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Gallinago gallinago a1.JPG
Common snipe
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Scolopacidae
Genus: Gallinago
Brisson, 1760[1]

17, see text



Gallinago is a genus of birds in the wader family Scolopacidae, containing 17 species. The scientific name gallinago is New Latin for a woodcock or snipe from Latin gallina, "hen" and the suffix -ago, "resembling".[2]

This genus contains the majority of the world's snipe species, the other two extant genera being Coenocorypha, with three species, and Lymnocryptes, the jack snipe. Morphologically, they are all similar, with a very long slender bill and cryptic plumage. Most have distinctive displays, usually given at dawn or dusk. They search for invertebrates in the mud with a "sewing-machine" action of their long bills.

Species in taxonomic order[edit]

The genus contains 17 species:[3]

Fossil bones of some undescribed Gallinago species most similar to the great snipe have been recovered in Late Miocene or Early Pliocene deposits (c. 5 mya) of Lee Creek Mine, USA.


  1. ^ "Gallinago Brisson, 1760". ITIS. Retrieved 2012-04-08. 
  2. ^ Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 170. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4. 
  3. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2016). "Buttonquail, plovers, seedsnipe & sandpipers". World Bird List Version 6.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 26 June 2016.