Family: DROMADIDAE (Gray, G. 1840)


  • Asia; Crab-Plover.
  • Africa; Crab-Plover.

The Crab Plover is the only member of the family, Dromadidae. Morphological analyses placed the Crab Plover in the suborder Charadrii, however recent molecular phylogenetic studies, have indicated it would be better placed in the sub order Lari where it is likely to be accompanied by the Glareolidae (pratincoles and coursers) and Turnicidae (buttonquails). The new thinking on the suborder is as follows;

Family Turnicidae – Buttonquails (18 species)

Family Dromadidae – Crab-Plover (1 species)

Family Glareolidae – Coursers & pratincoles (17 species)

Family Laridae – Gulls, terns, skimmers (103 species)

Family Stercorariidae – Skuas (7 species)

Family Alcidae – Auks (25 species)

    • Previously considered part of Charadrii but of uncertain affinities. Thought to be close to stone-curlews and pratincoles and coursers.
  • BirdLife International: IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 26/03/2020
  • del Hoyo, Josep, Andrew Elliot & Jordi Sargatal: Handbook of the Birds of the World – Vol. 3 (1996)
  • Hayman, Peter, John Marchant & Tony Prater: Shorebirds – An identification guide to the waders of the world (1986)
  • Jobling, James A.: Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names (2010)
  • Seebohm, Henry: The Geographical Distribution of the Family Charadriidae, or, The Plovers, Sandpipers, Snipes, and Their Allies (1888)

Click on the image for more information about the species.

CRAB PLOVER – Least Concern