Herons (Ardeidae)

Little Bittern (Ixobrychus minutus) - HBW 1, p. 425

French: Blongios nain German: Zwergdommel Spanish: Avetorillo Común
Other common names: Australian/New Zealand Little Bittern

Taxonomy: Ardea minuta Linnaeus, 1766, Switzerland.
Forms superspecies with I. exilis and I. sinensis. Race novaezelandiae often considered separate species, but very little known and now probably extinct (cause unknown); payesii and podiceps have been treated as two further species. Five subspecies normally recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • minutus (Linnaeus, 1766) - C & S Europe and N Africa E to W Siberia and through Iran to NE India; winters Africa to India.
  • payesii (Hartlaub, 1858) - Africa S of Sahara.
  • podiceps (Bonaparte, 1855) - Madagascar.

     See all 5 subspecies
  • minutus (Linnaeus, 1766) - C & S Europe and N Africa E to W Siberia and through Iran to NE India; winters Africa to India.
  • payesii (Hartlaub, 1858) - Africa S of Sahara.
  • podiceps (Bonaparte, 1855) - Madagascar.
  • novaezelandiae (Potts, 1871) - South I, New Zealand (probably extinct).
  • dubius Mathews, 1912 - SW & E Australia; S New Guinea.