Sunda Teal (Anas gibberifrons)

Sunda Teal

[order] ANSERIFORMES | [family] Anatidae | [latin] Anas gibberifrons | [authority] Muller, 1842 | [UK] Sunda Teal | [FR] Sarcelle grise | [DE] Weisskehl-Ente | [ES] Cerceta Gris | [NL] Grijskeeltaling | [copyright picture] Mat & Cathy Gilfedder


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Anas gibberifrons OR Indonesia


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

This is a mottled brown duck with white and green flashes on its wings. The male and female Sunda Teal share the same colouration, in contrast to the related Chestnut Teal, whose male and female are strikingly different. The nominate Sunda Teal has almost identical colouration to the female Chestnut Teal and can only be distinguished by its lighter coloured neck, paler face and especially the bulging forehead. The Andaman Teal has a variable amount of white on the forehead and around the eyes. The Rennell Island Teal looked like a smaller version of the nominate subspecies, with a stubbier bill. Juveniles are paler than adults, especially on the head.

Listen to the sound of Sunda Teal

[audio: Teal.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 60 cm wingspan max.: 67 cm
size min.: 37 cm size max.: 47 cm
incubation min.: 24 days incubation max.: 26 days
fledging min.: 56 days fledging max.: 63 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 7  
      eggs max.: 9  


Oriental Region : Indonesia. Indonesia – Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi, Lesser Sunda Islands eastward to Wetar Island and Timor Island.


Mangrove swamps, coastal estuaries, tidal creeks, offshore islands, marshes and lakes. Perch readily, on banks, branches over water logs, stumps and rocks; Anas gibberifrons albogularis roost in mangrove swamps or on rocks during the day


The Sunda Teal nests near its favoured freshwater lakes and marshes, usually on the ground, but also in tree holes or rabbit burrows. In tree holes and on the ground particularly by streams. Nest is a slight depression with vegetable material and considerable lining of down, built by the female. The 7-9 eggs are incubated for 24-26 days by the female, young fledge after about 8-9 weeks. Both parents tend to the young who can remeain in the vicinity of the parents for another few weeks. Pair-forming behaviour is seen prior to breeding season,; pair bonds mainly durable and life-long

Feeding habits

Diet consists of seeds and vegetative parts of aquatic and shoreline vegetation, grasses, sedges, also insects, insect larvae, molluscs, crustaceans. Dabbles and mud-filters in shallows, up-end, also picks up seeds and insects and strips seeds from plants near water.

Video Sunda Teal


copyright: Josep del Hoyo


This species has a very 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). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size may be moderately small to large, but it is not believed to 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.
Sunda Teal status Least Concern


Generally fairly sedentary but some movement between islands

Distribution map

Sunda Teal distribution range map

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