; Nick Porch: Lost bioscapes: Floristic and arthropod diversity coincident with 12th century Polynesian settlement, Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Islands. PLoS ONE 17(3): e0265224. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal. pone.0265224

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

edited: 20.02.2024

Laemophloeidae gen. & sp. ‘Nuku Hiva 1’

Nuku Hiva Lined Flat Bark Beetle (Laemophloeidae gen. & sp.)

This taxon is known from subfossil material that was recovered from an archeological site in the Ho’oumi Valley on the island of Nuku Hiva, Marquesas.

Today, no indigenous member of this family is known to inhabit the Marquesas; however, two genera with one species each are known to be indigenous to the Society Islands which represents the geographically closest region in French Polynesia.

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

left elytron

Photo from: ‘Melinda S. Allen; Tara Lewis; Nick Porch: Lost bioscapes: Floristic and arthropod diversity coincident with 12th century Polynesian settlement, Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Islands. PLoS ONE 17(3): e0265224. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal. pone.0265224’

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/deed.en

*********************  

References:  

[1] Melinda S. Allen; Tara Lewis; Nick Porch: Lost bioscapes: Floristic and arthropod diversity coincident with 12th century Polynesian settlement, Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Islands. PLoS ONE 17(3): e0265224. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal. pone.0265224

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

edited: 27.01.2024

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

Samoana inflata (Reeve)

Infated Samoana Snail (Samoana inflata)

The Inflated Samoana Snail was described in 1842, it was endemic to the island of Tahuata in the Marquesas.

This arboreal species inhabited the native forests at elevations of about 400 to 500 m above sea level, where it was commonly found on trees. [1]

***

The Inflated Samoana Snail is now considered extinct.

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

References:

[1] Justin Gerlach: Icons of Evolution: Pacific Island Tree-Snails of the Family Partulidae. Phelsuma Press 2016

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

Depiction from: ‘George W. Tryon; Henry A. Pilsbry; a.o.: Manual of Conchology. Second Series: Pulmonata Vol. 20, Caecilioides, Clessula and Partulidae. Index to Vols. 16-20. 1909-1910’ 

(public domain)

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

edited: 04.06.2021

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

Samoana pilsbryi Gerlach

Pilsbry’s Samoana Snail (Samoana pilsbryi)

Pilsbry’s Samoana Snail was described in 2016, it is known from several specimens that were collected in 1923 on the island of Fatu Hiva in the Marquesas.

The species lived an arboreal life and was usually found on the leaves of puarata (Metrosideros collina (J. R. Forst. & G. Forst.) A. Gray).

The shells are: “Light brown with some streaking, sometimes a faint narrow brown peripheral band, usually with a white subsutural band caused by decortications. A few bicolorous: light brown with wide supraperipheral white band but this is due to decortication, not pigmentation. A very uniform species.” [1]

We also have some information about the appearance of the animals themselves.:

Mantle in juveniles is blackish with white maculae, becoming white with black threads and finally fully white in adults ….” [1]

***

Pilsbry’s Samoana Snail is now considered extinct.

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

References:

[1] Justin Gerlach: Icons of Evolution: Pacific Island Tree-Snails of the Family Partulidae. Phelsuma Press 2016

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

edited: 04.06.2021

Samoana minuta (Pfeiffer)

Minute Samoana Snail (Samoana minuta) 

The Minute Samoana Snail was described in 1857, it was endemic to the island of Fatu Hiva in the Marquesas.

The species was originally considered very abundant and widespread but was found to be restricted to the Teavapuhia Valley in 1995; it was not found subsequently and is now considered extinct. [1]
*********************

References:

[1] Justin Gerlach: Icons of Evolution: Pacific Island Tree-Snails of the Family Partulidae. Phelsuma Press 2016

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

Depiction from: ‘George W. Tryon; Henry A. Pilsbry; a.o.: Manual of Conchology. Second Series: Pulmonata Vol. 20, Caecilioides, Clessula and Partulidae. Index to Vols. 16-20. 1909-1910’ 

(public domain)

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

edited: 04.06.2021

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

Monarcha mira (Murphy & Mathews)

Ua Pou Monarch (Monarcha mira)

The Ua Pou Monarch was described in 1928, originally as a subspecies of the Marquesan Monarch (Monarcha mendozae (Hartlaub)); it was endemic to the island of Ua Pou in the Marquesas.

The species was originally found all over the island, but in the 1970s its population was restricted to the higher elevations and its numbers were estimated to be about 150 to 200 pairs; these number soon dropped and finally, the last birds, two immature individuals, were seen in 1985 in the Hakahetau Valley near the north-western coast of the island.

The bird were locally known as pati’oti’o; the males were completely glossy black while the females were black with a white area covering the proximal two-thirds of the wings and a white tail. [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

Monarcha fluxa (Murphy & Mathews)

Eiao Monarch (Monarcha fluxa)

The Eiao Monarch was described in 1928, originally as a subspecies of the Marquesan Monarch (Monarcha mendozae (Hartlaub)).

The males had the head, the nape, the chest and the upper tail coverts black with a very slight iridescence and variably mottled with white feathers, the wings were sooty black, the outermost one or two pairs of rectrices of the tail usually were white, but this character was very variable.

The forests that once covered Eiao are now highly reduced to little remnants; the last Eiao Monarchs were seen in 1977, all subsequent searches failed to find any remaining birds. [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

Curculionidae gen. & sp. ‘Marquesas’

Marquesaan Long-snouted Weevil (Curculionidae gen. & sp.)

The Marquesaan Long-snouted Weevil (not an official name) is known from subfssil remains found on one of the Marquesas Islands.

The species reached a size of about 0,2 cm; it was blackish colored and its head had an elongated snout that made up about the half of its full length.

***

The species is currently under rewiew by Nick Porch, an Australian entomologist specialized in subfossil insect remains.

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

edited: 31.10.2020

Monarcha nukuhivae (Murphy & Mathews)

Nukuhiva Monarch (Monarcha nukuhivae)

The Nukuhiva Monarch was described in 1928, originally as a subspecies of the Marquesan Monarch (Monarcha medonzae (Hartlaub)); it was endemic to the island of Nuku Hiva, Marquesas.

The birds were locally known as kokohuia or pati’oti’o; they reached lengths of 17 cm; the males were completely velvety black, while the females had a black head and belly, the rump and belly were white, the wings were black and white, the tail was pure white.

The Nukuhiva Monarch was already on the brink of extinction when it was discovered; the last birds were seen in the 1930s, the species is now extinct. [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

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

female; note: this specimen was wrongly labeled!

Photo: Naturalis Biodiversity Center

(public domain)

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

edited: 08.05.2022

Prosobonia sp. ‘Marquesas’

Marquesan Sandpiper (Prosobonia sp.)

This species is known from subfossil remains that were recovered from deposits on the island of Ua Huka, Marquesas. [1]

*********************  

References:  

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

*********************  

edited: 07.05.2021

Gallirallus epulare Kirchman & Steadman

Nuku Hiva Rail (Gallirallus epulare)

The Nuku Hiva Rail was described in 2007 based on subfossil remains found on the island of Nuku Hiva, Marquesas.

The species reached a size of about 25 cm and was completely flightless, it was extirpated by the first Polynesian settlers. [1] 

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

References:

[1] Jeremy J. Kirchman; David W. Steadman: New Species of Extinct Rails (Aves: Rallidae) from Archaeological Sites in the Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia. Pacific Science 61(1): 145-163. 2007

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

edited: 22.05.2019

Ptilinopus mercierii ssp. mercierii (Des Murs & Prévost)

Red-mustached Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus mercierii ssp. mercierii)

The Red-mustached Fruit-Dove was endemic to the Marquesas, where it was found sympatrically with the White-capped Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus dupetithouarsii (Neboux)).

Two subspecies are recognized, the nominate form, only known from a single specimen from the island of Nuku Hiva, but probably formerly occurring on all the northern islands of the group; and the ssp. tristrami (Salvadori), known only from Hiva Oa, but again very likely formerly found on all the southern islands.

The species reached a size of about 22 cm, the nominate form had a bright pinkish red cap and malar streak, the rest of the head, the neck and the breast were greyish, the upperparts were green, the belly was bright yellow.

The nominate race died out around 1900, the reasons for the extinction of this species are not really known, above all when the survival of the other Marquesan fruit-dove species, the White-capped Fruit-Dove, is considered, which is still fairly common on most islands in the Marquesan Archipelago. [1][2]

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

References:

[1] Errol Fuller: Extinct Birds. Penguin Books (England) 1987 
[2] David Gibbs, Eustace Barnes, John Cox: Pigeons and Doves, A Guide to the Pigeons and Doves of the World. Pica Press, Sussex 2001  

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

Depiction from: ‘Charles Lucian Bonaparte: Iconographie des pigeons, non figurés par Mme Knip (Mlle Pauline Decourcelles) dans les deux volumes de MM. Temminck et Florent Prévost. Paris, P. Bertrand 1857-58’  

(public domain)

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

edited: 16.03.2020

Zapornia sp. ‘Ua Huka 1’

Ua Huka Swamphen (Zapornia sp.)  

There are at least two forms of swamphen that formerly inhabited the island of Ua Huka, Marquesas.  

These two species are both known from subfossil remains alone and differed from each other in their size.  

*********************  

References:  

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

*********************  

edited: 20.03.2018

Gallirallus gracilitibia Kirchman & Steadman

Ua Huka Rail (Gallirallus gracilitibia)

The Ua Huka Rail was described in 2007 based on subfossil remains that have been recovered from the island of Ua Huka, Marquesas.

The species was quite gracile built and completely flightless, it was extirpated by the first Polynesian settlers. [1]

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

References:

[1] Jeremy J. Kirchman; David W. Steadman: New Species of Extinct Rails (Aves: Rallidae) from Archaeological Sites in the Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia. Pacific Science 61(1): 145-163. 2007

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

edited: 22.05.2019

Zapornia sp. ‘Nukuhiva’

Nukuhiva Swamphen (Zapornia sp.)  

This extinct form is currently known fonly from a few subfossil remains, which were found on the island of Nuku Hiva, Marquesas.  

The species has not been described so far. [1]  

*********************  

References:  

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

*********************  

edited: 13.09.2020

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

Zapornia sp. ‘Ua Huka 2’

Ua Huka Swamphen (Zapornia sp.)  

This small and flightless bird is known from subfossil remains that had been found on the island of Ua Huka, Marquesas.  

The species disappeared shortly after the arrival of men on the islands.  

*********************  

References:  

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

*********************  

edited: 20.03.2018

Papasula abbotti ssp. costelloi Steadman, Schubel & Pahlavan

Costello’s Booby (Papasula abbotti ssp. costelloi)

Costello’s Boby was described in 1988; it is known from subfossil remains, about 1200 years old, that were recovered from archaeological site on the islands of Tahuata and Ua Huka in the Marquesas, French Polynesia.

Despite having been described as a subspecies of Abbott’s Booby (Papasula abbotti (Ridgway)) (see photo), it may in fact have been a distinct species, its exact distribution is not known but it very likely was not restricted to the Marquesas Islands; Abbott’s Booby itself is nowadays strictly restricted to Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean but was once much more widespread.

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

Abbott’s Booby (Papasula abbotti)

Photo: Christina Lipka

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

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

edited: 09.08.2022

Taipidon marquesana (Garrett)

Marquesan Taipidon Snail (Taipidon marquesana)

The Marquesan Taipidon Snail was endemic to the island of Nuku Hiva, Marquesas, it was described in 1887 when the species apparently was still alive, the author gives some very slight information about it.:

Plusieurs exemplaires ont été récoltés sous du bois pourri, dans un ravin d’une montagne élevée.

translation:

Several examples were harvested under rotten wood in a ravine on a high mountain.” [1]

***

The shells are rather small, they reach sizes of about 0.17 cm in heigth and 0.38 cm in diameter. 

As far as I know, only 12 specimens of this species are left today. [2]

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

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