Andean Teal (Anas andium)

Andean Teal

[order] ANSERIFORMES | [family] Anatidae | [latin] Anas andium | [authority] Sclater and Salvin, 1873 | [UK] Andean Teal | [FR] Sarcelle des Andes | [DE] Andenente | [ES] Cerceta barcina | [NL]


Monotypic species


Anas is a genus of dabbling ducks. It includes mallards, wigeons, teals, pintails and shovelers in a number of subgenera. Some authorities prefer to elevate the subgenera to genus rank.[1] Indeed, as the moa-nalos are very close to this clade and may have evolved later than some of these lineages, it is rather the absence of a thorough review than lack of necessity that this genus is rather over-lumped. The phylogeny of this genus is one of the most confounded ones of all living birds. Research is hampered by the fact the radiation of the two major groups of Anas ? the teals and mallard groups ? took place in a very short time and fairly recently, roughly in the mid-late Pleistocene. Furthermore, hybridization may have long played a major role in Anas evolution, with within-subgenus hybrids regularly and between-subgenus hybrids not infrequently being fully fertile.[1] The relationships between species are much obscured by this fact, and mtDNA sequence data is of dubious value in resolving their relationships; on the other hand, nuclear DNA sequences evolve too slowly to resolve the phylogeny of the subgenus Anas for example. Some major clades can be discerned. For example, that the traditional subgenus Anas, the mallard group, forms a monophyletic (in the loose sense, i.e. non-holophyletic) group has never been seriously questioned by modern science and is as good as confirmed (but see below). On the other hand, the phylogeny of the teals is very confusing. For these reasons, the dabbling duck lineages more distantly related to mallard group (which includes the type species of Anas) than the wigeons should arguably be separated in their own genera. These would include the Baikal Teal, the Garganey, the spotted black-capped Punanetta group, and the shovelers and other blue-winged species. Whether the wigeons, which are very distinct in morphology and behavior, but much less so in mtDNA cytochrome b and NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 sequences, should also be considered a distinct genus Mareca (including the Gadwall and Falcated Duck) is essentially the one remaining point of dispute as regards the question which taxa should remain in this genus and which ones should not.

Physical charateristics

Compared to the much more numerous Yellow-billed Teal, the Andean Teal has a blue-gray or dark gray bill, and has more uniformly dark plumage.

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 35 cm size max.: 45 cm
incubation min.: 22 days incubation max.: 26 days
fledging min.: 42 days fledging max.: 49 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 5  
      eggs max.: 8  


South America : Colombia, Ecuador. The Andean Teal is confined to the Andes of southwest Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and northern Peru, where it is largely confined to elevations above 3500m.


It inhabits freshwater wetlands, preferring palustrine habitat to rivers


Like the conspecific Speckles Teal (A. flavirostris); Nests near water and well hidden in dense vegatation or in trees. Clutch size 5-8 eggs which are incubated for about 24 days’ young fledge after another 6-7 weeks.

Feeding habits

Similar to other small dabbling ducks.

Video Andean Teal


copyright: Anna Motis


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
The overall population trend is suspected to be decreasing, although some populations may be stable and others have unknown trends
Andean Teal status Least Concern


Sedentary with some altitudinal movemnts

Distribution map

Andean Teal distribution range map

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