Tringa

Tringa is a genus of waders, containing the shanks and tattlers. The genus name Tringa is the New Latin name given to the green sandpiper by Aldrovandus in 1599 based on Ancient Greek trungas, a thrush-sized, white-rumped, tail-bobbing wading bird mentioned by Aristotle.[1]

They are mainly freshwater birds, often with brightly coloured legs as reflected in the English names of six species, as well as the specific names of two of these and the green sandpiper. They are typically associated with northern hemisphere temperate regions for breeding. Some of this group—notably the green sandpiper—nest in trees, using the old nests of other birds, usually thrushes.

The willet and the tattlers have been found to belong in Tringa; these genus changes were formally adopted by the American Ornithologists' Union in 2006.[2]

The present genus in the old, more limited sense was even further subdivided into Tringa proper and Totanus, either as subgenera or as full genera. The available DNA sequence data suggests however that neither of these is monophyletic and that the latter simply lumps together a number of more of less closely related apomorphic species. Therefore it seems unwarranted to recognize Totanus even as a subgenus for the time being.[3]

Tringa
Common Greenshank & Common Redshank
Common greenshank (Tringa nebularia) and common redshank (Tringa totanus) at Cuckmere Haven, Sussex, England
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Scolopacidae
Genus: Tringa
Linnaeus, 1758
Species

13, see text

Synonyms
  • Catatrophorus Jardine, 1849 (unjustified emendation)
  • Catoptophorus Des Murs, 1854 (unjustified emendation)
  • Catoptrophonus Gray, 1871 (unjustified emendation)
  • Catoptrophorus Bonaparte, 1827
  • Catorthrophorus Brehm, 1855 (unjustified emendation)
  • Catroptophorus Giebel, 1877 (unjustified emendation)
  • Helodromas
  • Heteroscelus Baird, 1858
  • Pseudototanus
  • Rhyacophilus Kaup, 1829
  • Rhyacophorus Bonaparte, 1842 (unjustified emendation)
  • Rhyacophylus Lillo, 1905 (unjustified emendation)
  • Rhynchophilus Bonaparte, 1856 (unjustified emendation)
  • Rhyncophilus Des Murs, 1854 (unjustified emendation)
  • Rhyocophilus Bonaparte, 1854 (unjustified emendation)
  • Totanus Bechstein, 1803
  • Trynga Möhring, 1758 (suppressed)

Species in taxonomic order

These are listed in systematic sequence:

Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus) at Bharatpur I IMG 5552

Tringa legs are either red (spotted redshank, T. erythropus), ...

Lesser Yellowlegs

... yellow (lesser yellowlegs, T. flavipes), ...

Tringa nebularia0

... pale green (common greenshank, T. nebularia), ...

Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus) at Bharatpur I IMG 5691

... or ochre (green sandpiper, T. ochropus)

Systematics and evolution

WanderingTattler23
Wandering tattler (Tringa incana), formerly in Heteroscelus
Catoptrophorus-semipalmatus-001
Willet (Tringa semipalmata), formerly in monotypic Catoptrophorus

The shanks' and tattlers' closest relatives are sandpipers of the genera Actitis and Xenus. Together with these, they are related to the phalaropes, as well as the turnstones and calidrids.[4] The large genus Tringa and the two very small genera which are most closely related form a phylogeny similar to the situation found in many other shorebird lineages such as calidrids, snipes and woodcocks, or gulls.

The same study[4] has indicated that some morphological characters such as details of the furcula and pelvis have evolved convergently and are no indicators of close relationship. Similarly, the leg/foot color wildly varies between close relatives, with the spotted redshank, the greater yellowlegs, and the common greenshank for example being more closely related among each other than to any other species in the group; the ancestral coloration of the legs and feet was fairly certainly drab buffish as in e.g. the green sandpiper. On the other hand, the molecular phylogeny reveals that the general habitus and size as well as the overall plumage pattern are good indicators of an evolutionary relationship in this group.

The Nordmann's greenshank, a rare and endangered species, was not available for molecular analyses. It is fairly aberrant and was formerly placed in the monotypic genus Pseudototanus. It appears closest overall to the semipalmata-flavipes and the stagnatilis-totanus-glareola groups, though it also has some similarities to the greater yellowlegs and common greenshank.

Fossil record[5]

Fossil shanks are known since the Miocene, possibly even since the Eo-/Oligocene some 33-30 million years ago (mya) which would be far earlier than most extant genera of birds. However, it is uncertain whether Tringa edwardsi indeed belongs into the present-day genus or is a distinct, ancestral form. The time of the Tringa-Actitis-Xenus-Phalaropus divergence has been tentatively dated at 22 mya, the beginning of the Miocene;[6] even if the dating is largely conjectural, it suggests that T. edwardsi does indeed not belong into the modern genus. Molecular dating[7]—which is not too reliable, however—indicates that the diversification into the known lineages occurred between 20 and 5 mya. The fossil record contains species formerly separated in Totanus from the Early Miocene onwards. Although these are usually known from very scant remains, the fact that apparently apomorphic Tringa as well as a putative phalarope are known from about 23-22 mya indicates that the shank-phalarope group had already diverged into the modern genera by the start of the Miocene. The biogeography of living and fossil species—notably, the rarity of the latter in well-researched North American sites—seems to suggest that Tringa originated in Eurasia. Time and place neatly coincide with the disappearance of the last vestiges of the Turgai Sea, and this process may well have been a major factor in the separation of the genera in the shank-phalarope clade. Still, scolopacids are very similar osteologically, and many of the early fossils of presumed shanks require revaluation.[5]

  •  ?Tringa edwardsi (Quercy Late Eocene/Early Oligocene of Mouillac, France)
  •  ?Tringa gracilis (Early Miocene of WC Europe) – calidrid?
  •  ?Tringa lartetianus (Early Miocene of Saint-Gérand-le-Puy, France)
  • Tringa spp. (Early Miocene of Ravolzhausen, Germany – Early Pleistocene of Europe)[8]
  •  ?Tringa grivensis (Middle Miocene of Grive-Saint-Alban, France)
  •  ?Tringa majori (Middle Miocene of Grive-Saint-Alban, France)
  •  ?Tringa minor (Middle Miocene of Grive-Saint-Alban, France) – includes "Erolia" ennouchii; calidriid?
  •  ?Tringa grigorescui (Middle Miocene of Ciobăniţa, Romania)
  •  ?Tringa scarabellii (Late Miocene of Senigallia, Italy)
  • Tringa sp. 1 (Late Miocene/Early Pliocene of Lee Creek Mine, USA)
  • Tringa sp. 2 (Late Miocene/Early Pliocene of Lee Creek Mine, USA)
  •  ?Tringa numenioides (Early Pliocene of Odessa, Ukraine)
  • Tringa antiqua (Late Pliocene of Meade County, USA)
  • Tringa ameghini (Late Pleistocene of Talara Tar Seeps, Peru)

"Tringa" hoffmanni is now in Ludiortyx. While its relationships are disputed, it was not a charadriiform.

See also

Footnotes

  1. ^ Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 390. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  2. ^ Pereira & Baker (2005), Banks et al. (2006)
  3. ^ Ballmann (1969), Pereira & Baker (2005)
  4. ^ a b van Tuinen et al. (2004)
  5. ^ a b Mlíkovský (2002)
  6. ^ Paton et al. (2003)
  7. ^ Pereira & Baker (2005)
  8. ^ Apparently at least three species at Stránská skála (Czech Republic, Early Pleistocene) for example: Mlíkovský (2002)

References

Common greenshank

The common greenshank (Tringa nebularia) is a wader in the large family Scolopacidae, the typical waders. The genus name Tringa is the New Latin name given to the green sandpiper by Aldrovandus in 1599 based on Ancient Greek trungas, a thrush-sized, white-rumped, tail-bobbing wading bird mentioned by Aristotle. The specific nebularia is from Latin nebula "mist". Like the Norwegian Skoddefoll, this refers to the greenshank's damp marshy habitat.

Common redshank

The common redshank or simply redshank (Tringa totanus) is a Eurasian wader in the large family Scolopacidae. The genus name Tringa is the New Latin name given to the green sandpiper by Aldrovandus in 1599 based on Ancient Greek trungas, a thrush-sized, white-rumped, tail-bobbing wading bird mentioned by Aristotle. The specific totanus is from Tótano, the Italian name for this bird.

Common sandpiper

The common sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos) is a small Palearctic wader. This bird and its American sister species, the spotted sandpiper (A. macularia), make up the genus Actitis. They are parapatric and replace each other geographically; stray birds of either species may settle down with breeders of the other and hybridize. Hybridization has also been reported between the common sandpiper and the green sandpiper, a basal species of the closely related shank genus Tringa.

Greater yellowlegs

The greater yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca) is a large North American shorebird. The genus name Tringa is the New Latin name given to the green sandpiper by Aldrovandus in 1599 based on Ancient Greek trungas, a thrush-sized, white-rumped, tail-bobbing wading bird mentioned by Aristotle. The specific melanoleuca is from Ancient Greek melas, "black", and leukos, "white".The greater yellowlegs is similar in appearance to the smaller lesser yellowlegs. Its closest relative, however, is the greenshank, which together with the spotted redshank form a close-knit group. Among them, these three species show all the basic leg and foot colors found in the shanks, demonstrating that this character is paraphyletic. They are also the largest shanks apart from the willet, which is altogether more robustly built. The greater yellowlegs and the greenshank share a coarse, dark, and fairly crisp breast pattern as well as much black on the shoulders and back in breeding plumage.

Adults have long yellow legs and a long, thin, dark bill which has a slight upward curve and is longer than the head. The body is grey-brown on top and white underneath; the neck and breast are streaked with dark brown. The rump is white. It ranges in length from 29 to 40 cm (11 to 16 in) and in weight from 111 to 250 g (3.9 to 8.8 oz).

Their breeding habitat is bogs and marshes in the boreal forest region of Canada and Alaska. They nest on the ground, usually in well-hidden locations near water. The three to four eggs average 50 mm (2.0 in) in length and 33 mm (1.3 in) in breadth and weigh about 28 g (0.99 oz). The incubation period is 23 days. The young leave the nest within 24 hours of hatching and then leave the vicinity of the nest within two days.

They migrate to the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the United States and south to South America. They are very rare vagrants to western Europe.

These birds forage in shallow water, sometimes using their bills to stir up the water. They mainly eat insects and small fish, as well as crustaceans and marine worms. It often walks in sand or mud and leaves clear tracks; it can be possible to gather information about this species using its tracks.

The call is harsher than that of the lesser yellowlegs.

Large sandpipers were once popular game for bird hunters. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, many a fashionable restaurant featured gourmet meals with willet or curlew. Now shorebirds are protected, but only after many species were brought to the edge of extinction. The common names of large pipers often derive from the hunting era. Yellowlegs, for instance, are also called tattlers because these high-strung birds would be the first to raise a noisy alarm when shooters were spotted.

Green sandpiper

The green sandpiper (Tringa ochropus) is a small wader (shorebird) of the Old World. The genus name Tringa is the New Latin name given to the green sandpiper by Aldrovandus in 1599 based on Ancient Greek trungas, a thrush-sized, white-rumped, tail-bobbing wading bird mentioned by Aristotle. The specific ochropus is from Ancient Greek okhros, "ochre", and pous, "foot".The green sandpiper represents an ancient lineage of the genus Tringa; its only close living relative is the solitary sandpiper (T. solitaria). They both have brown wings with little light dots and a delicate but contrasting neck and chest pattern. In addition, both species nest in trees, unlike most other scolopacids.Given its basal position in Tringa, it is fairly unsurprising that suspected cases of hybridisation between this species and the common sandpiper (A. hypoleucos) of the sister genus Actitis have been reported.

Grey-tailed tattler

The grey-tailed tattler or Polynesian tattler, Tringa brevipes (formerly Heteroscelus brevipes) is a small, foraging shorebird in the genus Tringa. The English name for the tattlers refers to their noisy call. The genus name Tringa is the New Latin name given to the green sandpiper by Aldrovandus in 1599 based on Ancient Greek trungas, a thrush-sized, white-rumped, tail-bobbing wading bird mentioned by Aristotle. The specific brevipes is from Latin brevis, "short", and pes, "foot".This tattler breeds in northeast Siberia. After breeding, they migrate to an area from southeast Asia to Australia.

Lesser yellowlegs

The lesser yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes) is a medium-sized shorebird. The genus name Tringa is the New Latin name given to the green sandpiper by Aldrovandus in 1599 based on Ancient Greek trungas, a thrush-sized, white-rumped, tail-bobbing wading bird mentioned by Aristotle. The specific flavipes is from Latin flavus, "yellow", and pes, "foot".This species is similar in appearance to the larger greater yellowlegs, although it is more closely related to the much larger willet; the fine, clear and dense pattern of the neck shown in breeding plumage indicates these species' actual relationships.

A medium-large shorebird, the lesser yellowlegs measures 27 cm (11 in). The legs are yellow. Compared to the greater yellowlegs, the bill is shorter (visually about the same length as the head), slim, straight, and uniformly dark. The breast is streaked and the flanks are finely marked with short bars.Their breeding habitat is clearings near ponds in the boreal forest region from Alaska to Quebec. They nest on the ground, usually in open dry locations.

They migrate to the Gulf coast of the United States and south to South America.

This species is a regular vagrant to western Europe; in Great Britain about five birds arrive each year, mostly between August and October, with the occasional individual overwintering.

These birds forage in shallow water, sometimes using their bill to stir up the water. They mainly eat insects, small fish and crustaceans.

The call of this bird is softer than that of the greater yellowlegs.

Marsh sandpiper

The marsh sandpiper (Tringa stagnatilis) is a small wader. It is a rather small shank, and breeds in open grassy steppe and taiga wetlands from easternmost Europe to central Asia. The genus name Tringa is the New Latin name given to the green sandpiper by Aldrovandus in 1599 based on Ancient Greek trungas, a thrush-sized, white-rumped, tail-bobbing wading bird mentioned by Aristotle. The specific stagnatilis is from Latin stagnum, "swamp".

Nordmann's greenshank

The Nordmann's greenshank or spotted greenshank (Tringa guttifer) is a wader in the large family Scolopacidae, the typical waders.

Northern lapwing

The northern lapwing (Vanellus vanellus), also known as the peewit or pewit, tuit or tew-it, green plover, or (in Britain and Ireland) just lapwing, is a bird in the lapwing family. It is common through temperate Eurasia.

It is highly migratory over most of its extensive range, wintering further south as far as north Africa, northern India, Pakistan, and parts of China. It migrates mainly by day, often in large flocks. Lowland breeders in westernmost areas of Europe are resident. It occasionally is a vagrant to North America, especially after storms, as in the Canadian sightings after storms in December 1927 and in January 1966.It is a wader that breeds on cultivated land and other short vegetation habitats. 3–4 eggs are laid in a ground scrape. The nest and young are defended noisily and aggressively against all intruders, up to and including horses and cattle.

In winter, it forms huge flocks on open land, particularly arable land and mud-flats.

Solitary sandpiper

The solitary sandpiper (Tringa solitaria) is a small shorebird. The genus name Tringa is the New Latin name given to the green sandpiper by Aldrovandus in 1599 based on Ancient Greek trungas, a thrush-sized, white-rumped, tail-bobbing wading bird mentioned by Aristotle. The specific solitaria is Latin for "solitary" from solus, "alone".

Spotted redshank

The spotted redshank (Tringa erythropus) is a wader (shorebird) in the large bird family Scolopacidae. The genus name Tringa is the New Latin name given to the green sandpiper by Aldrovandus in 1599 based on Ancient Greek trungas, a thrush-sized, white-rumped, tail-bobbing wading bird mentioned by Aristotle. The specific erythropus is from Ancient Greek eruthros, "red", and pous, "foot".It breeds across northern Scandinavia and northern Asia and migrates south to the Mediterranean, the southern British Isles, France, tropical Africa, and tropical Asia for the winter. It is an occasional vagrant to Australia and North America.

Spotted sandpiper

The spotted sandpiper (Actitis macularius) is a small shorebird, 18–20 cm (7.1–7.9 in) long. The genus name Actitis is from Ancient Greek aktites, "coast-dweller", derived from akte, "coast", and macularius is Latin from macula, "spot".

Tattler (bird)

The tattlers are the two very similar bird species in the shorebird genus Tringa. They formerly had their own genus, Heteroscelus. The old genus name means "different leg" in Greek, referring to the leg scales that differentiate the tattlers from their close relatives, the shanks.

The species are:

Grey-tailed tattler, Tringa brevipes (formerly Heteroscelus brevipes)

Wandering tattler, Tringa incana (formerly Heteroscelus incanus)Tattlers resemble a common redshank (T. totanus) in shape and size, but not in color. Their upper parts, underwings, face and neck are greyish, and the belly and the weak supercilium are white, with some greyish streaking on the underside in breeding plumage. They have short yellowish legs and a bill with a pale base and dark tip.

Certain identification to species depends on details like the length of the nasal groove and scaling on the tarsus. Birds in breeding plumage can also (with some experience) be identified by the underside pattern: the grey-tailed tattler has fine barring on throat, breast and flanks only, which appear light grey from a distance; the rest of the underside is pure white. The wandering tattler has a coarser barring, still visible from quite far away, all the way from the throat to the undertail coverts. In non-breeding plumage, observers with much experience will note that the wandering tattler is an overall darker bird with very weak supercilia, whereas the grey-tailed tattler is lighter – particularly on the face, due to their stronger supercilia. Their normal calls also differ strongly; the grey-tailed tattler has a disyllabic whistle, whereas the wandering tattler has a rippling trill. But when they flee from the observer or are otherwise startled or excited, both species alike give a variety of longer or shorter alarm calls.Tattlers are strongly migratory and winter in the tropics and subtropics on muddy and sandy coasts. These are not particularly gregarious birds and are seldom seen in large flocks except at roosts. These birds forage on the ground or water, picking up food by sight. They eat insects, crustaceans and other invertebrates.Their breeding habitat is stony riverbeds. They nest on the ground, but these waders will perch in trees and sometimes use old nests of other birds.

Terek sandpiper

The Terek sandpiper (Xenus cinereus) is a small migratory Palearctic wader species, the only member of the genus Xenus. It is named after the Terek River which flows into the west of the Caspian Sea, as it was first observed around this area. The genus name Xenus is from Ancient Greek xenos stranger, and cinereus is Latin for "ash-grey" from cinis, cineris, "ashes".

Tringa, Mali

Tringa, Mali is a commune in the Cercle of Yélimané in the Kayes Region of south-western Mali. The commune contains the four villages: Diakoné, Dialaka, Lambatara and Maréna. The administrative centre (chef-lieu) is Maréna. In 2009 the commune had a population of 12,509.

Wandering tattler

The wandering tattler (Tringa incana) (formerly Heteroscelus incanus: Pereira & Baker, 2005; Banks et al., 2006), is a medium-sized wading bird. It is similar in appearance to the closely related gray-tailed tattler, T. brevipes. The tattlers are unique among the species of Tringa for having unpatterned, greyish wings and backs, and a scaly breast pattern extending more or less onto the belly in breeding plumage, in which both also have a rather prominent supercilium.

These birds have stocky bodies with gray upperparts, underwings, face and neck and a white belly. They have short dark yellow legs and a dark gray bill. Adults in breeding plumage are heavily barred underneath.

In summer, they are found in far-eastern Russia, Alaska, portions of the California coast and northwestern Canada. They nest in rocky areas along mountain streams. At other times, they are found on rocky islands in the southwest Pacific and on rocky Pacific coasts from California to South America and as far as Australia.

They feed on aquatic invertebrates such as crustaceans and marine worms. During breeding season, they also eat insects. While wading, they forage actively, making jerky bobbing movements.

Feeding behaviors can include repeated returns to the same location over short periods of time. They can be seen flying low over a rocky coastline or along a jetty.

The female lays 4 olive-colored eggs in a shallow depression. Both parents incubate and help feed the young, who are soon able to forage for themselves.

The call is a rapid trill of accelerating, descending notes of decreasing volume.

Willet

The willet (Tringa semipalmata), formerly in the monotypic genus Catoptrophorus as Catoptrophorus semipalmatus, is a large shorebird in the Scolopacidae family. It is a relatively large and robust sandpiper, and is the largest of the species called "shanks" in the genus Tringa. Its closest relative is the lesser yellowlegs, a much smaller bird with a very different appearance apart from the fine, clear, and dense pattern of the neck, which both species show in breeding plumage. It breeds in North America and the West Indies and winters in southern North America, Central America, the West Indies and South America.

Wood sandpiper

The wood sandpiper (Tringa glareola) is a small wader. This Eurasian species is the smallest of the shanks, which are mid-sized long-legged waders of the family Scolopacidae. The genus name Tringa is the New Latin name given to the green sandpiper by Aldrovandus in 1599 based on Ancient Greek trungas, a thrush-sized, white-rumped, tail-bobbing wading bird mentioned by Aristotle. The specific glareola is from Latin glarea, " gravel".

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