Hawaiʻi ʻelepaio

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Hawaiʻi ʻelepaio
Chasiempis sandwichensis ridgwayi.jpg
Female volcano ʻelepaio
Chasiempis sandwichensis ridgwayi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Subclass: Neornithes
Infraclass: Neognathae
Superorder: Neoaves
Order: Passeriformes
Suborder: Passeri
Infraorder: Passerida
Family: Monarchidae
Genus: Chasiempis
Species: C. sandwichensis
Binomial name
Chasiempis sandwichensis
Gmelin, 1789

The Hawaiʻi ʻelepaio (Chasiempis sandwichensis) is a monarch flycatcher found on the Big Island of Hawaii. Formerly, all three ʻelepaio species, the Kauaʻi ʻelepaio, (C. sclateri), the Oʻahu ʻelepaio, C. ibidis, and this species were considered conspecific.

The three subspecies on the Big Island differ in their ecological requirements and head coloration (see also Gloger's Rule):[2]

  • Chasiempis sandwichensis sandwichensis, the Kona, ʻelepaio. It differs from the volcano subspecies by having the forehead and the supercilium whitish with some rusty feathers. It inhabits mesic forest characterized by koa (Acacia koa) and ʻōhiʻa lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha); its population seems to be stable at about 60,000–65,000.
  • C. s. ridgwayi, the volcano ʻelepaio. This is the most common subspecies today, with a population of around 100,000–150,000, or more than half of the total number of ʻelepaio. It is a bird of the rainforest, which on Hawaiʻi are characterized by ʻōhiʻa lehua and hāpuʻu (Cibotium tree ferns).
  • C. s. bryani, the Mauna Kea ʻelepaio, is only found in the māmane (Sophora chrysophylla ) – naio (Myoporum sandwicense) dry forest on the leeward slopes of Mauna Kea. It has the entire head heavily washed with white. Due to destruction of most of its habitat, it is the rarest Big Island subspecies, with a population of 2,000–2,500 birds.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Chasiempis sandwichensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Pratt, H.D. (1980). "Intra-island Variation in the ʻElepaio on the Island of Hawaiʻi" (PDF). Condor. 82 (4): 449–458. doi:10.2307/1367572. 

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