Quiz about Pacific Islands Two Legs More or Less
Quiz about Pacific Islands Two Legs More or Less

Pacific Islands: Two Legs, More or Less Quiz

Pacific nations are home to a wide variety of endemic (native) plants and animals. Here are twelve animals from as many countries and territories. Can you determine which are birds, fishes or reptiles?

A classification quiz by Team Phoenix Rising. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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3 mins
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Quiz #
Jun 02 22
# Qns
Avg Score
10 / 12
Top 20% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Guest 203 (8/12), Mikeytrout44 (12/12), Guest 125 (12/12).

Pandanus moth skink Girdled wrasse Ulithi blindsnake Bokikokiko Nauru reed warbler Twilight fangblenny Black foxface Loach goby Lake Tenggano krait Saipan white-eye Manumea Tuvalu forest gecko

* Drag / drop or click on the choices above to move them to the correct categories.

Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Ulithi blindsnake

Answer: Reptiles

The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is a country of more than 600 islands in the western Pacific, north of the equator. A sovereign nation since 1986, the four states of Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae extend across nearly 2,700 km (1,678 mi) of ocean. The central and eastern parts of the Caroline Islands archipelago form part of the FSM, with western sections lying in Palau.

One of the FSM's six official languages is Ulithian, spoken on Ulithi Atoll and nearby islands. The Ulithi blindsnake or blind snake ("Ramphotyphlops hatmaliyeb") is a Micronesian reptile endemic to the Caroline Islands. The specific "hatmaliyeb" name is derived from the Ulithian word for the blind snake.

Some 200 species of blind snake have been identified, found in tropical regions. Living in underground burrows, these oviparous animals have vestigial eyes but do survive without vision. On Ulithi Atoll, "Ramphotyphlops hatmaliyeb" usually lives under rocks and debris although it is known to climb trees at night. This animal is about the same size as a large earthworm.

Phoenix Rising's psnz lives in New Zealand, a country with no snakes (blind or otherwise) but was happy to see this animal as part of the quiz.
2. Twilight fangblenny

Answer: Fishes

Lying approximately 2,000 km northeast of New Zealand, the 300+ islands (and many more islets) that make up the tropical Fiji archipelago are mostly volcanic in origin. Over 100 of these islands are inhabited with the capital city, Suva, lying on Viti Levu. Along with Vanua Levu, these two islands house over 85% of Fiji's population. Human presence has been on these islands for over 3,500 years and originated from Austranesia then Melanesia about 1,000 years later. After European discovery in 1643 by Abel Tasman, Fiji was subject to a series of rebellions including against the imposition of Christianity in some regions. Fiji was a British colony from 1874 until gaining independence in 1970.

The Fijian Islands are home to a wide variety and large number of endemic faunal species including 36 birds, 1 mammal (a bat), 12 reptiles, 2 amphibians, 6 freshwater fish and 35 marine fish. Amongst the marine species is the curiously named Twilight Fangblenny, a small (maximum length around 9 cm), oviparous, blue, grey, black and white fish that lives at intermediate depths around coral reefs. Somewhat confusingly, it appears as both "Petroscirtes pylei" (in honor of American fish biologist, Richard Pyle) and "Meiacanthus phaeus" in lists of fish species' names. Blennies typically feed on small invertebrates including shrimp and snails although some species are also detritivores.

After wading through several references to net sufficient information about this saltwater fish, Phoenix Rising member and freshwater scientist MikeMaster99 has decided to stick to non-saline environments! The list of endemic Fijian fauna was taken from http://lntreasures.com/fiji.html
3. Bokikokiko

Answer: Birds

The Republic of Kiribati is spread over 3.5 million sq. km in the central Pacific Ocean. It straddles both the equator and the 180 degree meridian (but the International Date Line is moved to the east to assure that the entire nation is on the same day at any one time.) As such, Kiribati is the only nation located in all four hemispheres. The land mass in comparison is small at 810 sq. km.

The Bokikokiko or Kiritimati Reed Warbler "Acrocephalus aequinoctialis" is endemic to Kiritimati, an island that is part of Kiribati. A medium-sized bird about 15cm in length, it has pale gray colouration which distinguishes it from other Pacific reed warblers. It also has dark wing feathers with pale edges which give it an unkempt appearance. It is listed as endangered because of its narrow scale of habitat. Less than 2,500 are thought to exist.

This question was flown into the quiz by Phoenix Rising team member 1nn1.
4. Girdled wrasse

Answer: Fishes

Part of the Oceania subregion of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands is located approximately halfway between Hawaii and Australia. This independent nation consists of five islands and 29 atolls, grouped in two island chains - the Ratak (sunrise) and the Ralik (sunset). Only 24 of the islands and atolls are inhabited, and over 97% of the country's territory is composed of water - the largest portion in the world.

The fauna of the Marshall Islands is characterized by the almost complete lack of land mammals, with the exception of the Polynesian rat ("Rattus exulans"), which was introduced by the Polynesians during their migrations, thousands of years ago. Like other Pacific island nations, however, the islands are rich in marine life, which includes cetaceans, turtles, and over 300 species of fish, most of them reef fish.

One of these species is the endemic girdled fairy-wrasse ("Cirrhilabrus balteatus"), a small fish (about 10 cm/4" in length) of the family Labridae. These fish are found in reefs and shallow lagoons, where they feed on zooplankton. The brightly-coloured males of the species are highly prized in the aquarium trade, not only because of their looks, but also of their peaceful temperament. Not surprisingly, the girdled fairy-wrasses' numbers are believed to be declining, though the most recent IUCN assessment at the time of writing (2009) shows as data-deficient.

This question by LadyNym swam gracefully into the quiz.
5. Nauru reed warbler

Answer: Birds

Nauru is a tiny 21 sq. km (8.1 sq. mi) island east-northeast of Papua New Guinea and its nearest neighbor is an outlying island of Kiribati. It is the third smallest country in the world behind the Vatican City and Monaco and with only around 10,000 people is the second least populous.

The Nauru reed warbler ("Acrocephalus rehsei") is a passerine (song bird / perching bird) endemic to Nauru. It is the only passerine bird on the island but it is related to other warblers on other Pacific islands. It is about six inches (15 cm) long, beak to tail. It has a brown upper body but cream underneath and has a long thin bill. It feeds solely on insects. Its nest is distinctive, cup shaped, usually containing 2-3 laid eggs. The warbler is not endangered, but with a habitat of one small island, this means it may be threatened by any catastrophic natural event.

This question was completed by Phoenix Rising's JAM6430 before he fell off his perch.
6. Saipan white-eye

Answer: Birds

Located north of the Equator, south of Japan and east of the Philippines, the Northern Mariana Islands are the only non-independent territory included in this quiz. A commonwealth of the United States, whose capital is Saipan on the island of the same name, it comprises the 14 northernmost islands (many of which are uninhabited) in the Mariana archipelago, a group of islands of volcanic origin whose southernmost island, Guam, is a separate US territory. Geographically, these islands are considered part of Micronesia. The lowest point in the Earth's crust, the Mariana Trench, lies east of the archipelago.

Covered for the most part by dense tropical dry forests, the Northern Marianas are home to eight endemic species of birds, one of which is the Saipan white-eye ("Zosterops conspicillatus saypani"), a subspecies of the bridled white eye ("Zosterops conspicillatus"), a small passerine bird of the family Zosteropidae that lived on Guam. This bird, called "nosa" in the indigenous Chamorro language, was wiped out - probably in the 1980s - by the brown tree snake ("Boiga irregularis"), an invasive species responsible for the extinction of most of Guam's bird population.

The surviving subspecies (considered a full species by some experts) is endemic to the islands of Saipan, Tinian, and Agujian, where it was thriving at least until the early 2010s. However, since numbers were expected to decline due to the potential introduction of the brown tree snake on Saipan as a result of human activity, the Saipan white-eye was classified as Endangered by the IUCN in 2016. The name "white-eye" comes from these birds' most conspicuous feature, a ring of tiny white feathers around their eyes; the family's scientific name, "Zosteropidae", means "girdle-eyed".

This question flew into the quiz directly from LadyNym's keyboard.
7. Pandanus moth skink

Answer: Reptiles

The Republic of Palau is a western Pacific nation with about 340 islands. It has maritime borders with The Federated States of Micronesia, Indonesia and the Philippines. The country is a presidential republic in free association with the United States.

Skinks are lizards, although with smaller legs than true lizards. They are found in most habitats, other than polar and sub-polar ones. The Pandanus moth skink ("Lipinia leptosoma") is endemic to Palau. Panadus is a tropical tree or shrub. Skinks are often insectivores, and the assumption is that this animal also eats moths. The "IUCN Red List of Threatened Species" (2012) classified "Lipinia leptosoma" as Near Threatened, the stage before Vulnerable.

Like skinks which can be elusive, Phoenix Rising's psnz found that "Lipinia leptosoma" is a poorly known animal which would benefit from further research.
8. Manumea

Answer: Birds

Before 1997, Samoa was called Western Samoa. This Polynesian country includes the two main islands of Savai'i and Upolo, the smaller but inhabited Manono and Apolima, as well as several other uninhabited islands. The country is 64 km (40 mi) west of American Samoa and 889 km (552 mi) northeast of Tonga.

The manumea ("Didunculus strigirostris") or tooth-billed pigeon is a species endemic to Samoa. This bird has been nicknamed the "little Dodo" and is considered one of the closest living relatives to its extinct namesake. Sadly, however, the manumea is well on the way to joining the dodo: its habitat is in undisturbed Samoan forests, however huge tracts have been cleared for agriculture. Cyclones, hunting and invasive flora and fauna have also all played a part in bringing about the birds' demise. As of 2013 surveys on Savai'i, fewer than 250 birds were known to survive. While hunting of manumea is now illegal, research and intensive actions to protect existing populations will be required to prevent the extinction of Samoa's national bird.

Phoenix Rising's psnz can only hope that like the mythical phoenix, the real manumea will emerge in more resilient numbers.
9. Lake Tenggano krait

Answer: Reptiles

Located east of Papua New Guinea, in the subregion of Oceania known as Melanesia, the Solomon Islands is a sovereign country comprising six major islands and over 900 smaller ones - most of which are also part of the Solomon Islands archipelago. Rennell Island, where Lake Tenggano is located, is not part of the larger Solomon Islands archipelago, though it belongs to the Solomon Islands' nation.

Known locally as Mugaba, Rennell Island is the world's second-largest raised coral atoll, while Lake Tenggano (or Tegano, as the natives call it) is the largest lake in the insular Pacific. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998, the lake - whose waters are brackish - is home to various endemic species, including "Laticauda crockeri", known by the common name of Crocker's sea snake, or the Lake Tenggano sea krait.

One of only two known species of freshwater sea snake, the Lake Tenggano sea krait is a member of the subfamily "Hydrophiinae" (sea snakes) of the Elapidae family (to which cobras, mambas and Australian venomous snakes also belong). With their distinctive banded pattern, snakes in the "Laticauda" genus resemble kraits, extremely venomous land snakes of the genus "Bungarus", also part of the Elapidae family - hence their common name of "sea kraits". The name "Laticauda", meaning "broad tail", comes from these snakes' flattened, paddle-like tail. Though highly venomous, sea snakes are not aggressive, and will only bite if roughly handled. The Lake Tenggano sea krait feeds mainly on fish, and is believed to give birth to live young. It is listed by The IUCN as Vulnerable (2009).

LadyNym let this question slither quietly into the quiz.
10. Black foxface

Answer: Fishes

The Kingdom of Tonga is an archipelago of 170 islands of which 36 are inhabited in the South Pacific, about 1,800 km northeast of New Zealand's North Island. The total land area of 774 sq. km is spread over 700,000 sq. km stretching 800 km North-South and 210 km East-West. Seventy percent of Tongans live on Tongatapu, the main island. Tonga is the last monarchy in the Pacific and changed its governance from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional one in 2010.

The black foxface ("Siganus niger") is a species of a rabbitfish which is endemic to Tonga. Rabbitfishes have striped or coloured faces, small snouts and oval bodies. The fish grow up to 240mm, and as the name implies has a black face though it can change colour when alarmed. Its fins are dark yellow to orange. It prefers to live in shallow water near coral reefs particularly around staghorn or fire coals. Not described until 1990, this attractive fish has made a name for itself in the aquarium trade.

This question was floated into the quiz by Phoenix Rising team member 1nn1.
11. Tuvalu forest gecko

Answer: Reptiles

Formerly known as the Ellice Islands, Tuvalu is an island nation - the world's fourth-smallest sovereign country - located in Oceania's subregion of Polynesia, south of the Equator. Consisting of three reef islands and six atolls, all very low-lying, Tuvalu is extremely vulnerable to rising sea levels. The islands are covered with lush vegetation, but are home to very few terrestrial animal species, while seabirds and marine life is plentiful. Most vertebrates, such as pigs, dogs, and fowl, are introduced: in fact, the endemic Tuvalu forest gecko ("Lepidodactylus tepukapili") is the only vertebrate that is native to the islands.

This reptile's specific name, "tepukapili", comes from the Tuvaluan words for "small lizard" and the name of the island of Tepuka, where this rare animal was first discovered in the late 1990s. It has also been located on the islet of Fuagea, which is part of the atoll of Funafuti. The Tuvalu forest gecko belongs to a genus of the family Gekkonidae, "Lepidodactylus" (meaning "scaly-toed"), which is widespread in Southeast Asia, Indo-Australia, and Oceania.

This question was penned by LadyNym, who - unlike many people - finds geckos very cute.
12. Loach goby

Answer: Fishes

Previously known as the New Hebrides, the Republic of Vanuatu is an island nation in the South Pacific Ocean. The country occupies a volcanic archipelago situated between New Caledonia, Australia, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Fiji.

The loach goby ("Rhyacichthys guilberti") is a freshwater fish, once also found in New Caledonia, but now considered extinct there. The goby lives in coastal streams with relatively steep gradients in hilly terrain, feeding on algae and diatoms. It has broadened pelvic and pectoral fins which are used to grasp rocks and stones for feeding in fast-moving currents. Fortunately for this species, it is considered common in Vanuatu.

Phoenix Rising's psnz took this question in hand and was pleased to glide it into the quiz.
Source: Author psnz

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor rossian before going online.
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