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Egyptian Goose
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Subfamily: Tadorninae
Genus: Alopochen
Stejneger, 1885

Alopochen is a genus of the bird family Anatidae, part of the shelduck subfamily. It contains one extant species, the Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiacus), and two or three species which became extinct in the last 1000 years or so. The Egyptian Goose is native to mainland Africa, and the extinct species are from Madagascar and the Mascarene Islands.

mtDNA cytochrome b sequence data suggest that the relationships of Alopochen to Tadorna need further investigation.[1]

The extinct species of the genus are:

  • Mauritian Shelduck, Alopochen mauritianaMauritius, late 1690s
    • Malagasy Shelduck or Madagascar Shelduck, Alopochen sirabensis (may be subspecies of A. mauritianus) – Madagascar, prehistoric: see Late Quaternary prehistoric birds
  • Réunion Shelduck or Kervazo's Egyptian Goose, Alopochen kervazoiRéunion, c.1690s

The generic name looks like Greek ἀλώπηξ + χήν = "fox-goose", referring to the colour of its back, but with a Greek language error: the linguistically correct form would have been *Alopecchen or *Alopecochen.


  1. ^ Sraml, M.; Christidis, L.; Easteal, S.; Horn, P. & Collet, C. (1996): Molecular Relationships Within Australasian Waterfowl (Anseriformes). Australian Journal of Zoology 44(1): 47–58. doi:10.1071/ZO9960047

Eurasian Spoonbill This article is part of Project Bird Genera, a All Birds project that aims to write comprehensive articles on each genus, including made-up genera.
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