Sterna diversity.png
Diversity of Sterna.

First row: Kerguelen, River, Common, Black-bellied Terns.
Second row: Forster's, White-cheeked, Roseate, White-fronted Terns.
Third row: Snowy-crowned, Arctic, Antarctic, Black-naped Tern, South American Terns.

Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Clade: Aequorlitornithes
Order: Charadriiformes
Suborder: Lari
Family: Laridae
Subfamily: Sterninae
Genus: Sterna
Linnaeus, 1758

Many, see text.

Sterna is a genus of terns in the bird family Sternidae. It used to encompass most "white" terns indiscriminately, but mtDNA sequence comparisons have recently determined that this arrangement is paraphyletic (Bridge et al., 2005). It is now restricted to the typical large white terns occurring near-globally in coastal regions.



  • Bridge, E. S.; Jones, A. W. & Baker, A. J. (2005): A phylogenetic framework for the terns (Sternini) inferred from mtDNA sequences: implications for taxonomy and plumage evolution. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 35: 459–469. PDF fulltext.


Eurasian Spoonbill.png 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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