Animal Database

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Animal Database
Animal Database
800px-Moho nobilis-Keulemans
Hawaiʻi ʻōʻō (Moho nobilis)
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Passeriformes
Family Mohoidae
Genus Moho

Moho is a extinct genus of ‘ō‘ōs 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 were 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 album O'o by jazz composer John Zorn, released in 2009, is named after these birds.


Oʻahu ʻōʻō (Gould, 1860) (Moho apicalis)
†Bishop's ʻōʻō (Rothschild, 1893) (Moho bishopi)
†Kauaʻi ʻōʻō (Cassin, 1855) (Moho braccatus)
†Hawaiʻi ʻōʻō (Merrem, 1786) (Moho nobilis)