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

Belongs within: Neoaves.
Contains: Burhinidae, Charadriidae, Recurvirostridae, Haematopodidae, 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 (Austin 1961). 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.

<==Charadriiformes [Charadriomorphae, Limicolae, Scolopacides, Turnices]
    |  i. s.: Rhegminornis [Rhegminornithidae] FP64
    |           `--R. calobates FP64
    |         Villetus Harrison & Walker 1976 M05
    |           |--*V. grandis Harrison & Walker 1976 M02
    |           `--V. waltoni Harrison & Walker 1976 M02
    |--Charadrii [Charadriides, Charadriinae] JT12
    |    |--+--Burhinidae HK08
    |    |  `--Chionidae [Chionidides] JT12
    |    |       |--Pluvianellus Gray 1846 JT12, B94 [Pluvianellinae]
    |    |       |    `--P. socialis JT12
    |    |       `--Chionis Forster 1788 LZ07, B94
    |    |            |--C. albus JT12
    |    |            `--C. minor M03
    |    `--+--Pluvianus Vieillot 1816 JT12, B94 [Pluvianinae]
    |       |    `--P. aegyptius (Linnaeus 1758) [incl. Charadrius melanocephalus Gmelin 1789] S05
    |       `--+--Charadriidae HK08
    |          `--+--+--Ibidorhyncha Vigors 1830-1831 JT12, B94 [Ibidorhynchidae JT12, Ibidorhynchinae]
    |             |  |    `--I. struthersii JT12
    |             |  `--+--Recurvirostridae JT12
    |             |     `--Haematopodidae JT12
    |             `--Pluvialis Brisson 1760 JT12, M02 [Pluvialinae]
    |                  |--P. squatarola (Linnaeus 1758) JT12, M02 [=Tringa squatarola M02, *Squatarola squatarola M02]
    |                  `--+--P. apricaria JT12
    |                     |    |--P. a. apricaria M03
    |                     |    `--P. a. altifrons M03
    |                     `--+--P. dominica (Muller 1776) JT12, WS48 [=Charadrius dominicus WS48]
    |                        `--P. fulva (Gmelin 1789) JT12, R85 [=Charadrius fulvus WS48, P. dominica fulva VP89]
    `--+--+--+--Turnicidae HK08
       |  |  `--Turnipacidae M05
       |  |       |--Turnipax Mayr 2000 M05
       |  |       |    `--*T. dissipata Mayr 2000 M02
       |  |       `--Cerestenia Mayr 2000 M05
       |  |            `--*C. pulchrapenna Mayr 2000 M02
       |  `--Lari [Larides, Laroidea] JT12
       |       |--Glareolidae JT12
       |       `--+--Dromas Paykull 1805 HK08, B94 [Ardeolidae, Dromadidae, Dromaides]
       |          |    `--D. ardeola HK08
       |          `--Larides [Laroidea] LZ07
       |               |--Laridae HK08
       |               `--+--Stercorariidae JT12
       |                  `--Alcae FP64
       |                       |--Alcidae JT12
       |                       `--Mancalla [Mancallidae, Mancallinae] FP64
       |                            `--M. cedrosensis M04
       `--Scolopaci JT12
            |--Scolopacidae HK08
            `--+--Parrae LZ07
               |    |--Jacanidae HK08
               |    `--Rostratula Vieillot 1816 HK08, M02 [incl. Rhynchaea Cuvier 1817 B94; Rhynchaeidae, Rostratulidae]
               |         |--R. australis (Gould 1838) JT12, WS48 (see below for synonymy)
               |         |--R. benghalensis (Linnaeus 1758) [=Rallus benghalensis] WS48
               |         |--‘Rhynchaea’ capensis S66
               |         |--R. minator Olson & Eller 1989 B93
               |         |--R. pulia Mlíkovský 1999 M02
               |         `--R. semicollaris JT12
               `--+--Pedionomus Gould 1841 HK08, B94 [Pedionomae, Pedionomidae]
                  |    `--P. torquatus HK08
                  `--Thinocoridae [Thinocoroidea] LZ07
                       |--Attagis Geoffroy St.-Hilaire & Lesson 1830 [Attagidae] B94
                       |    |--A. gayi JT12
                       |    `--A. malouinus JT12
                       `--Thinocorus Eschscholtz 1829 HK08, B94
                            |--T. orbignyianus HK08
                            `--T. rumicivorus FP64

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

*Type species of generic name indicated


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.

[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.

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

[HK08] Hackett, S. J., R. T. Kimball, S. Reddy, R. C. K. Bowie, E. L. Braun, M. J. Braun, J. L. Chojnowski, W. A. Cox, K.-L. Han, J. Harshman, C. J. Huddleston, B. D. Marks, K. J. Miglia, W. S. Moore, F. H. Sheldon, D. W. Steadman, C. C. Witt & T. Yuri. 2008. A phylogenomic study of birds reveals their evolutionary history. Science 320: 1763-1768.

[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.

[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.

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

[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.

[VP89] Viney, C., & K. Phillipps. 1989. Birds of Hong Kong 5th ed. Government Printer: Hong Kong.

[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.

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