Nihoa Finch / Telespiza ultima

Nihoa Finch / Telespiza ultima

Nihoa Finch

SCI Name:  Telespiza ultima
Protonym:  Telespiza ultima Auk 34 p.70,71
Taxonomy:  Passeriformes / Fringillidae /
Taxonomy Code:  nihfin
Type Locality:  Nihoa.
Publish Year:  1917
IUCN Status:  


(Fringillidae; Ϯ Laysan Finch T. cantans) Gr. τηλε tēle  far off, at a distance (cf. τελεος teleos  perfect); σπιζα spiza  finch  < σπιζω spizō  to chirp; "This bird has a very clear metallic note, which may be expressed thus — chwit, chwee. It also twitters and chirps as it hops from side to side of the cage, and is altogther very lively in its movements.   ...   The Finch appears to belong to a new genus, allied to Psittirostra of the Hawaiian group, from which it differs in its thicker bill, the upper mandible being less produced, and showing a slight tendency to cross the lower mandible, as in Loxia. The feet are remarkably large and strong. The wings are moderate, reaching to about the end of the basal third of the tail-feathers. The tail is slightly forked.  I propose to describe it as follows: — TELESPYZA CANTANS, gen. et sp. n.  (Plate IX [TELESPIZA CANTANS].)   ...   Hab. Midway Island, North Pacific." (S. B. Wilson 1890); "Because both orthographies occur with the original description, Telespyza can be regarded as a printer's error. Therefore, Telespiza would be the correct spelling if one were to recognize this genus as distinct from Psittirostra Temminck (which we do not)" (Olson & James 1986); "Telespyza Wilson, 1890, Ibis, p. 341. Type, by monotypy, Telespyza cantans Wilson." (Greenway in Peters 1968, XIV, 102); "TELESPIZA S. B. Wilson, 1890  F — Telespiza cantans S. B. Wilson, 1890; type by monotypy" (Dickinson & Christidis (eds.) 2014, 320). The Laysan Finch was erroneously described from the remote Midway atoll in the North Pacific Ocean.
Var. Telespyza (original spelling).

ultima / ultimum / ultimus
L. ultimus  finally, farthest, end, extreme, greatest  < super. ultra  farther, beyond.
● TL. Río Grande, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina (subsp. Geospizopsis unicolor).
● “Bryan [1917] named the species ultima because he was sure it was the last endemic Hawaiian bird that would be discovered” (Munro 1960) (Telespiza).