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LittlePenguin PerthZoo SMCSept05.jpg
Eudyptula minor
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Aves
Order: Sphenisciformes
Family: Spheniscidae
Genus: Eudyptula
Bonaparte, 1856

Eudyptula minor
Eudyptula albosignata

The genus Eudyptula ("good little diver") contains two species of penguin. It is found in southern Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand and the Chatham Islands.

Eudyptula minor is commonly known as the little penguin, little blue penguin, or fairy penguin. In the language of the Māori people of New Zealand, little blue penguins are known as kororaa.

Some scientists consider a white-flippered version of the little blue penguin to be a separate species, but some would consider it a sub-species; others think the characteristic falls within the bounds of normal local variation. Analysis of mtDNA suggests that there are indeed two species involved: a western one which evolved in Australia and comparatively recently colonized New Zealand's South Island, and a purely New Zealand one. The white-flippered penguin could be classified as one of up to four subspecies of the New Zealand species. More data is required, however, to resolve the taxonomy (Banks et al., 2002).


Order Sphenisciformes


  • Banks, Jonathan C.; Mitchell, Anthony D.; Waas, Joseph R. & Paterson, Adrian M. (2002): An unexpected pattern of molecular divergence within the blue penguin (Eudyptula minor) complex. Notornis 49(1): 29–38. PDF full text