Hydropsalis is a genus of nightjars in the family Caprimulgidae. The species are widely distributed across the tropical and subtropical regions of the New World.

Scissor-tailed nightjar (Hydropsalis torquata)
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Clade: Strisores
Order: Caprimulgiformes
Family: Caprimulgidae
Subfamily: Caprimulginae
Genus: Hydropsalis
Wagler, 1832
Type species
Caprimulgus furcifer (scissor-tailed nightjar)
Vieillot, 1817



The genus Hydropsalis was introduced in 1832 by the German naturalist Johann Georg Wagler.[1] The type species was designated by George Robert Gray in 1855 as Caprimulgus furcifer Vieillot 1817.[2][3] This taxon is now considered as a subspecies of the scissor-tailed nightjar (Hydropsalis torquata).[4] The genus name combines the Ancient Greek hudro- meaning "water-" with psalis meaning "pair of scissors".[5]

The genus contains four species:[4]


  1. ^ Wagler, Johann Georg (1832). "Neue Sippen und Gattungen der Säugthiere und Vögel". Isis von Oken (in German). 1832. cols 1218–1235 [1222].
  2. ^ Gray, George Robert (1855). Catalogue of the Genera and Subgenera of Birds Contained in the British Museum. London: British Museum. p. 11.
  3. ^ Peters, James Lee, ed. (1940). Check-List of Birds of the World. Vol. 4. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. p. 217.
  4. ^ a b Gill, Frank; Donsker, David; Rasmussen, Pamela, eds. (January 2022). "Frogmouths, Oilbird, potoos, nightjars". IOC World Bird List Version 12.1. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 7 July 2022.
  5. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 197. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.