St. Helena Cuckoo / Nannococcyx psix

St. Helena Cuckoo

SCI Name:  Nannococcyx psix
Protonym:   Smiths.Contrib.Paleobiol. 23 p.32
Category:  Cuculiformes / Cuculidae /
Taxonomy Code:  sthcuc1
Type Locality:  
Publish Year:  1975
IUCN Status:  


‡ (Cuculidae; Ϯ St Helena Dwarf Cuckoo N. psix) Gr. ναννος nannos  dwarf; κοκκυξ kokkux, κοκκυγος kokkugos  cuckoo; "Genus Nannococcyx, new genus   TYPE.—Nannococcyx psix, new species.   ...   ETYMOLOGY.—From the Greek nannos (dwarf) plus coccyx (cuckoo).  ...  Extinct; presumably extirpated after 1502.   ...   Further material might perhaps show Nannococcyx to be inseparable from Chrysococcyx, but other than the small size there is no morphological evidence as yet to support a relationship to Chrysococcyx as opposed certain other genera of cuckoos.  It is quite possible that Nannococcyx was a larger bird than the single humerus would indicate" (Olson 1975); "Nannococcyx Olson, 1975, Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology, No. 23, p. 31.  Type, by original designation, Nannococcyx psix Olson, 1975." (JAJ 2021).  The St Helena Dwarf Cuckoo is known only from subfossil remains, and doubtless became extinct in the 16th century.

Gr. ψιξ psix, ψιχος psikhos  crumb, morsel; "Nannococcyx psix, new species   ...    ETYMOLOGY.—From the Greek psix (a crumb, in allusion to the fragmentary nature of the type)." (Olson 1975) (‡Nannococcyx).