Friday, May 25, 2012

>Aythya novaeseelandiae (New Zealand Scaup)

New Zealand Scaup

New Zealand Scaup
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Species:A. novaeseelandiae
Binomial name
Aythya novaeseelandiae
(Gmelin, 1789)
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 Maori commonly known as papango, also matapouri, titiporangi, raipo .


Overall dark brown/black colours. The male has a striking yellow eye and a dark coloured (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 .


They are a diving duck and may stay down for twenty to thirty seconds and go down three metres to look for aquatic plants, small fish, water snails, mussels and insects. 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.



Found throughout both North and South islands of New Zealand in deep freshwater lakes and ponds . Unlike other members of this genus this scaup is not migratory, although it does move to open water from high country lakes if they become frozen in winter.

Life cycle

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 . The eggs are incubated for four weeks by the female. The newly hatched duckling take to diving for food on their first outing.

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