Tag Archives: Nuku Hiva

Laemophloeid sp. ‘Nuku Hiva2’

Second 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.

No such species exists today on the archipelago.  

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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

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edited: 24.02.2024

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]

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

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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

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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.

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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

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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]

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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edited: 27.01.2024

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]

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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

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female; note: this specimen was wrongly labeled!

Photo: Naturalis Biodiversity Center

(public domain)

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edited: 08.05.2022

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] 

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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

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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]

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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  

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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)

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edited: 16.03.2020

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]  

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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: 13.09.2020

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]

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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]

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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

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edited: 20.04.2019