Male (left) and female (right) greater painted snipe Rostratula benghalensis, photographed by Sharad Agrawal.

Belongs within: Aequorlitornithes.
Contains: Graculavidae, Burhinidae, Charadriidae, Recurvirostridae, Haematopus, Turnicidae, Glareolidae, Laridae, Stercorariidae, Alcidae, Scolopacidae, Jacanidae.

The Charadriiformes includes the wading birds and related species. Members of the Charadriiformes are united by the anatomy of the palate and syrinx. They have eleven or ten primaries, a tufted oil gland and a small aftershaft on the body feathers. The majority of Charadriiformes are coastal or otherwise associated with water, though there are notable exceptions. For instance, the seedsnipe of the Thinocoridae are superficially partridge-like herbivorous birds found in alpine and steppe regions of South America. The sheathbills of the genus Chionis are white, superficially dove-like birds found in the Antarctic region that are scavengers around seal and penguin colonies.

Charadriiformes [Charadriomorphae, Charadrioidea, Limicolae, Scolopacides, Turnices]
    |--Charadrii [Charadriides, Charadriinae] JT12
    |    |--+--Burhinidae JT12
    |    |  `--+--Pluvianellus Gray 1846 BKB15, B94 [Pluvianellidae, Pluvianellinae]
    |    |     |    `--P. socialis JT12
    |    |     `--Chionis Forster 1788 JT12, B94 [Chionidae, Chionidides]
    |    |          |--C. albus JT12
    |    |          `--C. minor JT12
    |    `--+--Pluvianus Vieillot 1816 JT12, B94 [Pluvianinae]
    |       |    `--P. aegyptius (Linnaeus 1758) [incl. Charadrius melanocephalus Gmelin 1789] S05
    |       `--+--+--Charadriidae BKB15
    |          |  `--+--Ibidorhyncha Vigors 1830-1831 BKB15, B94 [Ibidorhynchidae, Ibidorhynchinae]
    |          |     |    `--I. struthersii JT12
    |          |     `--+--Recurvirostridae JT12
    |          |        `--Haematopus JT12
    |          `--+--‘Vanellus’ cinereus BKB15 [=Microsarcops cinereus T89]
    |             `--Pluvialis Brisson 1760 BKB15, CC10 [incl. Squatarola Cuvier 1816 CC10; Pluvialinae]
    |                  |--P. squatarola (Linnaeus 1758) JT12, CC10 (see below for synonymy)
    |                  `--+--P. dominica (Statius Müller 1776) BKB15, CC10 (see below for synonymy)
    |                     `--+--P. apricaria (Linnaeus 1758) BKB15, CC10 (see below for synonymy)
    |                        |    |--P. a. apricaria M03
    |                        |    `--P. a. altifrons M03
    |                        `--P. fulva (Gmelin 1789) BKB15, CC10 (see below for synonymy)
    `--+--+--+--Turnicidae JT12
       |  |  `--Turnipacidae M05
       |  |       |--Cerestenia Mayr 2000 M05
       |  |       |    `--*C. pulchrapenna Mayr 2000 M02
       |  |       `--Turnipax Mayr 2000 M05
       |  |            |--*T. dissipata Mayr 2000 M02
       |  |            `--T. oechslerorum Mayr & Knopf 2007 M09
       |  `--Lari JT12
       |       |--+--Glareolidae BKB15
       |       |  `--Dromas Paykull 1805 BKB15, B94 [Ardeolidae, Dromadidae, Dromaides]
       |       |       `--D. ardeola JT12
       |       `--Larides [Laroidea] LZ07
       |            |--Laridae JT12
       |            `--+--Stercorariidae JT12
       |               `--Alcae FP64
       |                    |--Alcidae JT12
       |                    `--Mancalla [Mancallidae, Mancallinae] FP64
       |                         `--M. cedrosensis M04
       `--Scolopaci JT12
            |  i. s.: Paractitis bairdi Weigel 1963 M09
            |--Scolopacidae JT12
            `--+--+--Pedionomus Gould 1841 JT12, B94 [Pedionomae, Pedionomidae]
               |  |    `--P. torquatus JT12
               |  `--Thinocoridae [Thinocoroidea] JT12
               |       |--Attagis Geoffroy St.-Hilaire & Lesson 1830 [Attagidae] B94
               |       |    |--A. gayi JT12
               |       |    `--A. malouinus JT12
               |       `--Thinocorus Eschscholtz 1829 B94
               |            |--T. koepckeae Campbell 1979 U93
               |            |--T. orbignyianus JT12
               |            `--T. rumicivorus Eschscholtz 1829 U93
               `--Parrae LZ07
                    |--Jacanidae JT12
                    `--Rostratulidae [Rhynchaeidae] BKB15
                         |--Nycticryphes semicollaris BKB15
                         `--Rostratula Vieillot 1816 JT12, CC10 [incl. Rhynchaea Cuvier 1817 B94]
                              |--*R. benghalensis (Linnaeus 1758) [=Rallus benghalensis] CC10
                              |--R. australis (Gould 1838) JT12, CC10 (see below for synonymy)
                              |--‘Rhynchaea’ capensis S66
                              |--R. minator Olson & Eller 1989 B93
                              |--R. pulia Mlíkovský 1999 M02
                              `--R. semicollaris JT12

Charadriiformes incertae sedis:
  Rhegminornis [Rhegminornithidae] FP64
    `--R. calobates FP64
  Villetus Harrison & Walker 1976 M05
    |--*V. grandis Harrison & Walker 1976 M02
    `--V. waltoni Harrison & Walker 1976 M02
  Stephanibyx coronatus RN72
  Lonchodytes [Lonchodytidae] OF80
    |--L. estesi Brodkorb 1963 U93
    `--L. pterygius Brodkorb 1963 U93
  Graculavidae U93

Pluvialis apricaria (Linnaeus 1758) BKB15, CC10 [=Charadrius apricarius CC10, incl. C. pluvialis Linnaeus 1766 CC10, *Pluvialis pluvialis CC10]

Pluvialis dominica (Statius Müller 1776) BKB15, CC10 [=Charadrius dominicus CC10, P. dominicanus (l. c.) CC10, P. dominicus CC10]

Pluvialis fulva (Gmelin 1789) BKB15, CC10 [=Charadrius fulvus CC10, Luvialis (l. c.) dominicus fulvus CC10, P. dominica fulva CC10, P. dominicus fulvus CC10; incl. C. virginianus Jardine & Selby 1830 CC10, C. virginicus Lichtenstein 1823 CC10, C. xanthocheilus Wagler 1827 CC10]

Pluvialis squatarola (Linnaeus 1758) JT12, CC10 [=Tringa squatarola CC10, Charadrius squatarola CC10, *Squatarola squatarola CC10; incl. Tringa helvetica Linnaeus 1766 CC10, S. helvetica CC10]

Rostratula australis (Gould 1838) JT12, CC10 [=Rhynchaea australis WS48, Ro. benghalensis australis WS48; incl. Ro. australis fitzroyi Mathews 1912 WS48]

*Type species of generic name indicated


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

[B93] Brooke, R. K. 1993. Annotated catalogue of the Aves type specimens in the South African Museum. Annals of the South African Museum 102 (10): 327–349.

[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.

[FP64] Fisher, J., & R. T. Peterson. 1964. The World of Birds: A comprehensive guide to general ornithology. Macdonald: London.

[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.

[LZ07] Livezey, B. C., & R. L. Zusi. 2007. Higher-order phylogeny of modern birds (Theropoda, Aves: Neornithes) based on comparative anatomy. II. Analysis and discussion. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 149 (1): 1–95.

[M04] Mayr, G. 2004. Tertiary plotopterids (Aves, Plotopteridae) and a novel hypothesis on the phylogenetic relationships of penguins (Spheniscidae). Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research 43: 61–71.

[M05] Mayr, G. 2005. The Paleogene fossil record of birds in Europe. Biological Reviews 80: 515–542.

[M09] Mayr, G. 2009. Paleogene Fossil Birds. Springer.

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

[M03] Morcombe, M. 2003. Field Guide to Australian Birds 2nd ed. Steve Parish Publishing.

[OF80] Olson, S. L., & A. Feduccia. 1980. Relationships and evolution of flamingos (Aves: Phoenicopteridae). Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 316: 1–73.

[RN72] Rutgers, A., & K. A. Norris (eds) 1972. Encyclopaedia of Aviculture vol. 1. London, Blandford Press.

[S66] Schlegel, H. 1866. Communication from, on mammals and birds collected in Madagascar. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1866: 419–426.

[S05] Steinheimer, F. D. 2005. Eduard Rüppel’s avian types at the Natural History Museum, Tring (Aves). Senckenbergiana Biologica 85 (2): 233–264.

[T89] Takeshita, N. 1989. Nihon no Yachoo. Kogakukan: Tokyo.

[U93] Unwin, D. M. 1993. Aves. In: Benton, M. J. (ed.) The Fossil Record 2 pp. 717–737. Chapman & Hall: London.

[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: 15 August 2019.

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