Family: JACANIDAE (Stejneger 1885)

Genera: Some authorities recognize only two or three genera based on differences in morphology and plumage of the wing. However, these systems are not currently widely recognised.

Microparra – Greek; mikros small; [Parra was genus name for jacanas (Linnaeus 1766)] (Cabanis 1877)
Actophilornis – Greek; akte riverbank, coastal strand; philos loving (phileo to love); ornis bird (Oberholser 1925).
Irediparra – After Tom Iredale (1800-1972) [Parra was genus name for jacanas (Linnaeus 1766)] (Mathews 1911).
Hydrophasianus – Greek; hudro– water-; phasianos pheasant (Wagler 1832).
Metopidius – Greek; metopidios on the forehead (metopon forehead, brow) (Wagler 1832).
JacanaPortuguese Jaçanã derived from Tupi language of Brazilian indigenous tribes y-acã-nã (soft c) meaning ‘that which has a loud voice’(Brisson 1760).

Africa: African, Madagascan and Lesser Jacanas.
Asia: Pheasant-tailed and Bronze-winged Jacanas.
Australasia: Comb-crested.
Central and South America: Northern and Wattled Jacanas
Eight species. Jacanas are closely related to painted-snipes and are commonly placed in a superfamily with them called Jacanoidea.

Lesser Jacana Microparra capensis (‘Parra capensis’ Smith 1839)
African Jacana Actophilornis africanus (‘Parra africana’ Gmelin 1789)
Madagascan Jacana A. albinucha (‘Parra albinucha’ Saint-Hilaire 1832)
Comb-crested Jacana Irediparra gallinacea (‘Parra gallinacea’ Temminck 1828)
Pheasant-tailed Jacana Hydrophasianus chirurgus (‘Tringa Chirurgus’ Scopoli 1786)
Bronze-winged Jacana Metopidius indicus (‘Parra indica’ Latham 1790)
Northern Jacana Jacana spinosa (‘Fulica spinosa’ Linnaeus 1758)
Wattled Jacana J. jacana (‘Parra Jacana’ Linnaeus 1766)

J. j. hypomelaena (G. R. Gray 1846)
J. j. melanopygia (P. L. Sclater 1857)
J. j. intermedia (P. L. Sclater 1857)
J. j. jacana (Linnaeus 1766)
J. j. scapularis (Chapman 1922)
J. j. peruviana (Zimmer 1930)

• Parra was the first genus given to this group of birds by Linnaeus in 1758.
• In the past jacanas have been placed in Gruiformes (cranes and allies), in the family Rallidae (crakes and rails) because of their obvious and overt similarity to that group of birds. The fact that they have precocial young, and other traits that they share with the waders, separates them from the crakes and rails.
• Jacana farrandi (Olson 1976); Pliocene Florida, USA.
• Nupharanassa bulotorum (Rasmussen 1987); Lower Oligocene, Egypt.
• Nupharanassa tolutaria (Rasmussen 1987); Lower Oligocene, Egypt.
• Janipes nymphaeobates (Rasmussen 1987); Lower Oligocene, Egypt.

In Assam the Pheasant-tailed Jacana is known as the ‘Little White Water Princess’; read more Jacana curiosities

BirdLife International: IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org 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)
Wikipedia: List of fossil bird genera https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fossil_bird_genera#Charadriiforme

Click on an image for more information about the individual species.

Jacanas
AFRICAN JACANA – Least Concern

Jacanas
BRONZE-WINGED JACANA – Least Concern

Jacanas
COMB-CRESTED JACANA – Least Concern

Jacanas
LESSER JACANA – Least Concern

Jacanas
MADAGASCAN JACANA – Near Threatened

Jacanas
NORTHERN JACANA – Least Concern

Jacanas
PHEASANT-TAILED JACANA – Least Concern

Jacanas
WATTLED JACANA – Least Concern