New Zealand scaup

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New Zealand scaup
NZ Scaup 01.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Aythya
A. novaeseelandiae
Binomial name
Aythya novaeseelandiae
(Gmelin, 1789)
Aythya novaeseelandiae distribution map.png
Distribution map of the New Zealand scaup (red)

The New Zealand scaup (Aythya novaeseelandiae) commonly known as a black teal, is a diving duck species of the genus Aythya. It is endemic to New Zealand. In Māori it is commonly known as papango, also matapouri, titiporangi, raipo.[2]


Overall dark brown/black colors. The male has a striking yellow eye and a dark colored (greenish) head. The female is similar to the male, but without the yellow eye and has a white face patch during breeding season. A white wing bar can be seen in both sexes when in flight.[3]


Image of Aythya novaeseelandiae
Aythya novaeseelandiae

The scaup is a diving duck which may submerge for twenty to thirty seconds and go down three metres to look for aquatic plants, small fish, water snails, mussels and insects.[4][5] It is sometimes seen with the Australian coot (Fulica atra); it is thought that the scaup takes advantage of the food stirred up by the coots as they fossick for shrimps.[5]


It is found throughout both the North and South Islands of New Zealand in deep freshwater lakes and ponds.[3] Unlike other members of this genus, the scaup is not migratory, although it does move to open water from high country lakes if they become frozen in winter.[5]

Life cycle[edit]

Image of Aythya novaeseelandiae egg in the collection of Auckland Museum
Aythya novaeseelandiae egg in the collection of Auckland Museum

They nest from October to March. They lay five to eight cream/white eggs in a nest close to water, often under banks or thick cover. The nest is usually lined with grass and down.[3] The eggs are incubated for four weeks by the female. The newly hatched ducklings begin diving for food on their first outing.[5]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Aythya novaeseelandiae". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ Moncrieff, Perrine (1961). New Zealand Birds and How to Identify Them. Whitcombe and Tombs Ltd. p. 113.
  3. ^ a b c Marshall, Janet; Kinsky, F.C.; Robertson, C.J.R. (1972). Common Birds in New Zealand. A.H. & A.W. Reed. p. 31. ISBN 0-589-00730-0.
  4. ^ Orbell, Margaret (2003). Birds of Aotearoa. Reed Publishing NZ Ltd. p. 129. ISBN 0-7900-0909-9.
  5. ^ a b c d Lockley, Ronald M. (1980). New Zealand Endangered Species. Cassell NZ. p. 82. ISBN 0-908572-22-0.