Terns (Sternidae)

Roseate Tern (Sterna dougallii) - HBW 3, p. 651

French: Sterne de Dougall German: Rosenseeschwalbe Spanish: Charrán Rosado

Taxonomy: Sterna Dougallii Montagu, 1813, Firth of Clyde, Scotland.
In some respects intermediate between Sterna and Thalasseus. Internal taxonomy in need of revision, as subspecific boundaries confused: racial allocation of birds breeding on islets off E Africa requires study, perhaps closer to bangsi than to dougallii, although included in latter; arideensis may not be distinct from bangsi; variation of nominate dougallii encompasses almost entire range of variation of species. Five subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • dougallii Montagu, 1813 - Nova Scotia to New York and Florida, S through Gulf of Honduras and West Indies to islands off N Venezuela, and also Azores, NW Europe, and E & S Africa from S Somalia to Tanzania and in S Cape Province; American populations may winter mainly in mid-Atlantic, E Atlantic birds winter on coasts of tropical W Africa.
  • arideensis Mathews, 1912 - Seychelles S to Madagascar and E to Rodrigues I.
  • korustes (Hume, 1874) - Sri Lanka, Andaman Is and Mergui Archipelago (SW Myanmar).

     See all 5 subspecies
  • dougallii Montagu, 1813 - Nova Scotia to New York and Florida, S through Gulf of Honduras and West Indies to islands off N Venezuela, and also Azores, NW Europe, and E & S Africa from S Somalia to Tanzania and in S Cape Province; American populations may winter mainly in mid-Atlantic, E Atlantic birds winter on coasts of tropical W Africa.
  • arideensis Mathews, 1912 - Seychelles S to Madagascar and E to Rodrigues I.
  • korustes (Hume, 1874) - Sri Lanka, Andaman Is and Mergui Archipelago (SW Myanmar).
  • bangsi Mathews, 1912 - Arabian Sea, Ryukyu Is, coastal China and Taiwan S to Greater Sundas and E to S New Guinea, Solomons, New Caledonia and possibly Fiji; presumably this race on Cocos (Keeling) Is.
  • gracilis Gould, 1845 - Moluccas and Australia.