Huiacola extinctus Mey, 1990

Huia lice, Huia louse



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Rallicola extinctus (Mey, 1990)


Conservation Status


Last record: 28 November 1892 (specimen AI.018368) or later

Last record of the host (Huia: Heteralocha acutirostris): 1905? (Galbreath, 2017)


AI.018368 (collected 28 November 1892)


Huiacola extinctus was a single-host louse which became extinct because its host, the Huia (Heteralocha acutirostris) also became extinct. Although, reports of the Huia still occur.



New Zealand


Biology & Ecology




Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa:

AI.018365 (collected 1880)

AI.018366 (collected 1885)

AI.018367 (collected 24 October 1891)

AI.018368 (collected 28 November 1892)



AI.018371 (collected 1892)


AI.018373 (collected 1892)


AI.018375 (collected 1891)

AI.018376 (collected 1892)






Above: Extinct huia louse, Rallicola (Huiacola) extinctus (Mey, 1990), collected 24 October 1891, Ngarara Ranges, New Zealand. CC BY 4.0. Te Papa (AI.018367). 



Original scientific description:

Mey, E. (1990). Eine neue ausgestorbene Vogel-Ischnozere von Neuseeland, Huiacola extinctus (Insecta, Phthiraptera) ["A new extinct avian ischnoceran from New Zealand, Huiacola extinctus (Insecta, Phthiraptera)."]. Zoologischer Anzeiger 224(1-2): 49-73. [Abstract]


Other references:

Buckley, Thomas R., Palma, Ricardo L., Johns, Peter Malcolm, Gleeson, Dianne M., Heath, A. C. G., Hitchmough, R. A. and Stringer, I. A. N. (2012). The conservation status of small or less well known groups of New Zealand terrestrial invertebrates. New Zealand Entomologist 35(2): 137-143. [Supplemental Material]

Galbreath, Ross. (2017). The 1907 ‘last generally accepted record’ of huia (Heteralocha acutirostris) is unreliable. Notornis 64(4): 239-242.

Mason, George E. (1921). Observations on certain external parasites found upon the New Zealand huia (Neomorpha acutirostris Gould) and not previously recorded. Transactions of the New Zealand Institute 53: 357-359.

Palma, Ricardo L. (1999). Amendments and additions to the 1982 list of chewing lice (Insecta: Phthiraptera) from birds in New Zealand. Notornis 46(3): 373-387.

Rozsa, Lajos and Vas, Zoltán. (2015). Co-extinct and critically co-endangered species of parasitic lice, and conservation-induced extinction: Should lice be reintroduced to their hosts? Oryx 49: 107-110. 10.1017/S0030605313000628


<< Back to the Phthiraptera (Louse) database