Herons (Ardeidae)

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) - HBW 1, p. 412

French: Aigrette garzette German: Seidenreiher Spanish: Garceta Común
Other common names: Western Reef-egret, Western Reef Heron (gularis/schistacea); Mascarene/Madagascar Reef-egret, Dimorphic Heron (dimorpha)

Taxonomy: Ardea Garzetta Linnaeus, 1766, in Oriente; restricted to Malalbergo, north eastern Italy.
Races gularis/schistacea and dimorpha often considered to form two separate species. Forms superspecies with E. thula. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • garzetta (Linnaeus, 1766) - Palearctic, from France, Spain and NW Africa E to Korea and Japan; scattered in rest of Africa, Middle East, India and SE Asia.
  • nigripes (Temminck, 1840) - islands of SE Asia and SW Pacific.
  • immaculata (Gould, 1846) - N & E Australia and regular in New Zealand.

     See all 6 subspecies
  • garzetta (Linnaeus, 1766) - Palearctic, from France, Spain and NW Africa E to Korea and Japan; scattered in rest of Africa, Middle East, India and SE Asia.
  • nigripes (Temminck, 1840) - islands of SE Asia and SW Pacific.
  • immaculata (Gould, 1846) - N & E Australia and regular in New Zealand.
  • gularis (Bosc, 1792) - coastal W Africa, from Mauritania to Gabon.
  • schistacea (Ehrenberg, 1828) - coastal E Africa to Red Sea, Persian Gulf, W, S & SE India.
  • dimorpha Hartert, 1914 - Madagascar and outlying islands; also occurs on coast of E Africa, where has been recorded from S Kenya to N Mozambique.