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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Cladus: Craniata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Archosauromorpha
Cladus: Crurotarsi
Divisio: Archosauria
Subsectio: Ornithodira
Subtaxon: Dinosauromorpha
Cladus: Dinosauria
Ordo: Saurischia
Cladus: Theropoda
Cladus: Neotheropoda
Infraclassis: Aves
Cladus: Euavialae
Cladus: Avebrevicauda
Cladus: Pygostylia
Cladus: Ornithothoraces
Cladus: Euornithes
Cladus: Ornithuromorpha
Cladus: Ornithurae
Cladus: Carinatae
Parvclassis: Neornithes
Cohors: Neognathae
Ordo: Pelecaniformes

Familia: Ardeidae
Subfamilia: Ardeinae
Genus: Egretta
Species: E. ardesiaca - E. caerulea - E. dimorpha - E. eulophotes - E. garzetta - E. gularis - E. novaehollandiae - E. rufescens - E. sacra - E. thula - E. tricolor - E. vinaceigula


Egretta T. Forster, 1817
Vernacular names
беларуская: Белыя чаплі

Observations of the Natural History of Swallows; with a collateral statement of facts relative to their migration, and to their brumal torpidity: and a table of reference to authors... To which is added a general catalogue of British birds... p. 59

Egretta is a genus of medium-sized herons, mostly breeding in warmer climates.

Representatives of this genus are found in most of the world, and the little egret, as well as being widespread throughout much of the Old World, has now started to colonise the Americas.

These are typical egrets in shape, long-necked and long-legged. A few plumage features are shared, although several have plumes in breeding plumage; a number of species are either white in all plumages, have a white morph (e.g. reddish egret), or have a white juvenile plumage (little blue heron).

The breeding habitat of Egretta herons is marshy wetlands in warm regions. They nest in colonies, often with other wading birds, usually on platforms of sticks in trees or shrubs.

These herons feed on insects, fish, and amphibians, caught normally by cautious stalking.

Little egret Egretta garzetta in Kolleru, Andhra Pradesh, India
White-faced heron, E. novaehollandiae with a frog

The genus Egretta was introduced in 1817 by the German naturalist Johann Reinhold Forster with the little egret as the type species.[1][2] The genus name comes from the Provençal French for the little egret, aigrette, a diminutive of aigron, "heron".[3]

As with other heron groupings, the taxonomy of these birds has been a source of dispute. Some of these species have been placed with the great herons in Ardea, and conversely, the large white species such as the great egret are occasionally allocated to Egretta. The fact that some members of the genus have common names of "heron" and some of "egret" , causes further confusion in differentiating between this genus and Ardea.

The genus contains 13 species:[4]

Pied heron, Egretta picata
White-faced heron, Egretta novaehollandiae
Reddish egret, Egretta rufescens
Black heron, Egretta ardesiaca
Slaty egret, Egretta vinaceigula
Tricolored heron, Egretta tricolor – also known as Louisiana heron
Little blue heron, Egretta caerulea
Snowy egret, Egretta thula
Little egret, Egretta garzetta
Western reef heron, Egretta gularis
Dimorphic egret, Egretta dimorpha
Pacific reef heron, Egretta sacra – also known as Pacific reef egret or eastern reef heron
Chinese egret, Egretta eulophotes

A fossil species, Egretta subfluvia, is known from the Late Miocene or Early Pliocene of Florida.

Forster, T. (1817). A Synoptical Catalogue of British Birds; intended to identify the species mentioned by different names in several catalogues already extant. Forming a book of reference to Observations on British ornithology. London: Nichols, son, and Bentley. p. 59.
Mayr, Ernst; Cottrell, G. William, eds. (1979). Check-List of Birds of the World. Volume 1 (2nd ed.). Cambridge, Massachusetts: Museum of Comparative Zoology. p. 204.
Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 143. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
Gill, Frank; Donsker, David; Rasmussen, Pamela, eds. (July 2021). "Ibis, spoonbills, herons, Hamerkop, Shoebill, pelicans". IOC World Bird List Version 11.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 21 November 2021.

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