Temporal range: Recent
|Kauaʻi ʻōʻō (Moho braccatus),|
the last surviving Mohoidae
(extinct c. 1987)
Moho is a genus of extinct birds in the Hawaiian bird family, Mohoidae, that were endemic to the Hawaiian Islands. Members of the genus are known as ʻōʻō in the Hawaiian language. Their plumage was generally striking glossy black; some species had yellowish axillary tufts and other black outer feathers. Most of these species became extinct by habitat loss and by extensive hunting because their plumage was used for the creation of precious ʻaʻahu aliʻi (robes) and ʻahu ʻula (capes) for aliʻi (Hawaiian nobility). The Kauaʻi ʻōʻō was the last species of this genus to become extinct, probably a victim of avian malaria.
Until recently, the birds in this genus were thought to belong to the family Meliphagidae (honeyeaters) because they looked and acted so similar to members of that family, including many morphological details. A 2008 study argued, on the basis of a phylogenetic analysis of DNA from museum specimens, that the genera Moho and Chaetoptila do not belong to the Meliphagidae but instead belong to a group that includes the waxwings and the palmchat; they appear especially close to the silky-flycatchers. The authors proposed a family, Mohoidae, for these two extinct genera.
The following species belong to this genus (in addition, subfossil remains of a species are known from Maui and known in literature as the Maui ʻōʻō, Moho sp.):
|Image||Common name||Scientific name||Extinct since|
|Oʻahu ʻōʻō||Moho apicalis||c. 1837|
or Molokaʻi ʻōʻō
|Moho bishopi||c. 1904|
|Hawaiʻi ʻōʻō||Moho nobilis||c. 1934|
|Kauaʻi ʻōʻō||Moho braccatus||c. 1987|