Southern royal albatross Diomedea epomophora, photographed by Duncan Watson.

Belongs within: Procellariiformes.

The genus Diomedea includes the larger albatrosses, marine gliders that are most abundant in the Southern Hemisphere, though with some species found in the North Pacific. The fossil record also indicates their past presence in the North Atlantic (Mlíkovský 2002). Diomedea species are distinguished from the sooty albatrosses of the genus Phoebetria by their shorter, rounded tails (Heather & Robertson 1996).

Recent authors have increased the number of species recognised in Diomedea; the northern royal albatross D. sanfordi has been separated from the southern royal albatross D. epomophora, while populations previously included in the wandering albatross D. exulans have been distinguished as the Amsterdam albatross D. amsterdamensis, Tristan albatross D. dabbenena and Antipodean albatross D. antipodensis.

<==Diomedea Linnaeus 1758 M02
    |--+--D. epomophora Lesson 1825 JT12, WH02
    |  `--D. sanfordi Murphy 1917 JT12, WH02 [=D. epomophora sanfordi R85]
    `--+--D. dabbenena JT12 [=D. exulans dabbenena HR96]
       `--+--D. amsterdamensis JT12
          `--D. antipodensis JT12 [=D. exulans antipodensis HWT01]

Diomedea incertae sedis:
  D. albatrus Pallas 1769 M02
  D. anglica Lydekker 1891 M02
  D. cauta Gould 1841 R85
    |--D. c. cauta R85
    |--D. c. eremita (Murphy 1930) R85
    |--D. c. salvini (Rothschild 1893) R85
    `--D. c. steadi (Falla 1933) R85
  D. chionoptera Salvin 1896 WH02 [=D. exulans chionoptera R85]
  D. chlororhynchos Gmelin 1789 R85 (see below for synonymy)
    |--D. c. chlororhynchos R85
    `--D. c. bassi Mathews 1912 R85
  D. chrysostoma Forster 1785 [incl. Thalassogeron chrysostoma alexanderi Mathews 1916] WS48
  D. immutabilis Rothschild 1893 I92
  D. irrorata MH96
  D. melanophrys Temminck 1828 R85
    |--D. m. melanophrys R85
    `--D. m. impavida Mathews 1912 R85
  D. nigripes Audubon 1839 R85
  D. rumana Grigorescu & Kessler 1988 M02

Diomedea chlororhynchos Gmelin 1789 R85 [incl. Thalassogeron carteri Rothschild 1903 WS48, D. chlororhynchos carteri HR96]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[HR96] Heather, B. D., & H. A. Robertson. 1996. The Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand. Viking: Auckland.

[HWT01] Holdaway, R. N., T. H. Worthy & A. J. D. Tennyson. 2001. A working list of breeding bird species of the New Zealand region at first human contact. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 28: 119-187.

[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.

[MH96] Miller, S. A., & J. P. Harley. 1996. Zoology (3rd ed.) Wm. C. Brown Publishers: Dubuque (Iowa).

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

[R85] Robertson, C. J. R. (ed.) 1985. Reader’s Digest Complete Book of New Zealand Birds. Reader’s Digest: Sydney.

[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.

[WH02] Worthy, T. H., & R. N. Holdaway. 2002. The Lost World of the Moa: Prehistoric life of New Zealand. Indiana University Press: Bloomington (Indiana).

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