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Microcarbo melanoleucos Austins Ferry 3.jpg
Little pied cormorant
Microcarbo melanoleucos
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Suliformes
Family: Phalacrocoracidae
Genus: Microcarbo
Bonaparte, 1856

See text

Microcarbo is a genus of fish-eating birds, known as cormorants, of the family Phalacrocoracidae. The genus was formerly subsumed within Phalacrocorax.

Microcarbo has been recognized as a valid genus by the IOC’s World Bird List (Gill and Donsker 2010) on the basis of work by Siegel-Causey (1988), Kennedy et al. (2000), and Christidis and Boles (2008).

As suggested by the name, this genus contains the smallest of the world's cormorants. Five living and one extinct species are recognized.

List of species[edit]

Image Scientific name Common Name Distribution
Crowned Cormorant, Phalacrocorax coronatus.jpg Microcarbo coronatus Crowned cormorant Cape Agulhas north to Swakopmund along the coast of southern Africa
Little cormorant (Microcarbo niger) - 20070322.jpg Microcarbo niger Little cormorant Indian Subcontinent and extends east to Java
Microcarbo melanoleucos Austins Ferry 3.jpg Microcarbo melanoleucos Little pied cormorant New Zealand, from Stewart Island to Northland, mainland Australia, Tasmania and Indonesia
Pygmy Cormorant (19511279462).jpg Microcarbo pygmeus Pygmy cormorant south-east of Europe (east of Italy) and south-west of Asia, in Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan
Long-tailed Cormorant - Gambia (31808209174).jpg Microcarbo africanus Reed cormorant Africa south of the Sahara, and Madagascar


  • Christidis, L., and W. E. Boles. 2008. Systematics and taxonomy of Australian birds. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Victoria, Australia.
  • Gill, F., and D. Donsker (eds.). 2010. IOC World Bird Names (Version 2.4). Available at [1] (Accessed 12 May 2010).
  • Kennedy, M., R. D. Gray, and H. G. Spencer. 2000. The phylogenetic relationships of the shags and cormorants: can sequence data resolve a disagreement between behavior and morphology? Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 17: 345-359.
  • Siegel-Causey, D. 1988. Phylogeny of the Phalacrocoracidae. Condor 90: 885-905. Available at [2] (Accessed 13 May 2010).