Family Cuckoos (Cuculidae)

Extinct

Snail-eating Coua (Coua delalandei)


Taxonomy

French: Coua de Delalande German: Delalande-Seidenkuckuck Spanish: Cúa de Delalande
Other common names: Delalande’s Coua
Taxonomy:

Coccycus [sic] Delalandei

Temminck

, 1827,

Madagascar

.

Monotypic.

Distribution:

NE Madagascar. Known from 13 or 14 specimens, all apparently collected on I Sainte-Marie (Nosy Boraha); no evidence of occurrence on mainland Madagascar at any time.

Most recent definite record dates from 1834#R#R. ­Reports from 1930#R unfounded, and the species is now considered extinct#R. Cause of extinction presumed to be the total deforestation of I Sainte-Marie#R, perhaps accompanied by capture for food and feathers, and predation by introduced rats#R, which may also have depleted its principal food source (snails).

Descriptive notes

56–57 cm. Large terrestrial coua. Adult black above with violet-blue sheen, long violet-blue tail tipped white; throat to breast white, belly rufous; bare skin of face... read more

Voice

Unknown.

Habitat

Apparently restricted to primary rain forest, near sea-level.

Food and feeding

Large forest snails. Obtained food by breaking snail shells against a stone anvil with its bill.

Breeding

Unknown.

Movements

Unknown. Presumably resident and sedentary.

Status and conservation

EXTINCT. Last reported on Nosy Boraha in 1834, with all 14 known museum specimens being taken no later than 1850. There is no certain evidence that it occurred on the... read more

Recommended citation

Payne, R. (2019). Snail-eating Coua (Coua delalandei). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/200870 on 21 February 2019).