Stout-legged wren

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Stout-legged wren
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Suborder: Acanthisitti
Family: Acanthisittidae
Genus: Pachyplichas
Species: P. yaldwyni
Binomial name
Pachyplichas yaldwyni
Millener, 1988

The stout-legged wren or Yaldwin's wren (Pachyplichas yaldwyni) is an extinct species of New Zealand wren, a family of small birds endemic to New Zealand.

History and etymology[edit]

The holotype is a right tarsometatarsus (NMNZS 22683 in the collections of the National Museum) collected on 29 September 1983 from the Honeycomb Hill Cave. The specific epithet honours Dr John Yaldwyn, Director of the National Museum of New Zealand in Wellington, in recognition of his contributions to avian palaeontology.[1]


It was the largest (by weight) of the New Zealand wrens. The morphology of the wren indicates that it was strongly adapted to a terrestrial existence. Radiocarbon dates for the assemblages with which it is associated range from 25,000 BP to 1,000 BP.[1] Either flightless or nearly so, it became extinct following the occupation of New Zealand by the Polynesian ancestors of the Māori, and the associated introduction of the kiore (Pacific rat).

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The subfossil remains of the wren have only been found on New Zealand's South Island, and it seems to have formed a species pair with the closely related P. jagmi, which was only found on North Island. Since it has been found in association with four other species of acanthisittids in four genera (at the Honeycomb Hill Cave site) it is likely that its ecological niche was different enough for it to have coexisted with them. Sites where it was found indicate that it inhabited lowland mixed podocarp broadleaf forest, ranging upwards into alpine tundra scrubland.[1]

External links[edit]



  1. ^ a b c Millener (1988).


  • Millener, P.R. (1988). "Contributions to New Zealand's Late Quaternary avifauna. 1: Pachyplichas, a new genus of wren (Aves: Acanthisittidae), with two new species". Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand. 18: 383–406. doi:10.1080/03036758.1988.10426464.