• Scientifique Name: Phaethon lepturus Daudin, 1802
  • Polynesian Names: Hopetea, pete’a, ma’uro’a hope u’o, mauroa, ma’uroa kopetea, mauroa-hope-‘uo, petea (Société), makura (Tuamotu), tavake uaka (Mangareva), to’ake, to’ae, toake, tovake, tova’e, tevake, teva’e (Marquises), mauroa (Tubuai), petea (Rimatara)
  • Order: Phaethontiformes
  • Family: Phaethontidae
  • CategorySeabirds
  • Location: Tropical and subtropical seas.

Appearance and identification

16 inches for length, with a tail of 12 inches. Male and female identical in appearance. Big bird with white body and two black lines on the periphery of the eye. Black feathers with an incomplete “V” on the dorsal side of the body (visible in flight). Black feathers at the base, marked with black at the end of the wings on their dorsum. Two long white or yellow feathers decorate the tail. The beak is yellow and the legs are blue and black at the tip.

Videos

Voice

Characteristics

Tropical and subtropical seas. Breeds in the five archipelagos of French Polynesia.

Studied outside French Polynesia. Niches throughout the year in a hole by the trees and in hollow cliffs. The spawn consists of a white egg with dark purple spots (50 x 36 mm). Incubation lasts 41 days and the young takes off at the age of 10-15 weeks.

Nests in cliff cavities, tree or on the ground. Seen around the seaside cliffs and were located inland on Tahiti up to 600 meters.

Loud and defensive shouts from the nest, “ttt …” loud and crackling calls in flight and on parade.

Cephalopods and fish it catches by diving.

Location

Tropical and subtropical seas. Breeds in the five archipelagos of French Polynesia.

Breeding

Studied outside French Polynesia. Niches throughout the year in a hole by the trees and in hollow cliffs. The spawn consists of a white egg with dark purple spots (50 x 36 mm). Incubation lasts 41 days and the young takes off at the age of 10-15 weeks.

Habitat

Nests in cliff cavities, tree or on the ground. Seen around the seaside cliffs and were located inland on Tahiti up to 600 meters.

Voice

Loud and defensive shouts from the nest, “ttt …” loud and crackling calls in flight and on parade.

Food

Cephalopods and fish it catches by diving.

Status and protection

Common species in Polynesia.

The species is classified as “Least Concern” (LC) on the IUCN Red List.

Original text by Caroline BLANVILLAIN – Supplements and update by various members of the SOP Manu.