Gulls (Laridae)

Yellow-legged Gull (Larus cachinnans) - HBW 3, p. 610

French: Goéland leucophée German: Weißkopfmöwe Spanish: Gaviota Patiamarilla

Taxonomy: Larus cachinnans Pallas, 1811, Caspian Sea.
All subspecies listed below have often been treated under L. argentatus. Some earlier authors emphasized the view that L. cachinnans was a separate species; now widely accepted as such, based on sympatry with L. argentatus in W France, and on behaviour and morphology. Molecular data also show it to be a distinct species, closer to L. fuscus, suggesting that the three species may have diverged during the Pleistocene. The form “ponticus” of the Caspian Sea is a synonym of nominate cachinnans. See also L. argentatus. Five subspecies recognized.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Larus cachinnans Pallas, 1811, Caspian Sea.
All subspecies listed below have often been treated under L. argentatus. Some earlier authors emphasized the view that L. cachinnans was a separate species; now widely accepted as such, based on sympatry with L. argentatus in W France, and on behaviour and morphology. Molecular data also show it to be a distinct species, closer to L. fuscus, suggesting that the three species may have diverged during the Pleistocene. The form “ponticus” of the Caspian Sea is a synonym of nominate cachinnans. See also L. argentatus. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • atlantis Dwight, 1922 - Azores to Madeira and Canary Is.
  • michahellis J. F. Naumann, 1840 - W & S Europe and NW Africa E through Mediterranean.
  • cachinnans Pallas, 1811 - Black Sea to Caspian Sea and E Kazakhstan; winters S to SW Asia, Middle East and NE Africa.

     See all 5 subspecies
  • atlantis Dwight, 1922 - Azores to Madeira and Canary Is.
  • michahellis J. F. Naumann, 1840 - W & S Europe and NW Africa E through Mediterranean.
  • cachinnans Pallas, 1811 - Black Sea to Caspian Sea and E Kazakhstan; winters S to SW Asia, Middle East and NE Africa.
  • barabensis Johansen, 1960 - C Asian steppes; winters mostly in SW Asia.
  • mongolicus Sushkin, 1925 - SE Altai and L Baikal to Mongolia; winters mostly in S Asia.