Phalacrocorax is a genus of fish-eating birds in the cormorant family Phalacrocoracidae.

Phalacrocorax carbo Vic.jpg
Great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Suliformes
Family: Phalacrocoracidae
Genus: Phalacrocorax
Brisson, 1760
Type species
Pelecanus carbo

See text


The genus Phalacrocorax was introduced by the French zoologist Mathurin Jacques Brisson in 1760 with the great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) as the type species.[1][2] Phalacrocorax is the Latin word for a "cormorant".[3]

The genus contains 22 species including one species that became extinct in the 19th century.[4]

A molecular phylogenetic study published in 2014 found that the genus Phalacrocorax was non-monophyletic and that a group of five species currently placed in this genus were more closely related to members of Leucocarbo. This group contained the rock shag, the double-crested cormorant, the neotropic cormorant, the flightless cormorant and the European shag.[5]


  1. ^ Brisson, Mathurin Jacques (1760). Ornithologie, ou, Méthode Contenant la Division des Oiseaux en Ordres, Sections, Genres, Especes & leurs Variétés (in French and Latin). Paris: Jean-Baptiste Bauche. Vol. 1, p. 60, Vol. 6, p. 511.
  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. 163.
  3. ^ Jobling, J.A. (2019). del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J.; Christie, D.A.; de Juana, E. (eds.). "Key to Scientific Names in Ornithology". Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  4. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2019). "Hamerkop, Shoebill, pelicans, boobies, cormorants". World Bird List Version 9.1. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  5. ^ Kennedy, M.; Spencer, H.G. (2014). "Classification of the cormorants of the world". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 79: 249–257. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2014.06.020. PMID 24994028.