Coua delelandei   (Temminck)

Delalande's Coua; Snail-eating Coua
(Coua delalandei)

syn. -


Madagascar: Nosy Boraha (le Saint Marie) / Toamasina Province

local name:

Famakisifotra (Malagasy)

size: ca. 65 cm (length)

extinction date: last seen in 1834

The Coua genus currently consists of eleven species including severeal subspecies. All of them without exception live in Madagascar. The German name 'Seidenkuckuck' (silk cuckoo) relates to their plumage, which indeed shows a very fine, silky gloss.


Delalande's Coua with a full length of 65 cm was the largest in its genus. It lived in the dense rain forests of the island of Nosy Boraha (le Saint Marie) offshore Madagascar's northeast coast.

Unfortunately there is not much known about the live of this species. It is known however, that it stayed on the forest floor most of the time and that its preffered food were snails. Actually the Malagasy name 'Famakisifotra' translated into English means something like 'snail crusher'.

The main reason for the extinction of this species is supposed to have been the hunting by the native people, who caught the birds because of their feathers.

The last sighting of this beautiful species happened in the year 1834.


Delalande's Coua (Coua delalandei)

Depiction from 'Alfred Grandidier: Histoire Physique, Naturelle es Politique de Madagascar. Paris: l'imprimerie nationale, 1876'

(This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.)


- Dieter Luther: Die ausgestorbenen Vgel der Welt. Westarp Wissenschaften 1986
- Errol Fuller: Extinct Birds. Penguin Books (England) 1987