Tag Archives: Monarcha mendozae ssp. mendozae

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]



[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