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Iphis Monarch


Photo Thomas Ghestemme

Monarque iphis - Photo Pete Morris

Monarque iphis – Photo Pete Morris

7 inches. Old males are entirely black. They are generally white and black. The front of the body is black and the back is spotted with white on the rump, under the tail, belly and under the wings. Younger males are creamy white and their plumage darkens gradually, starting with the head and black spots appear on the chest. Females are brown-grey above, cream below, sometimes with a darker head. The legs and beak of the adults are black and brown.

Juveniles are light brown, their beak is yellow at first.

Monarque Iphis_juvénile - Photo Fred Jacq

Monarque Iphis_juvénile – Photo Fred Jacq

Order: Passeriformes

Family: Monarchidae

Category: Endemic Birds


Once present on Ua Huka and Eiao, the species is extinct in Eiao where the black rat was introduced long ago.


Coconut plantations and forested areas of 0-700 m high.

Screams sometimes at visitors who cross its territory “pi, pi-a, pi, pi-a, pi, pi-a”, also emits two successive metallic notes, which descends and goes up “tui-ti, tui-ti … “or” trii-i, trii-i “repeated 4-5 times in a row corresponding to its territorial call. We can also distinguishes a “pi-uh, uh-pi, pi-pi … uh-uh, uh-ft” weaker than the cry of alarm.

To listen Iphis Monarch:


The nest is built from 3 to 15 m above the ground. A two noisy young are given birth to. Many young individuals were present in May to Ua Huka a few years in a row. Reproduction continues until November, which remains to be confirmed.

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



Scientific Name: Pomarea iphis  Murphy & Mathews, 1928

Polynesian Names:
Pati’oti’o (adult, Ua Huka) ; Kotiotio (juvenile, Ua Huka)

  • Marquesas (Ua Huka)


The species is vulnerable to extinction. It survives only on the island of Ua Huka where the introduction of black rats would lead to its gradual but irreversible extinction. This is a very serious threat to consider because Ua Huka is the last inhabited island of the Marquesas not yet colonized by this rodent. But the development of transport without proper preventive measures accentuates this risk every day. This is regrettable because Ua Huka also has the last viable population of the Ultramarine Lorikeet, Vini ultramarina, species similarly unable to survive on an island where the black rat was established.

The species is listed in category A, the list of species protected by the territorial regulations of French Polynesia.
It is classified as “Endangered” (EN) on the France and Polynesia 2015 IUCN Red List but « Critically Endangered » (CR) on the IUCN Red List.