Theristicus is a genus of birds in the family Threskiornithidae. They are found in open, grassy habitats in South America. All have a long, decurved dark bill, relatively short reddish legs that do not extend beyond the tail in flight (unlike e.g. Eudocimus and Plegadis), and at least the back is grey.

Theristicus melanopis 1 Frank Vassen.jpg
Black-faced ibis.
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Pelecaniformes
Family: Threskiornithidae
Subfamily: Threskiornithinae
Genus: Theristicus
Wagler, 1832
Type species
Geronticus melanopis
(Gmelin, 1789)[1]


The genus Theristicus was erected by the German naturalist Johann Georg Wagler in 1832 with the black-faced ibis (Theristicus melanopis) as the type species.[2][3] The name is from the Ancient Greek theristikos meaning "of reaping".[4]

Formerly, T. caudatus included T. melanopis as a subspecies, but today all major authorities accept the split.

Image Scientific name Common Name Distribution
  Theristicus caerulescens Plumbeous ibis south-western Brazil, especially in southern Mato Grosso and Rio Grande do Sul; Paraguay, especially in the Chaco and in the Paraguayan section of the Parana Basin; Uruguay; north-eastern Argentina and northern and eastern Bolivia
  Theristicus caudatus Buff-necked ibis northern and central South America in Colombia, Venezuela, the Guianas and Brazil
  Theristicus melanopis Black-faced ibis central Argentina and Chile
  Theristicus branickii Andean ibis western South America


  1. ^ G.R. Gray (1849). The genera of birds : comprising their generic characters, a notice of the habits of each genus, and an extensive list of species referred to their several genera. 3. Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans. p. 566.
  2. ^ Wagler, Johann Georg (1832). "Neue Sippen und Gattungen der Säugthiere und Vögel". Isis von Oken (in German and Latin). cols 1218–1235 [1231].
  3. ^ 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. 258. |volume= has extra text (help)
  4. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 384. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  • Matheu, E., & J. del Hoyo (1992). Family Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills). pp. 472–506 in: del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott, & J. Sargatal (editors). Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. 1. Ostrich to Ducks. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. ISBN 84-87334-10-5