Daito wren

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Daito wren
Extinct  (c.1940)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Troglodytidae
Genus: Troglodytes
Species: T. troglodytes
Subspecies: T. t. orii
Trinomial name
Troglodytes troglodytes orii
Yamashina, 1938

The Daito wren (Troglodytes troglodytes orii) is a controversial subspecies of the Eurasian wren. It is known only by the type specimen, a male collected in 1938 on Minami Daitō-jima, the main island of the Daito Archipelago east of Okinawa. Yamashina described the bird as a new subspecies after comparing it with 114 specimens from surrounding areas and under the impression that the Eurasian wren is a fairly sedentary bird, not liable to be drifted astray over long distances. Its scientific name honors Yamashina's specimen collector, Hyojiri Orii.

However, stray Eurasian wrens have more recently been found on Yonaguni and Okinawa Islands. Thus, it has been hypothesized that the Daito bird was just a straggler from the Honshū (T. t. fumigatus), the Yakushima/Tanegashima (T. t. ogawae) or the Izu Islands (T. t. mosukei) population (Vaurie, 1955). As the specimen exists (Yamashina Institute for Ornithology collection No. 25476), it should be possible to resolve its status by DNA analysis. Certainly, many bird populations on islands south of Japan became extinct in the late 1930s as settlement and civilian and military construction destroyed large amounts of habitat.


  • Vaurie, Charles (1955): Systematic notes on Palearctic birds. No. 16, Troglodytinae, Cinclidae, and Prunellidae. American Museum novitates 1751: 1-25. PDF fulltext
  • Yamashina, Yoshimaro (1938): A New Subspecies of Troglodytes troglodytes from the Borodino Islands. Tori 10: 227-228.