Distribution and ecology

Distribution

Endemic to the tropical raised coral atoll of Aldabra, Seychelles, western Indian Ocean (9° 24’ S, 46° 20’ E).

Only known to have occurred in a 0.1 km² (2,000 m x 50 m) strip along the north coast of the western end of Ile Malabar (Middle Island), Aldabra.

Searches for the species elsewhere throughout Aldabra (155 km²) have proved fruitless. 

Habitat

Extremely dense mixed scrub up to about five metres in height, growing on raised “pavé” rock substrate. Within this relatively high plant diversity habitat, known territories were centred on places where the screw pine Pandanus cf. tectorius was abundant.

Population biology

Description of species based on a pair of birds discovered in late 1967 and early 1968. Up to half a dozen individuals, including two pairs, present during late 1974 and early 1975. No more than a single individual seen after 1977, with last sighting in 1983 despite intensive searches in 1986 and 2003-4.

Trophic strategy

Insectivorous, taking insects and spiders from predominantly low in scrub vegetation or from leaf litter on the ground.