Common tern Sterna hirundo, copyright Tony Hisgett.

Belongs within: Laridae.

Sterna is a cosmopolitan genus of terns here restricted to species closely related to the common tern S. hirundo, though it has historically been used to cover the majority of tern species. Members of this genus in the restricted sense are mostly pale grey above with reddish bill and legs, and often have a black cap.

<==Sterna Linnaeus 1758 CC10
    |--+--S. forsteri JT12
    |  `--S. trudeaui JT12
    `--+--*S. hirundo Linnaeus 1758 CC10, BKB15, CC10
       |    |--S. h. hirundo CC10
       |    |--S. h. longipennis Nordmann 1835 CC10
       |    |--S. h. minussensis HR96
       |    `--S. h. tibetana Saunders 1876 CC10
       `--+--+--S. paradisaea Pontoppidan 1763 BKB15, CC10 (see below for synonymy)
          |  `--+--S. hirundinacea Lesson 1831 JT12, P04
          |     `--S. vittata Gmelin 1789 JT12, CC10
          |          |--S. v. vittata CC10
          |          `--S. v. bethunei Travers 1896 (see below for synonymy) CC10
          `--+--S. sumatrana Raffles 1822 BKB15, CC10
             `--+--S. dougallii Montagu 1813 JT12, WS48
                |    |--S. d. dougallii WS48
                |    |--S. d. bangsi Mathews 1912 I92
                |    `--S. d. gracilis Gould 1845 WS48
                `--S. striata Gmelin 1789 JT12, CC10 (see below for synonymy)

Sterna incertae sedis:
  S. acuticauda JT12
  S. anglica R87
  S. aurantia JT12
  S. balaenarum JT12
  S. bernsteini JT12 [=Thalasseus bernsteini SU93]
  S. douglasii S66
  S. fluviatilis Naum. 1819 M01
  S. fuliginosa Gmelin 1789 CC10
  S. galericulata S66
  S. grisea Horsfield 1821 [=Hydrochelidon leucoptera grisea] CC10
  S. lorata JT12
  S. melanauchen [=Onychoprion melanauchen] W66
  S. melanogaster [=S. melanogastra] S89
  S. panayensis S66
  S. parva Ellman 1861 (n. d.) CC10
  S. repressa JT12
  S. saundersi JT12
  S. seena S89
  S. virgata JT12
  S. vulgaris Ellman 1861 (n. d.) CC10

Sterna paradisaea Pontoppidan 1763 JT12, CC10 [=S. paradisea (l. c.) CC10; incl. S. macrura Naumann 1819 CC10]

Sterna striata Gmelin 1789 JT12, CC10 [incl. S. albifrons Peale 1848 non Pallas in Vroeg 1764 CC10, S. atripes Ellman 1861 CC10, S. striata aucklandorna Mathews 1929 CC10, S. bethunei Buller 1896 non Travers 1896 CC10, S. striata bethunei CC10, S. striata christopheri Mathews 1912 CC10, S. frontalis Gray 1845 CC10, S. striata incerta Mathews 1912 CC10, S. melanorhyncha Gould 1848 non Sternula melanorhyncha Lesson 1847 CC10, S. striata melanorhyncha CC10, S. velox Gould 1843 non Cretzschmar 1827 CC10, S. striata yorki Mathews 1914 CC10]

Sterna vittata bethunei Travers 1896 [incl. S. vittata bollonsi Mathews & Iredale 1913, S. vittata macquariensis Falla 1937] CC10

*Type species of generic name indicated


[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.

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

[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.

[M01] Madarász, J. 1901. Madarak [Vögel]. In: Horváth, G. (ed.) Zichy Jenő Gróf Harmadik Ázsiai Utazása [Dritte Asiatische Forschungsreise des Grafen Eugen Zichy] vol. 2. Zichy Jenő Gróf Harmadik Ázsiai Utazásának Állattani Eredményei [Zoologische Ergebnisse der Dritten Asiatischen Forschungsreise des Grafen Eugen Zichy] pp. 21–39. Victor Hornyánszky: Budapest, and Karl W. Hierseman: Leipzig.

[P04] Palma, R. L. 2004. Designation of a lectotype for Docophorus atlanticus Kellogg, 1914 (Insecta: Phthiraptera: Philopteridae). Tuhinga 15: 13–16.

[R87] Ramsay, E. P. 1887. List of Western Australian birds collected by Mr. Cairn, and Mr. W. H. Boyer-Bower, at Derby and its vicinity, with remarks on the species. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, series 2, 1 (4): 1085–1100.

[S89] Salvadori, T. 1889. Viaggio di Leonardo Fea nella Birmania e nelle regioni vicine. XIX.—Uccelli raccolti nei Monti Carin a nord-est di Tounghoo, nel Pegù presso Rangoon e Tounghoo e nel Tenasserim presso Malewoon. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Genova, Serie 2a, 7: 369–438.

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

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

[W66] Walden, A. 1866. Notes on birds collected in Tennasserim and in the Andaman Islands. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1866: 537–556.

[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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