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Anas melleri

Anas melleri (*)

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Cladus: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Cladus: Holozoa
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Megaclassis: Osteichthyes
Cladus: Sarcopterygii
Cladus: Rhipidistia
Cladus: Tetrapodomorpha
Cladus: Eotetrapodiformes
Cladus: Elpistostegalia
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Archosauromorpha
Cladus: Crurotarsi
Divisio: Archosauria
Cladus: Avemetatarsalia
Cladus: Ornithodira
Subtaxon: Dinosauromorpha
Cladus: Dinosauriformes
Cladus: Dracohors
Cladus: Dinosauria
Ordo: Saurischia
Cladus: Eusaurischia
Subordo: Theropoda
Cladus: Neotheropoda
Cladus: Averostra
Cladus: Tetanurae
Cladus: Avetheropoda
Cladus: Coelurosauria
Cladus: Tyrannoraptora
Cladus: Maniraptoromorpha
Cladus: Maniraptoriformes
Cladus: Maniraptora
Cladus: Pennaraptora
Cladus: Paraves
Cladus: Eumaniraptora
Cladus: Avialae
Infraclassis: Aves
Cladus: Euavialae
Cladus: Avebrevicauda
Cladus: Pygostylia
Cladus: Ornithothoraces
Cladus: Ornithuromorpha
Cladus: Carinatae
Parvclassis: Neornithes
Cohors: Neognathae
Cladus: Pangalloanserae
Cladus: Galloanseres
Ordo: Anseriformes

Familia: Anatidae
Genus: Anas
Species: Anas melleri

Anas melleri Sclater, 1865

Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1864 (3): 487, pl.XXXIV.
IUCN: Anas melleri (Endangered)

Vernacular names
български: Мелерова патица
brezhoneg: Houad Meller
català: Ànec de Meller
čeština: Kachna madagaskarská
Cymraeg: Hwyaden Meller
dansk: Madagaskarand
Deutsch: Madagaskarente
English: Meller's Duck
Esperanto: Melera anaso
español: Pato de Meller
فارسی: مرغابی ملر
suomi: Madagaskarinsorsa
français: Canard de Meller
Gaeilge: Lacha Meller
magyar: Madagaszkári réce
日本語: マダガスカルガモ
Plattdüütsch: Meller siene Aante
Nederlands: Mellers eend
norsk: Madagaskarand
русский: Мадагаскарская кряква
svenska: mellerand
中文: 麻斑鸭

Meller's duck (Anas melleri) is a species of the dabbling duck genus Anas. It is endemic to eastern Madagascar. Although a population was established on Mauritius in the mid-18th century, this is on the verge of extinction due to habitat loss and competition by feral domestic ducks.[2] The species name of this species is after the botanist Charles James Meller, and its generic name is from the Latin for "duck".

Illustration by Joseph Wolf (1864)

The Meller's duck resembles a large female mallard. At 55–65 centimetres (22–26 in), it averages slightly larger than a mallard and is at the top size for the genus Anas.[3] However, as opposed to most mallard relatives, they lack a supercilium. The speculum feathers are green as in some of its relatives, but unlike in these, it is bordered white as in the mallard. Its body is dark brown with narrow paler fringes to feathers on upper parts and wider fringes on lower parts. Its bill is pale grey, with dark patches at the base, and is larger than normal. Its feet and legs are orange.[4]

Meller's duck breeds apparently during most of the year except May–June on Madagascar, dependent on local conditions; the Mauritian population has been recorded to breed in October and November. Unlike most of their closer relatives—with the exception of the African black duck—they are fiercely territorial during the breeding season; furthermore, pairs remain mated until the young are independent.[2]

This species is listed as an endangered species by the IUCN Red List. The Lac Alaotra wetlands, where historically the largest number of these birds was to be found, have suffered habitat destruction on a large scale in the latter half of the 20th century, and local waterbird populations have declined dramatically. The Madagascar pochard was rediscovered in 2006, though not in the Lac Alaotra area.[2]

The conservation of this species was long hampered by its—entirely erroneous, see below—dismissal as a variant of the mallard which deserved no special interest.[2] Due to its drab plumage and territorial habits, this species is not very popular among aviculturalists, although it reproduces readily in captivity like most ducks if enough space and good habitat are provided. Although a captive breeding program exists (part of the European Endangered Species Programme), the species is not very often kept in zoos either; it can be more frequently seen in Europe, such as in EEP members Cologne Zoo, Edinburgh Zoo, Durrell Wildlife Park, and Zürich Zoo.[citation needed]

Due to the outward similarity of Meller's duck to the female mallard, it was commonly placed close to that species. Based on records of quasi-forced hybridization under unnatural conditions,[5] it was even proposed to be a mere color morph of the mallard.[6]

Nowadays, it is regarded as one of the most distinct species in the mallard group, based on behavioural[7] and mtDNA D-loop sequence comparisons.[2][8] Its closest relatives is apparently the yellow-billed duck, another early divergence of the mallard clade, in which these species and the African black duck are basal, but the exact relationships of Meller's and the yellow-billed ducks to that species are fairly obscure.[2][7] (The dates in these studies are probably far too recent in the face of the Early Pleistocene fossil record of mallards and the crude methodology used to arrive at the estimate.)[citation needed]

BirdLife International (2016). "Anas melleri". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T22680225A92850618. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22680225A92850618.en. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
Young, H. Glyn & Rhymer, Judith M. (1998). "Meller's duck: A threatened species receives recognition at last". Biodiversity and Conservation. 7 (10): 1313–1323. doi:10.1023/A:1008843815676. S2CID 27384967.
Meller’s duck (Anas melleri) Archived 2011-03-17 at the Wayback Machine.
Madge, Steve; Burn, Hilary (1988). Waterfowl: an Identification Guide to the Ducks, Geese, and Swans of the World. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. p. 217. ISBN 0-395-46727-6.
Lorenz, Konrad Z. (1941). "Vergleichende Bewegungsstudien an Anatinen" (PDF). Journal für Ornithologie. 89 (Supplement): 194–294.
Johnsgard, P. A. (1965) Handbook of waterfowl behaviour. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York. ISBN 0-8014-0207-7
Young, H. Glyn (1999). "Comparative study of the courtship displays of Meller's Duck Anas melleri, Yellowbilled Duck A. undulata and Northern Mallard A. platyrhynchos". Ostrich. 70 (2): 117–122. doi:10.1080/00306525.1999.9634525.
Johnson, Kevin P. & Sorenson, Michael D. (1999). "Phylogeny and biogeography of dabbling ducks (genus Anas): a comparison of molecular and morphological evidence" (PDF). Auk. 116 (3): 792–805. doi:10.2307/4089339. JSTOR 4089339.

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