Threskiornis is a genus of ibises, wading birds of the family Threskiornithidae. They occur in the warmer parts of the Old World in southern Asia, Australasia and Sub-Saharan Africa. They are colonial breeders, which build a stick nest in a tree or bush and lay two to four eggs. They occur in marshy wetlands and feed on various fish, frogs, crustaceans and insects.

AustralianWhiteIbis gobeirne.jpg
Australian white ibis, Darling Harbour, Sydney
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Pelecaniformes
Family: Threskiornithidae
Genus: Threskiornis
G.R. Gray, 1842
Type species
Tantalus aethiopicus
Latham, 1790

T. aethiopicus
T. bernieri
T. melanocephalus
T. molucca
T. solitarius
T. spinicollis


Adult Threskiornis ibises are typically 75 cm long and have white body plumage. The bald head, neck and legs are black. The bill is thick and curved. Sexes are similar, but juveniles have whiter necks duller plumage. The straw-necked ibis differs from the other species in having dark upperparts, and is some times placed in the separate genus Carphibis (Jameson, 1835) as Carphibis spinicollis. A flightless species, the Reunion ibis, became extinct in the 18th century.


Image Scientific name Common Name Distribution
  T. aethiopicus African sacred ibis Sub-Saharan Africa, southeastern Iraq, and formerly in Egypt
  T. bernieri Malagasy sacred ibis Madagascar
  T. melanocephalus Black-headed ibis Northern India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka east up to Japan
  T. moluccus Australian white ibis Eastern, northern and south-western Australia
  T. spinicollis Straw-necked ibis Australia (except parts of Western Australia, South Australia, and south-west Tasmania), Indonesia and New Guinea
  T. solitarius Reunion ibis Extinct, lived on Réunion island


  • Lowe, Kim W. & Richards, Geraldine C. (1991). "Morphological variation in the Sacred Ibis Threskiornis aethiopicus superspecies complex". Emu. 91 (1): 41–45. doi:10.1071/MU9910041.