Tag Archives: Samoa

Pacificagrion dolorosa Fraser

Sorrowful Damselfly (Pacificagrion dolorosa

The Sorrowful Damselfly was described in the year 1953 on the basis of a male, that had been collected on the island of ‘Upolu, Samoa.  

The species is almost unknown.  

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The Sorrowful Damselfly was not found during recent field studies; however, the exact locality appears to be only insufficiently known. [2]  

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There obviously is at least one other, not yet described species on the island of Tutuila. [1][2]  

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References:  

[1] Milen Marinov; Warren Chin; Eric Edwards; Brian Patrick; Hamish Patrick: A revised and updated Odonata checklist of Samoa (Insecta: Odonata). Faunistic Studies in South-East Asian and Pacific Island Odonata 5: 1-21. 2013 
[2] Milen Marinov; Mark Schmaedick; Dan Polhemus; Rebecca L. Stirnemann; Fialelei Enoka; Pulemagafa Siaifoi Fa’aumu; Moeumu Uili: Faunistic and taxonomic investigations on the Odonata fauna of the Samoan archipelago with particular focus on taxonomic ambiguities in the “Ischnurine complex”. Journal of the International Dragonfly Fund 91: 1-56. 2015  

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edited: 23.08.2017

Lobogestoria sp. ‘Samoa’

Samoan Lobogestoria Beetle (Lobogestoria sp.)

This unnamed species is known so far only from subfossil remains recovered by Nick Porch from samplings from the Samoan Islands.

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I do not know if this species is indeed extinct, but given the rather bad condition of the lowland areas of the larger Samoan Islands, it quite possibly is.

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edited: 22.04.2019

Cephalochetus sp. ”Upolu’

Upolu Cephalochetus Roof Beetle (Cephalochetus sp.)

This species is known only from several subfossil remains that have been recovered from samplings from the island of ‘Upolu, Samoa by Nick Porch, an Australian entomologist specialized in subfossil insect remains.

The species must have had a size of about 0,3 cm in length.

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The genus was formerly known to occur on the Fijian Islands, so this is a new record for the Samoan Islands.

The species might quite likely be still alive, but will be mentioned here for completeness.

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edited: 31.10.2020

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]

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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.” 

translation:

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]

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References:

[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

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Bryanites graeffei Liebherr

Graeffe’s Groud Beetle (Bryanites graeffei)

Graeffe’s Ground Beetle was described in 2017 based on a single male specimen that had been collected sometimes between 1862 and 1870 on the mountains near Apia, the capital of Samoa on the island of ‘Upolu. This specimen was housed in the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Paris, France and was only recently rediscovered.

The species is about 1,6 cm long.

Graeffe’s Ground Beetle has never been recorded since the collection of the type and is almost certainly extinct. [1]

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References:

[1] James K. Liebherr: Bryanites graeffei sp. n. (Colepotera, Carabidae): Museum rediscovery of a relict species from Samoa. Zoosystematics and Evolution 93(1): 1-11. 2017

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Photo from: ‘James K. Liebherr: Bryanites graeffei sp. n. (Colepotera, Carabidae): museum rediscovery of a reict species from Samoa. Zoosystematics and Evolution 93(1): 1-11. 2017’

(under creative commons license (4.0))
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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edited: 05.05.2022

Sarothrias sp. ‘Samoa’

Samoan Sarothrias Beetle (Sarothrias sp.)

This species is known (so far) only from a subfossil specimen (at least a single head capsule with a size of about 0,037 cm in diameter), which was recovered by Nick Porch from samplings from the Samoan Islands.

The genus has not been recorded from Samoa before.

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Despite being known so far only from a single subfossil specimen the species might still be alive.

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edited: 22.04.2019

Oriens alexina (Plötz)

Samoan Skipper (Oriens alexina)

The Samoan Skipper, sometimes considered a subspecies of the Fijian Skipper (Oriens augustula (Herrich-Schäffer)) (see photo) or even as a synonym of it, however, both forms differ significantly from each other.

This species is known only from the island of ‘Upolu, Samoa, but was not found there in recent years and might in fact be extinct. [1]

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References:

[1] Brian H. Patrick; Jean-Pierre Policard: The butterflies of Wallis and Futuna. The Weta 49: 28-33. 2015

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Fijian Skipper (Oriens augustula (Herrich-Schäffer))

Photo: Bird explorers
http://www.inaturalist.org/people/birdexplorers
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0

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edited: 11.10.2020

Charmosyna sp. ‘Samoa’

Samoan Lorikeet (Charmosyna sp.)  

The Samoan Lorikeet is a hypothetical species that might in fact once have existed, it is, however, not fully understood if it was a native form of the Samoan Islands, or if it may have also occurred on the Tongan Islands as well, or if it might have originted from somewhere else and was just traded among these island groups. [2]

All we know about this very enigmatic form comes from a single account, made by Otto von Kotzebue, a Russian officer and navigator in the Imperial Russian Navy, in the early 19th century; his reports, however, are otherwise incredibly contemptuous, inhumane and racist and speak of the local Polynesian people as cannibals and wild, blood-thirsty almost-animals etc..:

Noch eines Handelsartikels auf unserem Markte muß ich erwähnen. Es waren gezähmte Tauben und Papageyen. Erstere weichen von den europäischen sowohl in der Form, als in der Farbenpracht sehr ab. Auch waren ihre Klauen, mit denen sie sich, wie Spechte, an die Taue haften, anders gestaltet. Die Papagayen waren nur von der Größe eines Sperlings, mit dem lebhaftesten Roth und Grün gezeichnet, und der rothe Schweif übertraf an Länge den Körper wohl um vier Mal.” [1]

translation:

One more item on our market I have to mention. These were tamed pigeons and parrots. The former differ markedly from the European ones in their form and in their colorfulness. Their claws, with which they, like woodpeckers, cling to the ropes, were also designed differently. The parrots were only the size of a sparrow, painted with the most vivid red and green, and the red tail was perhaps four times longer than the body.

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The specific account apparently was made on or offshore an island named Olajava, according to the description given by Kotzebue I personally think that the island in question is the one today known as Ofu in American Samoa. 

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Referenzen:  

[1] Otto von Kotzebue: Reise um die Welt in den Jahren 1823, 24, 25 und 26. Weimar: W. Hoffman 1830
[2] Julian P. Hume: Extinct Birds: Bloomsbury Natural History; 2nd edition 2017

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edited: 12.02.2020

Sinployea clista Solem

Closed Sinployea Snail (Sinployea clista 

This species was described in the year 1983.  

The ‘species’ occurs on the islands of Tutuila and ‘Upolu, the respective populations, however, differ from each other, and with certainty represent at least distinct subspecies, or possibly even species.  

The shells reach sizes of about 0,21 to 0,29 cm in diameter. [1]  

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The population of the island of ‘Upolu was not found again during field searches in the years from 1992 to 1994, and is now most probably wiped out. [2]  

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References:  

[1] Alan Solem: Endodontoid land snails from Pacific Islands (Mollusca: Pulmonata: Sigmurethra). Part II, Families Punctidae and Charopidae, Zoogeography. Field Museum of Natural History Chicago, Illinois 1983 
[2] Robert H. Cowie; A. C. Robinson: The decline of native Pacific island faunas: changes in status of the land snails of Samoa through the 20th century. Biological Conservation 110: 55-65. 2003

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edited: 23.08.2017

Corybas betchei (F. Muell.) Schltr.

Betche’s Corybas Orchid (Corybas betchei)

Betche’s Corybas Orchid is known only from the type collection that was made in 1923 on the island of ‘Upolu, Samoa.

This was a very small, only about 5 cm large, terrestrial orchid that grew in the dense shrub layer of montane rain forests, it had a single, up to 3 cm long and 2,6 cm wide, leaf with a cordate base and a acute tip. [1]

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References:

[1] Phillip Cribb; W. Arthur Whistler: Orchids of Samoa. Kew Publishing 1996

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edited: 13.11.2021

Cyrtandra mamolea Reinecke

Upolu Cyrtandra (Cyrtandra mamolea)

This somewhat enigmatic Upolu Cyrtandra was restricted to the island of ‘Upolu, Samoa.

The species was named for the vernacular Samoan name given to several members of this genus – mamolea.

The Upolu Cyrtandra might now be extinct. [1]

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References:  

[1] Art Whistler: Biodiversity Conservation Lessons Learned Technical Series. 2: The Rare Plants of Samoa. Conservation International 2011

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edited: 10.09.2019

Cyrtandra campanulata Reinecke

Bell-flowered Cyrtandra (Cyrtandra campanulata)

The Bell-flowered Cyrtandra occurred in the tropical rainforests of the islands of Savai’i and ‘Upolu, Samoa. 

The species had very large, up to 4 cm long hanging, bell-shaped greenish flowers.

The Bell-flowered Cyrtandra was apparently last collected in 1905 and is now most likely extinct. [1]  

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References:  

[1] Art Whistler: Biodiversity Conservation Lessons Learned Technical Series. 2: The Rare Plants of Samoa. Conservation International 2011

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edited: 10.09.2019

Graeffedon graeffei (Mousson)

Graeffe’s Graeffedon Snail (Graeffedon graeffei)  

This species from the Samoan island of ‘Upolu, which is known only from a handful specimens, was described in the year 1869.  

The shells reach an average size of 0,46 to 0,59 cm in diameter.  

Graeffe’s Graeffedon Snail inhabited the leaf litter of the rainforests, where it easily felt victim to introduced rats, and more so to the likewise introduced Yellow Crazy Ants (Anoplolepis gracilipes F. Smith).  

The last specimen was collected in the year 1965.  

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References:  

[1] Alan Solem: Endodontoid land snails from Pacific Islands (Mollusca: Pulmonata: Sigmurethra). Part II, Families Punctidae and Charopidae, Zoogeography. Field Museum of Natural History Chicago, Illinois 1983 
[2] Robert H. Cowie; A. C. Robinson: The decline of native Pacific island faunas: changes in status of the land snails of Samoa through the 20th century. Biological Conservation 110: 55-65. 2003  

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Depiction from: ‘G. W. Tryon; H. A. Pilsbry; a.o.: Manual of Conchology. Second Series: Pulmonata Vol. 3, Helicidae Vol. 1. 1887’ 

(public domain)

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edited: 02.11.2020

Nervilia grandiflora Schltr.

Large-flowered Nervilia (Nervilia grandiflora)  

This orchid is only known from the type specimen, which was collected in the year 1910 on the island of Sava’i, Samoa.  

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The species is most closely related to the Broad-bearded Nervilia (Nervilia platychila Schltr.), which occurs in Melanesia, including New Caledonia, and also on the Fijian Islands, and differs from it mainly by its glabrous leaves.  

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References:  

[1] Phillip Cribb; W. Arthur Whistler: Orchids of Samoa. Kew Publishing 1996  

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edited: 23.03.2018

Sinployea complementaria (Mousson)

Complementary Sinployea Snail (Sinployea complementaria)

This species was described in 1865; it was restricted to the island of ‘Upolu, Samoa.

The shells reach sizes of 0,43 to 0,59 cm in diameter, making it one of the largest members of its genus; they are: “Rather narrowly umbilicated, rugose, striate-costulate, with curved-back radiations of white and grayish corneous, suture subimpressed; whorls 5, slowly increasing, the last not descending, oblique, obtusely subangulated, flatly rounded below; right margin of peristome subincurved.” [1]

The species wasn’t found during recent surveys and might well be extinct.

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References:

[1] G. W. Tryon; Henry A. Pilsbry; a. o.: Manual of Conchology. Second Series: Pulmonata Vol. 3, Helicidae Vol. 1. 1887
[2] Alan Solem: Endodontoid land snails from Pacific Islands (Mollusca: Pulmonata: Sigmurethra). Part II, Families Punctidae and Charopidae, Zoogeography. Field Museum of Natural History Chicago, Illinois 1983

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Depiction from: ‘G. W. Tryon; Henry A. Pilsbry; a. o.: Manual of Conchology. Second Series: Pulmonata Vol. 3, Helicidae Vol. 1. 1887’

(not in copyright)

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edited: 02.08.2022

Cyrtandra guerkeana Lauterb.

Gürke’s Cyrtandra (Cyrtandra guerkeana)

Gürke’s Cyrtandra was restricted to the high altitude rainforests on the island of Savai’i, Samoa, where it could be found at elevation of 1200 to 1600 m. 

The species was last seen in 1906 and is now considered extinct.

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Referenzen:  

[1] Art Whistler: The Rare Plants of Samoa. Biodiversity Conservation Lessons Learned Technical Series 2. Conservation International, Apia, Samoa 2011

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edited: 10.09.2019

Cyrtandra funkii Reinecke

Funk’s Cyrtandra (Cyrtandra funkii)

Funk’s Cyrtandra was restricted to the rainforests of the island of ‘Upolu, Samoa.

The species was last seen in 1893 and is now extinct. [1] 

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Referenzen:  

[1] Art Whistler: The Rare Plants of Samoa. Biodiversity Conservation Lessons Learned Technical Series 2. Conservation International, Apia, Samoa 2011

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edited: 10.09.2019

Dendrobium scirpoides Schltr.

Sedge-like Dendrobium (Dendrobium scirpoides)

This species is known only from the type collection and was never found again; it might well be extinct.

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References:

[1] Phillip Cribb; W. Arthur Whistler: Orchids of Samoa. Kew Publishing 1996

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edited: 20.01.2022