Black-bellied tern

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Black-bellied tern
Ranganathittu 3.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Sternidae
Genus: Sterna
Species: S. acuticauda
Binomial name
Sterna acuticauda
(Gray, 1832)

The black-bellied tern (Sterna acuticauda) is a tern found near large rivers in the Indian Subcontinent. They have a black belly in the summer and a deep forked tail. They can sometimes resemble whiskered terns but the deeper fork and the black on the lower belly distinguish it from the shallow fork and black closer to the breast on the Whiskered Tern. Considering that sequence analysis supports moving the similar black-fronted tern ("Sterna" albostriata) into Chlidonias, this species might also be better placed in that genus, but no research has yet been conducted.


  • 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.