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

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

The Charadriiformes include 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 example, the seedsnipe of the Thinocoridae are superficially partridge-like herbivorous birds found in alpine and steppe regions of South America. Molecular data supports their relationship with the plains-wanderer Pedionomus torquatus, a quail-like bird found in Australian grasslands.

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
    |    |--+--BurhinidaeBKB15
    |    |  `--+--Pluvianellus Gray 1846BKB15, B94 [Pluvianellidae, Pluvianellinae]
    |    |     |    `--P. socialisBKB15
    |    |     `--Chionis Forster 1788BKB15, B94 [Chionidae, Chionidides, Chionidoidea]
    |    |          |--C. albusBKB15
    |    |          `--C. minorBKB15
    |    `--+--Pluvianus Vieillot 1816BKB15, B94 [Pluvianidae, Pluvianinae]
    |       |    `--P. aegyptius (Linnaeus 1758) [incl. Charadrius melanocephalus Gmelin 1789]St05
    |       `--+--+--CharadriidaeBKB15
    |          |  `--+--RecurvirostridaeKF-V21
    |          |     `--+--HaematopusKF-V21
    |          |        `--Ibidorhyncha Vigors 1830-1831KF-V21, B94 [Ibidorhynchidae, Ibidorhynchinae]
    |          |             `--I. struthersiiBKB15
    |          `--+--‘Vanellus’ cinereusBKB15 [=Microsarcops cinereusT89]
    |             `--Pluvialis Brisson 1760BKB15, CC10 [incl. Squatarola Cuvier 1816CC10; Pluvialinae]
    |                  |--P. squatarola (Linnaeus 1758)BKB15, 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. apricariaM03
    |                        |    `--P. a. altifronsM03
    |                        `--P. fulva (Gmelin 1789)BKB15, CC10 (see below for synonymy)
       |  |  `--TurnipacidaeM05
       |  |       |--Cerestenia Mayr 2000M05
       |  |       |    `--*C. pulchrapenna Mayr 2000M02
       |  |       `--Turnipax Mayr 2000M05
       |  |            |--*T. dissipata Mayr 2000M02
       |  |            `--T. oechslerorum Mayr & Knopf 2007M09
       |  `--LariJT12
       |       |--+--GlareolidaeBKB15
       |       |  `--Dromas Paykull 1805BKB15, B94 (see below for synonymy)
       |       |       `--D. ardeolaBKB15
       |       `--Larides [Laroidea]LZ07
       |            |--LaridaeBKB15
       |            `--+--StercorariidaeBKB15
       |               `--AlcaeFP64
       |                    |--AlcidaeBKB15
       |                    `--Mancalla [Mancallidae, Mancallinae]FP64
       |                         `--M. cedrosensisM04
            |  i. s.: Paractitis bairdi Weigel 1963M09
            `--+--+--Pedionomus Gould 1841BKB15, B94 [Pedionomae, Pedionomidae]
               |  |    `--P. torquatusBKB15
               |  `--Thinocoridae [Thinocoroidea]BKB15
               |       |--Attagis Geoffroy St.-Hilaire & Lesson 1830 [Attagidae]B94
               |       |    |--A. gayiBKB15
               |       |    `--A. malouinusBKB15
               |       `--Thinocorus Eschscholtz 1829B94
               |            |--T. koepckeae Campbell 1979U93
               |            |--T. orbignyianusBKB15
               |            `--T. rumicivorus Eschscholtz 1829U93
                    `--Rostratulidae [Rhynchaeidae]BKB15
                         |--Nycticryphes semicollarisBKB15
                         `--Rostratula Vieillot 1816CC10 [incl. Rhynchaea Cuvier 1817B94]
                              |--*R. benghalensis (Linnaeus 1758) [=Rallus benghalensis]CC10
                              |--R. australis (Gould 1838)JT12, CC10 (see below for synonymy)
                              |--‘Rhynchaea’ capensisS66
                              |--R. minator Olson & Eller 1989B93
                              |--R. pulia Mlíkovský 1999M02
                              `--R. semicollarisJT12
Charadriiformes incertae sedis:
  Rhegminornis [Rhegminornithidae]FP64
    `--R. calobatesFP64
  Villetus Harrison & Walker 1976M05
    |--*V. grandis Harrison & Walker 1976M02
    `--V. waltoni Harrison & Walker 1976M02
  Stephanibyx coronatusRN72
  Lonchodytes [Lonchodytidae]OF80
    |--L. estesi Brodkorb 1963U93
    `--L. pterygius Brodkorb 1963U93

Dromas Paykull 1805BKB15, B94 [=Dromus (l. c.) non Simpson 1900B64; Ardeolidae, Dromadidae, Dromadoidea, Dromaides]

Pluvialis apricaria (Linnaeus 1758)BKB15, CC10 [=Charadrius apricariusCC10, incl. C. auratus Fischer & v. Pelzeln 1886Sc05, C. pluvialis Linnaeus 1766CC10, *Pluvialis pluvialisCC10]

Pluvialis dominica (Statius Müller 1776)BKB15, CC10 [=Charadrius dominicusCC10, P. dominicanus (l. c.)CC10, P. dominicusCC10; incl. Charadrius fulvus americanus Seebohm 1888Sc05]

Pluvialis fulva (Gmelin 1789)BKB15, CC10 [=Charadrius fulvusCC10, C. dominicus fulvusSc05, Luvialis (l. c.) dominicus fulvusCC10, P. dominica fulvaCC10, P. dominicus fulvusCC10; incl. C. virginianus Jardine & Selby 1830CC10, C. virginicus Lichtenstein 1823CC10, C. xanthocheilus Wagler 1827CC10]

Pluvialis squatarola (Linnaeus 1758)BKB15, CC10 [=Tringa squatarolaCC10, Charadrius squatarolaCC10, *Squatarola squatarolaCC10; incl. Tringa helvetica Linnaeus 1766CC10, Charadrius helveticusSc05, Squatarola helveticaCC10]

Rostratula australis (Gould 1838)JT12, CC10 [=Rhynchaea australisWS48, Ro. benghalensis australisWS48; incl. Ro. australis fitzroyi Mathews 1912WS48]

*Type species of generic name indicated


Baker, H. B. 1964. Dromus not a homonym. Nautilus 77 (4): 142.

[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.

[KF-V21] Kuhl, H., C. Frankl-Vilches, A. Bakker, G. Mayr, G. Nikolaus, S. T. Boerno, S. Klages, B. Timmermann & M. Gahr. 2021. An unbiased molecular approach using 3′-UTRs resolves the avian family-level tree of life. Molecular Biology and Evolution 38 (1): 108–127.

[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.

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.

[St05] 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.

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