Skuas (Stercorariidae)

Brown Skua (Catharacta antarctica) - HBW 3, p. 569

French: Labbe antarctique German: Subantarktikskua Spanish: Págalo Subantártico
Other common names: Southern (Great)/Subantarctic/Falkland Skua; Lönnberg's Skua (lonnbergi)

Taxonomy: Lestris antarcticus Lesson, 1831, Falkland Islands.
Sometimes considered conspecific with all three congeners, and all four probably form superspecies; genus frequently merged into Stercorarius. Often considered conspecific with C. skua, but differs more from C. skua than from C. maccormicki and C. chilensis (see page 557). Occasional hybridization reported with C. maccormicki and with C. chilensis, but hybrids very rare. Race hamiltoni differs only slightly from nominate antarctica. Race lonnbergi has been considered a separate species. Proposed races clarkei and .. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Lestris antarcticus Lesson, 1831, Falkland Islands.
Sometimes considered conspecific with all three congeners, and all four probably form superspecies; genus frequently merged into Stercorarius. Often considered conspecific with C. skua, but differs more from C. skua than from C. maccormicki and C. chilensis (see page 557). Occasional hybridization reported with C. maccormicki and with C. chilensis, but hybrids very rare. Race hamiltoni differs only slightly from nominate antarctica. Race lonnbergi has been considered a separate species. Proposed races clarkei and intercedens invalid, and nowadays included in lonnbergi. Name lonnbergi sometimes erroneously spelt loennbergi, but removal of Scandinavian umlaut does not justify addition of “e”. Three subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • antarctica (Lesson, 1831) - Falkland Is and SE Argentina; winters off SE South America.
  • hamiltoni (Hagen, 1952) - Tristan da Cunha and Gough I; winters near breeding areas.
  • lonnbergi Mathews, 1912 - Antarctic Peninsula, subantarctic islands of Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans; winters near or slightly dispersed from breeding areas.