Des Murs and Prévost, 1849,
Valley of Mohana, Nukuhiva, Marquesas Islands.
A member of the large P. purpuratus species-group, and most closely related to P. dupetithouarsii (which see); within the group, usually associated with the P. purpuratus subgroup. Two subspecies recognized.
Nominate mercierii known only from the type specimen, collected during the Venus voyage of 1836–1839, and was not found during the 1922 Whitney Expedition#R; date of extinction estimated at 1849#R. At least eleven specimens of race tristrami known, last of which collected by the Whitney Expedition in 1922#R. The taxon was presumed extinct by middle of 20th century, and reports from Hiva Oa in 1980#R were apparently mistaken#R. Causes of extinction of these two taxa uncertain; introduction of Great Horned Owl Bubo virginianus to Hiva Oa may have played a part, but introduction of rats and cats to both islands more likely to have been responsible.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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