Eurasian snipe Gallinago gallinago, photographed by J. C. Schou.

Belongs within: Scolopacoidea

Gallinago includes the snipes, stocky straight-billed wading birds. Snipes are found in most parts of the world, though they are only present as non-breeding migrants in Australia.

Characters (from Ridgway 1887): Top of head with longitudinal stripes. Ears situated directly under eyes; tip of upper mandible thickened, with cutting edges brought close together. Plumage not varying between breeding and non-breeding seasons. Lower part of thighs naked; back of tarsus with continuous row of transverse scutellae.

<==Gallinago Brisson 1760 M02 [incl. Capella Frenzel 1801 B94]
    |--G. gallinago (Linnaeus 1758) ME04 [=Scolopax gallinago M02, Capella gallinago M02]
    |--G. hardwickii (Gray 1831) R85
    |--G. media (Latham 1787) [=Scolopax media, Capella media] M02
    |--G. megala HR96
    |--G. nemoricola SU93
    |--G. solitaria SU93
    |    |--G. s. solitaria VP89
    |    `--G. s. japonica VP89
    |--G. stenura SU93
    |--G. stricklandi WH02
    |--‘Capella’ undulata MS55
    |    |--C. u. undulata MS55
    |    `--C. u. gigantea MS55
    `--G. veterior Jánossy 1979 [=Capella veterior] M02

*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.

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

[ME04] Mayr, G., & P. G. P. Ericson. 2004. Evidence for a sister group relationship between the Madagascan mesites (Mesitornithidae) and the cuckoos (Cuculidae). Senckenbergiana Biologica 84 (1-2): 1-17.

[MS55] Mertens, R., & J. Steinbacher. 1955. Die im Senckenberg-Museum vorhandenen Arten ausgestorbener, aussterbender oder seltener Vögel. Senckenbergiana Biologica 36 (3-4): 241-265.

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

Ridgway, R. 1887. A Manual of North American Birds. J. B. Lippincott Company: Philadelphia.

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

[SU93] Sonobe, K., & S. Usui (eds.) 1993. A Field Guide to the Waterbirds of Asia. Wild Bird Society of Japan: Tokyo.

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

[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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