Tag Archives: Megapodius pritchardii

Megapodius pritchardii ssp. ‘Samoa’

Samoan Megapode (Megapodius pritchardii ssp.)

This taxon is known exclusively on the basis of subfossil bones, found on the small island of Ofu, part of ‘American’ Samoa.

The remains were tentatively identified as possibly belonging to the Tongan Megapode (Megapodius cf. pritchardii), if so, they may have been a local subspecies. [2]


This form may be the bird that was described (as Megapodius stairi Gray) based on a single egg found on the island of Savai’i.:

Nach Bennett (Proc. 1862. p. 247) erhielt Dawson auch die lebenden Vögel auf Sava- oder Russel-Island, die indess leider auf der Ueberfahrt nach Sydney starben. Die Eingeborenen kennen diese Hühner sehr gut und sammeln die Eier fleissig, mit welchen sie Handel treiben. Ein Weibchen legt täglich 2-4 Eier.” 


According to Bennett (Proc. 1862. p. 247) Dawson obtained also the life birds on Sava- or Russel Island [Savai’i], which, however, unfortunately died during the crossing to Sydney. The natives know these chickens very well and diligently collect the eggs, with which they trade. A female lays 2-4 eggs on the daily [I personally doubt that number!].” [1]



[1] O. Finsch; G. Hartlaub: Beitrag zur Fauna Centralpolynesiens. Ornthologie der Viti-, Samoa- und Tonga-Inseln. Halle, H. W. Schmidt 1867
[2] David W. Steadman: Extinction and biogeography of Tropical Pacific Birds. University of Chicago Press 2006