Anas is a genus of dabbling ducks. It includes the pintails, most teals, and the mallard and its close relatives. It formerly included additional species but following the publication of a molecular phylogenetic study in 2009 the genus was split into four separate genera. The genus now contains 31 living species. The name Anas is the Latin for "duck".

Female mallard nest - natures pics edit2.jpg
Female mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) with brood of young
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Tribe: Anatini
Genus: Anas
Linnaeus, 1758
Type species
Anas platyrhynchos

31 extant, see text

  • Querquedula
  • Punanetta


The genus Anas was introduced by the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus in 1758 in the tenth edition of his Systema Naturae.[1][2] Anas is the Latin word for a duck.[3] The genus formerly included additional species. In 2009 a large molecular phylogentic study was published that compared mitochondrial DNA sequences from ducks, geese and swans in the family Anatidae. The results confirmed some of the conclusions of earlier smaller studies and indicated that the genus as then defined was non-monophyletic.[4] Based on the results of this study, Anas was split into four proposed monophyletic genera with five species including the wigeons transferred to the resurrected genus Mareca, ten species including the shovelers and some teals transferred to the resurrected genus Spatula and the Baikal teal placed in the monotypic genus Sibirionetta.[5]


There are 31 extant species recognised in the genus:[5]

Image Common Name Scientific name Distribution
  African black duck Anas sparsa eastern and southern sub-Saharan Africa from South Africa n north to South Sudan and Ethiopia with outlying populations in western equatorial Africa, in south east Nigeria, Cameroon and Gabon.
  Yellow-billed duck Anas undulata southern and eastern Africa.
  Meller's duck Anas melleri eastern Madagascar.
  Pacific black duck Anas superciliosa Indonesia, New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, and many islands in the southwestern Pacific, reaching to the Caroline Islands in the north and French Polynesia in the east
  Laysan duck Anas laysanensis Hawaiian Islands
  Hawaiian duck Anas wyvilliana Hawaiian islands
  Philippine duck Anas luzonica the Philippines
  Indian spot-billed duck Anas poecilorhyncha Pakistan and India
  Eastern spot-billed duck Anas zonorhyncha Southeast Asia
  Mallard Anas platyrhynchos Alaska to Mexico, the Hawaiian Islands, across Eurasia, from Iceland and southern Greenland and parts of Morocco (North Africa) in the west, Scandinavia and Britain to the north, and to Siberia, Japan, and South Korea, in the east, south-eastern and south-western Australia and New Zealand
  Mottled duck Anas fulvigula Gulf of Mexico coast between Alabama and Tamaulipas (Mexico) and Florida
  American black duck Anas rubripes Saskatchewan to the Atlantic in Canada and the Great Lakes and the Adirondacks in the United States
  Mexican duck Anas diazi Mexico and the southern United States.
  Cape teal Anas capensis sub-Saharan Africa
  White-cheeked pintail Anas bahamensis Caribbean, South America, and the Galápagos Islands
  Red-billed teal Anas erythrorhyncha southern and eastern Africa
  Yellow-billed pintail Anas georgica South America, the Falkland Islands and South Georgia
  Eaton's pintail Anas eatoni island groups of Kerguelen and Crozet in the southern Indian Ocean
  Northern pintail Anas acuta Europe, Asia and North America
  Eurasian teal Anas crecca northern Eurasia
  Green-winged teal Anas carolinensis North America except on the Aleutian Islands
  Yellow-billed teal Anas flavirostris Argentina, the Falkland Islands, Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Uruguay, and Brazil.
  Andean teal Anas andium (formerly included in A. flavirostris) Andean highlands of Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador
  Sunda teal Anas gibberifrons Indonesia.
  Andaman teal Anas albogularis (formerly included in A. gibberifrons) Andaman Islands (India) and Great Coco Island (Burma)
  Grey teal Anas gracilis Australia and New Zealand
  Chestnut teal Anas castanea Tasmania and southern Victoria, New Guinea and Lord Howe Island
  Bernier's teal Anas bernieri Madagascar
  Brown teal Anas chlorotis New Zealand
  Auckland teal Anas aucklandica Auckland Islands south of New Zealand
  Campbell teal Anas nesiotis (formerly included in A. aucklandica) New Zealand

Extinct Species

Formerly placed in Anas:


Cladogram based on the analysis of Gonzalez and colleagues published in 2009.[4]


Auckland teal (A. aucklandica)

Brown teal (A. chlorotis)

Bernier's teal (A. bernieri)

Chestnut teal (A. castanea)

Sunda teal (A. gibberifrons)

Yellow-billed teal (A. flavirostris)

Green-winged teal (A. carolinensis)

Eurasian teal (A. crecca)

Northern pintail (A. acuta)

Yellow-billed pintail (A. georgica)

Red-billed teal (A. erythrorhyncha)

White-cheeked pintail (A. bahamensis)

Cape teal (A. capensis)

Mexican duck (A. diazi)

American black duck (A. rubripes)

Mottled duck (A. fulvigula)

Mallard (A. platyrhynchos)

Indian spot-billed duck (A. poecilorhyncha)

Philippine duck (A. luzonica)

Laysan duck (A. laysanensis)

Pacific black duck (A. superciliosa)

Meller's duck (A. melleri)

Yellow-billed duck (A. undulata)

African black duck (A. sparsa)

Fossil recordEdit

Anas blanchardi fossil

A number of fossil species of Anas have been described. Their relationships are often undetermined:

  • Anas sp. (Late Miocene of China)
  • Anas sp. (mid-sized species from the Late Miocene of Rudabánya, Hungary)[6]
  • Anas amotape (Campbell 1979) (Talara Tar Seeps Late Pleistocene of Peru)
  • Anas bunkeri (Wetmore 1944) (Early -? Middle Pliocene – Early Pleistocene of WC USA) – Nettion red-and-green head clade?[7]
  • Anas cheuen Agnolín 2006 (Early-Middle Pleistocene of Argentina) – Dafila?
  • Anas elapsum (Chinchilla Late Pleistocene of Condamine River, Australia) ("Nettion")
  • Anas ganii (Late Pliocene/Early Pleistocene of Tchichmiknaia, Moldavia)
  • Anas gracilipes (Late Pleistocene of Australia) (likely junior synonym of Anas castanea)
  • Anas greeni (Brodkorb 1964) (Ash Hollow Late Miocene?/Early Pliocene of South Dakota, USA) – Nettion red-and-green head clade (doubtful)?
  • Anas itchtucknee McCoy 1963
  • Anas kisatibiensis [Anser kisatibiensis] (Early Pliocene of Kisatibi, Georgia)
  • Anas kurochkini Zelenkov & Panteleyev 2015
  • Anas lambrechti [Archaeoquerquedula lambrechti Stephens; Querquedula lambrechti; Archeoquerquedula Spillman 1942]
  • Anas ogallalae (Brodkorb 1962) (Ogallala Late Miocene?/Early Pliocene of Kansas, USA) – Nettion red-and-green head clade (doubtful)?[8]
  • Bermuda Islands flightless duckAnas pachyscelus Wetmore 1960 (Shore Hills Late Pleistocene of Bermuda, W Atlantic)
  • Anas pullulans (Juntura Late Miocene?/Early Pliocene of Juntura, Malheur County, Oregon, USA) – Punanetta?
  • Anas schneideri Emslie 1985 (Late Pleistocene of Little Box Elder Cave, USA)[9]
  • Anas sansaniensis Milne-Edwards 1868 [Dendrocygna sansaniensis (Milne-Edwards 1868) Mlíkovský 1988]
  • Anas strenuum (Late Pleistocene of Patteramordu, Australia) ("Nettion")

Several prehistoric waterfowl supposedly part of the Anas assemblage are nowadays not placed in this genus anymore, at least not with certainty:

  • "Anas" basaltica (Late Oligocene of "Warnsdorf", Czech Republic) is apparently an indeterminate heron.[10]
  • "Anas" blanchardi, "A." consobrina, "A." natator are now in Mionetta
  • "Anas" creccoides (Early-mid Oligocene of Belgium), "A." risgoviensis (Late Miocene of Bavaria, Germany) and "A." skalicensis (Early Miocene of "Skalitz", Czech Republic), though possibly anseriform, cannot be placed with any certainty among modern birds at all.[10][11]
  • "Anas" albae (Late Miocene of Polgárdi, Hungary), "A." eppelsheimensis (Early Pliocene of Eppelsheim, Germany),[7] "A." isarensis (Late Miocene of Aumeister, Germany) and "A." luederitzensis (Kalahari Early Miocene of Lüderitzbucht, Namibia) are apparently Anatidae of unclear affiliations; the first might be a seaduck.[10]
  • "Anas" integra and "A." oligocaena are now in Dendrochen.
  • "Anas" lignitifila from the Late Miocene of Tuscana has been moved to its own genus, Bambolinetta, being a highly unusual marine waterfowl.
  • "Anas" robusta is now tentatively placed in Anserobranta.
  • "Anas" velox (Middle – Late? Miocene of C Europe) and "A." meyerii (Middle Miocene of Öhningen, Germany; possibly the same species) do not seem to belong Anas, and they may be ancestral dabbling ducks.[10]

Highly problematic, albeit in a theoretical sense, is the placement of the moa-nalos. These are in may be derived from a common ancestor of the Pacific black duck, the Laysan duck, and the mallard, and an unknown amount of other lineages. Phylogenetically, they may even form a clade within the traditional genus Anas.[12] However, as opposed to these species – which are well representative of dabbling ducks in general – the moa-nalos are the most radical departure from the anseriform bauplan known to science. This illustrates that in a truly evolutionary sense, a strictly phylogenetic taxonomy may be difficult to apply.[citation needed]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Linnaeus, C. (1758). Systema Naturæ per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis, Volume 1 (in Latin) (10th ed.). Holmiae:Laurentii Salvii. p. 122.
  2. ^ Mayr, Ernst; Cottrell, G. William, eds. (1979). Check-list of Birds of the World. Volume 1 (2nd ed.). Cambridge, Massachusetts: Museum of Comparative Zoology. p. 460. |volume= has extra text (help)
  3. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 46. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  4. ^ a b Gonzalez, J.; Düttmann, H.; Wink, M. (2009). "Phylogenetic relationships based on two mitochondrial genes and hybridization patterns in Anatidae". Journal of Zoology. 279 (3): 310–318. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.2009.00622.x.
  5. ^ a b Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2017). "Screamers, ducks, geese & swans". World Bird List Version 7.3. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  6. ^ Bernor, R.L.; Kordos, L.; Rook, L. "Recent Advances on Multidisciplinary Research at Rudabánya, Late Miocene (MN9), Hungary: A compendium" (PDF). Paleontographica Italiana. 89: 3–36. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-06-28.
  7. ^ a b Brodkorb, Pierce (1958). "Birds From the Middle Pliocene of Mckay, Oregon". Condor. 60 (4): 252–255. doi:10.2307/1365194. JSTOR 1365194.
  8. ^ Wilson, R. L. (1968). "Systematics and faunal analysis of a Lower Pliocene vertebrate assemblage from Trego County, Kansas". Contrib. Mus. Paleontol. Univ. Mich. 22 (7): 75–126.
  9. ^ Emslie, Steven D. (1985). "A New Species of Teal From the Pleistocene (Rancholabrean) of Wyoming". Auk. 102 (1): 201–205. doi:10.2307/4086849. JSTOR 4086849.
  10. ^ a b c d Worthy, T. H.; Tennyson, A. J. D.; Jones, C.; McNamara, J. A.; Douglas, B. J. (2007). "Miocene waterfowl and other birds from central Otago, New Zealand" (PDF). J. Syst. Palaeontol. 5 (1): 1–39. doi:10.1017/S1477201906001957. hdl:2440/43360.
  11. ^ Brodkorb, Pierce (1962). "The Systematic Position of Two Oligocene Birds From Belgium". Auk. 79 (4): 706–707. doi:10.2307/4082652. JSTOR 4082652.
  12. ^ Sorenson, M. D.; Cooper, A.; Paxinos, E. E.; Quinn, T. W.; James, H. F.; Olson, S. L.; Fleischer, R. C. (1999). "Relationships of the extinct moa-nalos, flightless Hawaiian waterfowl, based on ancient DNA". Proceedings: Biological Sciences. 266 (1434): 2187–93. doi:10.1098/rspb.1999.0907. PMC 1690346. PMID 10649633.

External linksEdit

  •   Media related to Anas at Wikimedia Commons
  •   Data related to Anas at Wikispecies