Family: DROMADIDAE (Gray, G. 1840)


  • Asia; Crab-Plover.
  • Africa; Crab-Plover.
1 species. Uncertain affinities. Thought to be close to stone-curlews and pratincoles and coursers, but also might be more closely related to gulls and auks.

    None found.

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). The new thinking on the suborder is as follows;

Family Turnicidae – Buttonquails (18 species)

Family Dromadidae – Crab-Plover

Family Glareolidae – Coursers & pratincoles (17 species)

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

Family Stercorariidae – Skuas (7 species)

Family Alcidae – Auks (25 species)

Currently wader Quest continues to include  the Crab Plover in the sub order Charadrii (of Charadriiformes), thus a wader. If we adopt this taxonomy, along with Glareolidae (Pratincoles and Coursers) the Crab Plover would be lost to us, as would the Turnicidae (Buttonquails).

  • 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