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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: Neoaves
Cladus: Aequornithes
Ordo: Pelecaniformes

Familia: Threskiornithidae
Genera: Bostrychia - Cercibis - Eudocimus - Geronticus - Lophotibis - Mesembrinibis - Nipponia - PhimosusPlataleaPlegadis - Pseudibis - Theristicus - Threskiornis


Threskiornithidae Poche, 1904

Gray, 1842


Plataleidae Bonaparte, 1838 (suppressed)
Eudocimidae Bonaparte, 1854 (suppressed)
Gerontiaceae Bonaparte, 1855 (suppressed)
Phimoseae Bonaparte, 1855 (suppressed)
Falcinellinae Des Murs, 1860 (suppressed)


Zoologischer Anzeiger 27: 498.
ICZN (1992). Opinion 1674 Threskiornithidae Poche, 1904 (Aves, Ciconliformes): given precedence over Plataleidae Bonaparte, 1838 and Eudocimidae Bonaparte, 1854. Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 49 (1): 97-99.
Chesser, R. T., Yeung, C. K. L., Yao, C.-T., Tian, X.-H., & Li, S.-H. (2010). Molecular phylogeny of the spoonbills (Aves: Threskiornithidae) based on mitochondrial DNA. Zootaxa 2603: 53–60. Preview
Ramirez, J. L., Miyaki, C. Y., & Del Lama, S. N. (2013). Molecular phylogeny of Threskiornithidae (Aves: Pelecaniformes) based on nuclear and mitochondrial DNA. Genetics and Molecular Research 12 (3): 2740-2750

Vernacular names
беларуская: Ібісавыя
čeština: Ibisovití
dansk: Ibisser og skestorker
Deutsch: Ibisse
Ελληνικά: Θρησκειορνιθίδαι
English: Ibises and Spoonbills
Esperanto: Treskiornitedoj
suomi: Iibikset
français: Threskiornithidae
magyar: Íbiszfélék
日本語: トキ科
한국어: 저어새과
lietuvių: Ibisiniai
македонски: Ибиси
Nederlands: Ibissenen lepelaars
polski: Ibisowate
русский: Ибисовые
Türkçe: Aynakgiller

The family Threskiornithidae includes 34 species of large wading birds. The family has been traditionally classified into two subfamilies, the ibises and the spoonbills; however recent genetic studies are casting doubt on the arrangement, and revealing the spoonbills to be nested within the old world ibises, and the new world ibises as an early offshoot.


The family Threskiornithidae was formerly known as Plataleidae. The spoonbills and ibises were once thought to be related to other groups of long-legged wading birds in the order Ciconiiformes. A recent study found that they are members of the order Pelecaniformes.[2] In response to these findings, the International Ornithological Congress (IOC) recently[when?] reclassified Threskiornithidae and their sister taxa Ardeidae under the order Pelecaniformes instead of the previous order of Ciconiiformes.[3] Whether the two subfamilies are reciprocally monophyletic is an open question. The South American Checklist Committee's entry for the Threskiornithidae includes the following comment "Two subfamilies are traditionally (e.g., Matheu & del Hoyo 1992) recognized: Threskiornithinae for ibises and Plataleinae for spoonbills; because the main distinction has to do with bill shape, additional information, especially genetic, is required to recognize a major, deep split in the family."[4]

A study of mitochondrial DNA of the spoonbills plus the sacred and scarlet ibises found that the spoonbills formed a clade with old world genus Threskiornis, with Nipponia nippon and Eudocimus as progressively earlier offshoots and more distant relatives, and hence casts doubt on the arrangement of the family into ibis and spoonbill subfamilies.[5] Subsequent studies have supported these findings, the spoonbills forming a monophyletic clade within the "widespread" clade of ibises, including Plegadis and Threskiornis, while the "new World Endemic" clade is formed by the genera restricted to the Americas such as Eudocimus and Theristicus.[6]

Members of the family have long, broad wings with 11 primary feathers and about 20 secondaries. They are strong fliers and, rather surprisingly, given their size and weight, very capable soarers. The body tends to be elongated, the neck more so, with rather long legs. The bill is also long, decurved in the case of the ibises, straight and distinctively flattened in the spoonbills. They are large birds, but mid-sized by the standards of their order, ranging from the dwarf olive ibis (Bostrychia bocagei), at 45 cm (18 in) and 450 g (0.99 lb), to the giant ibis (Thaumatibis gigantea), at 100 cm (39 in) and 4.2 kg (9.3 lb).
Distribution and ecology

They are distributed almost worldwide, being found near almost any area of standing or slow-flowing fresh or brackish water. Ibises are also found in drier areas, including landfills.

The Llanos are notable in that these wetland plains support seven species of ibis in the one region.[7]

All ibises are diurnal; spending the day feeding on a wide range of invertebrates and small vertebrates: ibises by probing in soft earth or mud, spoonbills by swinging the bill from side to side in shallow water. At night, they roost in trees near water. They are gregarious, feeding, roosting, and flying together, often in formation.

Nesting is colonial in ibises, more often in small groups or singly in spoonbills, nearly always in trees overhanging water, but sometimes on islands or small islands in swamps. Generally, the female builds a large structure out of reeds and sticks brought by the male. Typical clutch size is two to five; hatching is asynchronic. Both sexes incubate in shifts, and after hatching feed the young by partial regurgitation. Two or three weeks after hatching, the young no longer need to be brooded continuously and may leave the nest, often forming creches but returning to be fed by the parents.
Black-headed ibis (Threskiornis melanocephalus) in Tamil Nadu, India
Eurasian spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia) in India


Subfamily: Threskiornithinae - Ibises
Genus Threskiornis
African sacred ibis, Threskiornis aethiopicus
Malagasy sacred ibis, Threskiornis bernieri
†Reunion ibis, Threskiornis solitarius extinct
Black-headed ibis, Threskiornis melanocephalus
Australian white ibis, Threskiornis molucca
Solomons white ibis, Threskiornis molucca pygmaeus
Straw-necked ibis, Threskiornis spinicollis
Genus Pseudibis
Red-naped ibis, Pseudibis papillosa
White-shouldered ibis, Pseudibis davisoni
Genus Thaumatibis
Giant ibis, Thaumatibis gigantea
Genus Geronticus
Northern bald ibis, Geronticus eremita
Southern bald ibis, Geronticus calvus
Genus Nipponia
Crested ibis, Nipponia nippon
Genus Bostrychia
Olive ibis, Bostrychia olivacea
São Tomé ibis, Bostrychia bocagei
Spot-breasted ibis, Bostrychia rara
Hadada ibis, Bostrychia hagedash
Wattled ibis, Bostrychia carunculata
Genus Theristicus
Plumbeous ibis, Theristicus caerulescens
Buff-necked ibis, Theristicus caudatus
Black-faced ibis, Theristicus melanopis
Genus Cercibis
Sharp-tailed ibis, Cercibis oxycerca
Genus Mesembrinibis
Green ibis, Mesembrinibis cayennensis
Genus Phimosus
Bare-faced ibis, Phimosus infuscatus
Genus Eudocimus
American white ibis, Eudocimus albus
Scarlet ibis, Eudocimus ruber
Genus Plegadis
Glossy ibis, Plegadis falcinellus
White-faced ibis, Plegadis chihi
Puna ibis, Plegadis ridgwayi
Genus Lophotibis
Madagascar ibis, Lophotibis cristata
Subfamily: Plataleinae - Spoonbills
Genus Platalea
Eurasian spoonbill, Platalea leucorodia'
Black-faced spoonbill, Platalea minor
African spoonbill, Platalea alba
Royal spoonbill, Platalea regia
Yellow-billed spoonbill, Platalea flavipes
Roseate spoonbill, Platalea ajaja


Myers, P. R.; C. S. Parr; T. Jones; G. S. Hammond; T. A. Dewey. "Family Threskiornithidae (ibises and spoonbills)". Animal Diversity Web. University of Michigan. Retrieved 2009-09-09.
Hackett, Shannon J.; Kimball, Rebecca T.; Reddy, Sushma; Bowie, Rauri C. K.; Braun, Edward L.; Braun, Michael J.; Chojnowski, Jena L.; Cox, W. Andrew; Han, Kin-Lan; Harshman, John; Huddleston, Christopher J.; Marks, Ben D.; Miglia, Kathleen J.; Moore, William S.; Sheldon, Frederick H.; Steadman, David W.; Witt, Christopher C.; Yuri, Tamaki (June 2008). "A Phylogenomic Study of Birds Reveals Their Evolutionary History". Science. 320 (5884): 1763–1768. doi:10.1126/science.1157704. PMID 18583609.
"Gill, F. & D. Donsker (Eds). 2010. IOC World Bird Names (version 2.4). Available at [Accessed 29 May 2010].
"A classification of the bird species of South America". South American Classification Committee. American Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
Chesser, R.Terry; Yeung, Carol K.L.; Yao, Cheng-Te; Tians, Xiu-Hua; Li Shou-Hsien (2010). "Molecular phylogeny of the spoonbills (Aves: Threskiornithidae) based on mitochondrial DNA". Zootaxa. 2603 (2603): 53–60. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.2603.1.2. ISSN 1175-5326.
J.L. Ramirez; C.Y. Miyaki & S.N. Del Lama (2013). "Molecular phylogeny of Threskiornithidae (Aves: Pelecaniformes) based on nuclear and mitochondrial DNA". Genetics and Molecular Research. 12 (3): 2740–2750. doi:10.4238/2013.July.30.11. PMID 23979898.
Frederick, Peter C.; Bildstein, Keith L. "Foraging Ecology of Seven Species of Neotropical Ibises (Threskiornithidae) during the Dry Season in the Llanos of Venezuela". The Wilson Bulletin. 104 (1): 1–21.

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