Common shelduck Tadorna tadorna, photographed by Paolo Sacchi.

Belongs within: Anatinae.

The Tadornini include the shelducks and sheldgeese, an assemblage of moderately large waterfowl with short thick bills and generally rather bold coloration. The composition of this taxon has varied somewhat between authors; that given below represents a fairly restricted concept of Tadornini. Of the component genera, species of Chloephaga, Neochen and Alopochen are more 'goose-like' in appearance whereas Tadorna species are more 'duck-like'. The sheldgeese of the genera Chloephaga and Neochen are native to South America, including species such as the Orinoco goose Neochen jubata and the upland goose Chloephaga picta. The shelducks of the genus Tadorna are found in the Old World. The Egyptian goose Alopochen aegyptiaca, found across sub-Saharan Africa, is a grey to reddish-brown bird with a pale head and chestnut spectacles.

<==Tadornini [Casarcinae, Kazarkinae, Tadorninae]
    |  i. s.: Anabernicula L86
    |         Brantadorna L86
    |         Miotadorna Worthy, Tennyson et al. 2007 CC10
    |           `--*M. sanctibathansi Worthy, Tennyson et al. 2007 CC10
    |--Chloephaga Eyton 1838 BKB15, B94 [Chloephaginae]
    |    |  i. s.: C. hybrida JT12
    |    |         C. rubidiceps JT12
    |    |--+--C. picta BKB15
    |    |  |    |--C. p. picta L81
    |    |  |    `--C. p. leucoptera L81
    |    |  `--C. poliocephala BKB15
    |    `--+--C. melanoptera BKB15
    |       `--Neochen Oberholser 1918 BKB15, B94 [Neocheninae]
    |            `--N. jubata BKB15
    `--+--Alopochen Stejneger 1885 BKB15, M02 [incl. Anserobranta Kuročkin & Ganea 1972 M02, Proanser Umans’ka 1979 M02]
       |    |--A. aegyptiaca (Linnaeus 1766) [=Anas aegyptiaca, Chenalopex aegyptiaca, C. aegyptiacus] CC10
       |    |--A. kervazoi HSS13
       |    |--A. mauritianus HSS13
       |    `--A. tarabukini (Kuročkin & Ganea 1972) [=*Anserobranta tarabukini; incl. *Proanser major Umans’ka 1979] M02
       `--Tadorna Boie 1822 BKB15, CC10 (see below for synonymy)
            |  i. s.: T. cristata (Kuroda 1917) I92 [=Casarca (Pseudotadorna) cristata CC10]
            |--T. radjah (Garnot 1828) BKB15, WS48 [=Anas radjah WS48]
            |    |--T. r. radjah WS48
            |    `--T. r. rufitergum Hartert 1905 WS48
            `--+--T. tadorna (Linnaeus 1758) BKB15, M02 (see below for synonymy)
               `--+--T. variegata (Gmelin 1789) BKB15, CC10 (see below for synonymy)
                  `--+--T. tadornoides (Jardine & Selby 1828) BKB15, CC10 (see below for synonymy)
                     `--+--T. cana BKB15
                        `--T. ferruginea (Pallas 1764) BKB15, CS77 (see below for synonymy)

Tadorna Boie 1822 BKB15, CC10 [incl. Balcanas Boev 1998 M02, Casarca Bonaparte 1838 CC10, Casarka Eyton 1838 CC10, Kazarka Olphe-Galliard 1888 B94, Nettalopex Heine in Heine & Reichenow 1890 CC10, Pseudotadorna Kuroda 1917 CC10, Todarna Reichenbach 1852 M02, Vulpanser Keyserling & Blasius 1840 CC10, Zesarkaca Mathews 1937 CC10]

Tadorna ferruginea (Pallas 1764) BKB15, CS77 [=Anas ferruginea CS77, Casarca ferruginea A61; incl. Anas rutila CC10, *C. rutila CC10, *Nettalopex rutila CC10, Tadorna rutila S66]

Tadorna tadorna (Linnaeus 1758) BKB15, M02 [=Anas tadorna CC10, *Vulpanser tadorna CC10; incl. Anser anatoides Depéret 1892 M02, Nettapus anatoides M02, *Tadorna familiaris CC10, *Balcanas pliocenica Boev 1998 M02, Anas submajor Jánossy 1979 M02, *Todarna wagneri Reichenbach 1852 M02]

Tadorna tadornoides (Jardine & Selby 1828) BKB15, CC10 [=Anas tadornoides CC10, Casarca (Pseudotadorna) tadornoides CC10, Casarka todornoides CC10, Vulpanser todornoides CC10; incl. Anas kasarkoides Lafresnaye 1835 CC10, Nettalopex tadornina Heine & Reichenow 1890 CC10, Tadorna tadornoides westralis Mathews 1912 WS48]

Tadorna variegata (Gmelin 1789) BKB15, CC10 [=Anas variegata CC10, Anser variegata CC10, Anser variegatus CC10, Bernicla variegata CC10, Casarca (Pseudotadorna) variegata CC10, Nettalopex variegata CC10, Vulpanser variegata CC10, *Zesarkaca variegata CC10; incl. Casarka castanea Eyton 1838 CC10, Casarca castanea CC10, Anas cheneros Forster in Lichtensein 1844 CC10, Anas picta Vieillot 1816 non Gmelin 1789 CC10]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[A61] Austin, O. L., Jr. 1961. Birds of the World: A survey of the twenty-seven orders and one hundred and fifty-five families. Paul Hamlyn: London.

[B94] Bock, W. J. 1994. History and nomenclature of avian family-group names. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 222: 1–281.

[BKB15] Burleigh, J. G., R. T. Kimball & E. L. Braun. 2015. Building the avian tree of life using a large-scale, sparse supermatrix. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 84: 53–63.

[CC10] Checklist Committee (OSNZ). 2010. Checklist of the Birds of New Zealand, Norfolk and Macquarie Islands, and the Ross Dependency, Antarctica 4th ed. Ornithological Society of New Zealand and Te Papa Press: Wellington.

[CS77] Cramp, S., & K. E. L. Simmons (eds) 1977. Handbook of the Birds of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa: The Birds of the Western Palaearctic vol. 1. Ostrich to Ducks. Oxford University Press: Oxford.

[HSS13] Hirschfeld, E., A. Swash & R. Still. 2013. The World's Rarest Birds. Princeton University Press: Princeton (New Jersey).

[I92] Iwahashi, J. (ed.) 1992. Reddo Deeta Animaruzu: a pictorial of Japanese fauna facing extinction. JICC: Tokyo.

[JT12] Jetz, W., G. H. Thomas, J. B. Joy, K. Hartmann & A. Ø. Mooers. 2012. The global diversity of birds in space and time. Nature 491: 444–448.

[L86] Livezey, B. C. 1986. Phylogeny and historical biogeography of steamer-ducks (Anatidae: Tachyeres). Systematic Zoology 35 (4): 458–469.

[L81] Long, J. L. 1981. Introduced Birds of the World: The worldwide history, distribution and influence of birds introduced to new environments. Reed: Sydney.

[M02] Mlíkovský, J. 2002. Cenozoic Birds of the World. Part 1: Europe. Ninox Press: Praha.

[S66] Sclater, P. L. 1866. Additional notes on the Anatidae of the genera Dendrocygna and Tadorna. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1866: 148–150.

[WS48] Whittell, H. M., & D. L. Serventy. 1948. A systematic list of the birds of Western Australia. Public Library, Museum and Art Gallery of Western Australia, Special Publication 1: 1–126.

Last updated: 27 November 2021.

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