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Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis.jpg
Common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Coraciiformes
Family: Alcedinidae
Subfamily: Alcedininae
Genus: Alcedo
Linnaeus, 1758
Type species
Alcedo ispida
Linnaeus, 1758

See text


Blue-banded kingfisher

Blue-eared kingfisher

Blyth's kingfisher

Half-collared kingfisher

Shining-blue kingfisher

Cerulean kingfisher

Common kingfisher

Cladogram based on Andersen et al. (2017)[1]

Alcedo is a genus of birds in the kingfisher subfamily Alcedininae. The genus was introduced by Carl Linnaeus in 1758 in the 10th edition of his Systema Naturae.[2] The type species is the common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis ispida).[3] Alcedo is the Latin for "kingfisher".[4]

The genus contains the following seven species:[5]

Unlike many kingfishers, all members of Alcedo are specialist fish-eaters. They all have some blue feathers on their upper-parts and most species have a black bill.[6] Except for the cerulean kingfisher they all have some rufous in their plumage. The female generally has more red on the lower mandible than the male.[7] The smallest species is the cerulean kingfisher which is around 13 cm (5.1 in) in length;[8] much the largest is Blyth's kingfisher with a length of 22 cm (8.7 in).[9]


  1. ^ Andersen, M.J.; McCullough, J.M.; Mauck III, W.M.; Smith, B.T.; Moyle, R.G. (2017). "A phylogeny of kingfishers reveals an Indomalayan origin and elevated rates of diversification on oceanic islands". Journal of Biogeography: 1–13. doi:10.1111/jbi.13139.
  2. ^ Linnaeus, C. (1758). Systema Naturæ per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis, Volume 1 (in Latin) (10th ed.). Holmiae:Laurentii Salvii. p. 115.
  3. ^ Peters, James Lee, ed. (1945). Check-list of Birds of the World. Volume 5. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. p. 170.
  4. ^ Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 40. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  5. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2016). "Rollers, ground rollers & kingfishers". World Bird List Version 6.3. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  6. ^ Moyle, R.G.; Fuchs, J.; Pasquet, E.; Marks, B.D. (2007). "Feeding behavior, toe count, and the phylogenetic relationships among alcedinine kingfishers (Alcedininae)". Journal of Avian Biology. 38 (3): 317–326. doi:10.1111/J.2007.0908-8857.03921.x.
  7. ^ Fry, Fry & Harris 1992, pp. 210-224.
  8. ^ Fry, Fry & Harris 1992, pp. 210-211.
  9. ^ Fry, Fry & Harris 1992, pp. 223-224.


  • Fry, C. Hilary; Fry, Kathie; Harris, Alan (1992). Kingfishers, Bee-eaters, and Rollers. London: Christopher Helm. ISBN 978-0-7136-8028-7.

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Alcedo at Wikimedia Commons
  • Data related to Alcedo at Wikispecies