Flightless steamer ducks Tachyeres pteneres, photographed by Nick Athanas.

Belongs within: Anatidae.
Contains: Mergini, Tadornini, Aythya, Anas.

The Anatinae include the majority of the ducks, the generally smaller-bodied, shorter-necked waterfowl. As a clade, the Anatinae are distinguished by the presence of asymmetrical syringeal bullae (Sorenson et al. 1999). Numerous tribes have been recognised within the Anatinae but the nature and circumscription of these tribes has often differed between classifications.

The dipping ducks of the tribe Anatini include the relatives of the type genus Anas. They have a simple claw on the hind toe without an associated lobe or flap and often have a patch of iridescent metallic feathers (the speculum) on the wing. Dipping ducks typically feed in shallow waters by tipping the body vertically with the tail directed upwards above the water. The diving ducks of the tribe Aythyini have a short, heavy body with large, widely separated legs and a strong lobe or flap on the hind toe, and commonly dive underwater to feed.

The tree ducks of the tribe Cairinini are so-called for their habit of nesting in hollows and roosting in trees; membership of this tribe has been particularly inconsistent but definite members include the muscovy duck Cairina moschata, mandarin duck Aix galericulata and wood duck Aix sponsa. Other ducks historically included in the Cairinini, such as the knob-billed duck Sarkidiornis melanotos and white-winged duck Asarcornis scutellata, have been placed separately by molecular phylogenetic analyses.

The freckled duck Stictonetta naevosa is an Australian duck with mottled plumage and a red base to the bill in the male.

<==Anatinae [Boschinae, Dafilinae, Marecinae, Merganettidae, Querquedulinae, Sibirionettinae, Spatulinae]
    |  i. s.: Salvadorina waigiuensisJT12
    |--Stictonetta Reichenbach 1853JT12, B94 [Stictonettinae, Stictonettini]
    |    `--S. naevosa (Gould 1840) [=Anas naevosa]WS48
    `--+--Merganetta Gould 1842BKB15, B94 [Merganettinae, Merganettini]
       |    `--M. armataBKB15
          |  `--+--TadorniniBKB15
          |     `--Cairinini [Cairininae]CS77
          |          |--Cairina Flemming 1822BKB15, B94
          |          |    `--C. moschata (Linnaeus 1758) [=Anas moschata]CC10
          |          `--Aix Boie 1828BKB15, B94 [incl. Dendronessa Wagler 1832M02; Aiginae]
          |               |--A. galericulata (Linnaeus 1758)CC10 (see below for synonymy)
          |               `--A. sponsa (Linnaeus 1758) [=Anas sponsa, Aex (l. c.) sponsa]CC10
          `--+--+--Chenonetta Brandt 1836BKB15, CC10 [incl. Euryanas Oliver 1930CC10; Chenonettinae]
             |  |    |--C. jubata (Latham 1802)CC10 (see below for synonymy)
             |  |    `--C. finschi (van Beneden 1875) [=Anas finschi, *Euryanas finschi, Euryanus (l. c.) finschi]CC10
             |  `--+--Hymenolaimus Gray 1843BKB15, CC10 (see below for synonymy)
             |     |    `--*H. malacorhynchos (Gmelin 1789) (see below for synonymy)CC10
             |     `--Callonetta Delacour 1936BKB15, B94 [Callonettinae]
             |          `--C. leucophrysBKB15
             `--+--Aythyini [Aythinini, Aythyinae, Fuligulinae, Marilinae, Nyrocinae]SC99
                |    |  i. s.: Rhodonessa Reichenbach 1853CS77, B94 [Rhodonessinae]
                |    |           `--R. caryophyllaceaJT12
                |    |--+--Marmaronetta angustirostris (Ménétries 1832)BKB15, CS77 [=Anas angustirostrisCS77]
                |    |  `--+--Pteronetta hartlaubiiBKB15
                |    |     `--Cyanochen Bonaparte 1856BKB15, B94 [Cyanocheninae]
                |    |          `--C. cyanopterusBKB15
                |    `--+--Asarcornis scutellataSC99 [=Cairina scutulataBKB15]
                |       `--Netta Kaup 1829BKB15, M02
                |            |  i. s.: N. erythrophthalmaJT12
                |            |--N. rufina (Pallas 1773)BKB15, M02 [=Anas rufinaM02]
                |            `--+--N. peposacaBKB15
                |               `--AythyaBKB15
                   |    |--Plectropterus Stephen 1824 [Plectropterinae]B94
                   |    |    `--P. gambensis (Linnaeus 1766)CS77
                   |    |         |--P. g. gambensisRN72
                   |    |         `--P. g. nigerRN72
                   |    `--Sarkidiornis Eyton 1838BKB15, B94 [Sarkidiornithinae]
                   |         `--S. melanotosBKB15 [=Anas melanotaS66; incl. Sarcidiornis africanaS66]
                   |              |--S. m. melanotosRN72
                   |              `--S. m. carunculatusRN72
                        |  i. s.: Pachyanas Oliver 1955CC10
                        |             `--*P. chathamica Oliver 1955CC10
                        |         Matanas Worthy, Tennyson et al. 2007CC10
                        |           `--*M. enrighti Worthy, Tennyson et al. 2007CC10
                        `--+--+--Lophonetta specularoidesBKB15
                           |  `--+--Tachyeres Owen 1875BKB15, B94 (see below for synonymy)
                           |     |    |--+--T. brachypterusBKB15
                           |     |    |  `--T. pteneresBKB15
                           |     |    `--+--T. leucocephalusBKB15
                           |     |       `--T. patachonicusBKB15
                           |     `--+--Speculanas specularisBKB15
                           |        `--Amazonetta von Boetticher 1929BKB15, B94 [Amazonettinae]
                           |             `--A. brasiliensisBKB15
                           |                  |--A. b. brasiliensisRN72
                           |                  `--A. b. ipecutiriRN72
                           `--+--‘Anas’ formosa Georgi 1775BKB15, CS77 [=Nettion formosumS05, Nettium formosumS05]
                              `--+--+--‘Anas’ punaBKB15 [=A. versicolor punaRN72]
                                 |  `--‘Anas’ versicolorBKB15
                                 |       |--A. v. versicolorRN72
                                 |       `--A. v. fretensisRN72
                                 `--+--Querquedula Stephens in Shaw 1824CC10
                                    |    |--*Q. querquedula (Linnaeus 1758)CC10, M02 [=Anas querquedulaBKB15]
                                    |    `--Q. cyanopteraPB27
                                    `--+--‘Anas’ hottentotaBKB15
                                       `--+--‘Anas’ plataleaBKB15
                                          `--+--+--‘Anas’ cyanopteraBKB15
                                             |  |    |--A. c. cyanopteraRN72
                                             |  |    |--A. c. borreroiRN72
                                             |  |    |--A. c. orinomusRN72
                                             |  |    |--A. c. septentrionaliumRN72
                                             |  |    `--A. c. tropicaRN72
                                             |  `--‘Anas’ discors Linnaeus 1766BKB15, CS77 (see below for synonymy)
                                             `--+--‘Anas’ smithiiBKB15
                                                `--Spatula Boie 1822 (see below for synonymy)CC10
                                                     |--*S. clypeata (Linnaeus 1758)CC10 (see below for synonymy)
                                                     `--S. rhynchotis (Latham 1802)CC10 (see below for synonymy)
Inorganic: Anas clypeata minilorientalis Okamura 1987O87

Aix galericulata (Linnaeus 1758)CC10 [=Anas galericulataCC10, Aex galericulataM01, Dendronessa galericulataM02]

‘Anas’ discors Linnaeus 1766BKB15, CS77 [=Querquedula discorsS18; incl. A. discors orphana Stewart & Aldrich 1956CS77]

Chenonetta jubata (Latham 1802)CC10 [=Anas jubataCC10, Bernicla jubataWH02; incl. Chenonetta jubata alexanderi Mathews 1916CC10, Anser lophotus Brandt 1836CC10, *Chenonetta lophotusCC10]

Hymenolaimus Gray 1843BKB15, CC10 [=Hymenolaemus Agassiz 1846CC10; incl. Malacorhynchos Wagler 1832 non Swainson 1831CC10; Hymenolaiminae]

*Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos (Gmelin 1789) [=Anas malacorhynchos, Fuligula (Hymenolaemus) malacorhyncha, Hymenolaemus malacorhynchus, Hymenolaimus malacorhynchus, Rhynchaspis malacorynchos; incl. *Malacorhynchus forsterorum Wagler 1832, Malacorynchus (l. c.) forsterorum, Hymenolaimus malacorhynchus hymenolaimus Mathews 1937, Anas malacoryncha Forster in Lichtenstein 1844]CC10

Spatula Boie 1822 [=Clypeata Lesson 1828, Rhynchaspis Stephens in Shaw 1824, Rhynchoplatus Berthold in Latreille 1827, Spathulea Fleming 1828]CC10

*Spatula clypeata (Linnaeus 1758)CC10 [=Anas clypeataBKB15, *Clypeata clypeataCC10, *Rhynchaspis clypeataCC10, *Rhynchoplatus clypeatusCC10, *Spathulea clypeataCC10]

Spatula rhynchotis (Latham 1802)CC10 [=Anas rhynchotisBKB15, Rhynchaspis rhynchotisCC10, Sptaula (l. c.) rhynchotisCC10; incl. Spatula rhynchotis dydimus Mathews 1916CC10, Spa. variegata Gould 1856CC10, Anas rhynchotis variegata non A. variegata Gmelin 1789 (not preoc. if in dif. gen.)CC10, Rhynchaspis variegataCC10, Spatula rhynchotis variegataCC10]

Tachyeres Owen 1875BKB15, B94 [incl. Micropterus Lesson 1828B94; Micropterinae, Tachyeresini, Tachyerinae, Tachyerini]

*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.

[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.

[CS77] Cramp, S., & K. E. L. Simmons (eds) 1977. Handbook of the Birds of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa: The Birds of the Western Palaearctic vol. 1. Ostrich to Ducks. Oxford University Press: Oxford.

[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.

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

[O87] Okamura, C. 1987. New facts: Homo and all Vertebrata were born simultaneously in the former Paleozoic in Japan. Original Report of the Okamura Fossil Laboratory 15: 347–573.

[PB27] Pilsbry, H. A., & J. Bequaert. 1927. The aquatic mollusks of the Belgian Congo, with a geographical and ecological account of Congo malacology. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 53 (2): 69–602, pls 10–77.

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

[S05] Schalow, H. 1905. Die Vögel der Arktis. In: Römer, F., & F. Schaudinn (eds) Fauna Arctica. Eine Zusammenstellun der arktischen Tierformen, mit besonder Berücksichtigung des Spitzbergen-Gebietes auf Grund der Ergebnisse der Deutschen Expedition in das Nördliche Eismeer im Jahre 1898 vol. 4 pp. 79–288. Gustav Fischer: Jena.

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

[SC99] Sorenson, M. D., A. Cooper, E. E. Paxinos, T. W. Quinn, H. F. James, S. L. Olson & R. C. Fleischer. 1999. Relationships of the extinct moa-nalos, flightless Hawaiian waterfowl, based on ancient DNA. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B—Biological Sciences 266: 2187–2193.

[S18] Stone, W. 1918. Birds of the Panama Canal Zone, with special reference to a collection made by Mr. Lindsey L. Jewel. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 70: 239–280.

[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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