Swifts (Apodidae)

Polynesian Swiftlet (Aerodramus leucophaeus) - HBW 5, p. 433

French: Salangane de la Société German: Polynesiensalangane Spanish: Salangana Polinesia
Other common names: South Pacific Swiftlet; Tahiti/Tahitian Swiftlet (leucophaeus); Marquesas/Marquesan Swiftlet (ocistus)

Taxonomy: Macropteryx leucophæus Peale, 1848, Tahiti.
Genus often merged into Collocalia. Has been considered to form a superspecies with A. sawtelli, or even to be conspecific, but apparently differs in nest habits. Race ocistus (with gilliardi) sometimes considered a distinct species, being intermediate in some features between nominate race and A. sawtelli. Variation in relative pallor of rump within birds of Tahitian population led to past recognition of pale-rumped race “thespesius”, but this is now considered to fall within normal variation of nominate race. Three subspecies currently recognize.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Macropteryx leucophæus Peale, 1848, Tahiti.
Genus often merged into Collocalia. Has been considered to form a superspecies with A. sawtelli, or even to be conspecific, but apparently differs in nest habits. Race ocistus (with gilliardi) sometimes considered a distinct species, being intermediate in some features between nominate race and A. sawtelli. Variation in relative pallor of rump within birds of Tahitian population led to past recognition of pale-rumped race “thespesius”, but this is now considered to fall within normal variation of nominate race. Three subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • leucophaeus (Peale, 1848) - Moorea and Tahiti (E Society Is).
  • ocistus (Oberholser, 1906) - Eiao, Nuku Hiva and Ua Huka (N Marquesas).
  • gilliardi (Somadikarta, 1994) - Ua Pu, Hiva Oa and Tahuata (S Marquesas).