From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Merginae)
Sea ducks
Histrionicus histrionicus drake Barnegat.jpg
Harlequin duck, Histrionicus histrionicus (male)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Subfamily: Anatinae
Tribe: Mergini
Rafinesque, 1815


The seaducks (Mergini) are a tribe of the duck subfamily of birds, the Anatinae. The taxonomy of this group has not been entirely worked out. Some authorities separate the entire group as their own subfamily, others remove some genera from the group, and keep others. Most species within this group spend their winters near coastal marine waters. Many species have developed specialized salt glands to allow them to tolerate salt water, but these are poorly developed in juveniles. Some of the species prefer riverine habitats. All but two of the 20 species in this group occupy habitats in far northern latitudes.

The fish-eating members of this group, such as the mergansers and smew, have serrated edges to their bills to help them grip their prey. These are therefore often known as "sawbills". Other seaducks forage by diving underwater, taking molluscs or crustaceans from the sea floor.

The Mergini take on the eclipse plumage during the late summer, and molt into their breeding plumage during the winter.


There are twenty-two species in ten genera:

Below is a phylogeny based on a mitogenomic study of the placement of the Labrador duck and the diving "goose" Chendytes lawi.[1]


Clangula hyemalis

Histrionicus histrionicus

Polysticta stelleri

Camptorhynchus labradorius

Somateria fischeri

Somateria mollissima

Somateria spectabilis

Melanitta nigra

Melanitta deglandi

Melanitta perspicillata

Bucephala albeola

Bucephala clangula

Bucephala islandica

Mergellus albellus

Mergus serrator

Lophodytes cucullatus

Mergus merganser

Mergus octosetaceus

Mergus squamatus


  1. ^ Janet C. Buckner; Ryan Ellingson; David A. Gold; Terry L. Jones; David K. Jacobs (2018). "Mitogenomics supports an unexpected taxonomic relationship for the extinct diving duck Chendytes lawi and definitively places the extinct Labrador Duck". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. in press. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2017.12.008. 
  • - Science and Management Reference
Retrieved from ""
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia :
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "Mergini"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA