Journal of Ornithology

, Volume 154, Issue 3, pp 875–878 | Cite as

The presence of Harlequin duck Histrionicus histrionicus (Linnaeus 1758) in the Middle Pleistocene of Italy

  • Marco Pavia
  • Claudia Bedetti
Short Note


A nearly complete coracoid of Harlequin Duck Histrionicus histrionicus (Linnaeus 1758) is described from the Middle Pleistocene of Casal Selce (Rome, Central Italy). The fossil specimen is very well preserved and its morphology and dimensions are perfectly compatible with those of modern Harlequin Duck, and differ from other candidate diving ducks. This record represents the first European fossil of this species, previously recorded as fossil only in North America, and one of the few European documented records of wild-origin bird outside Iceland, where the species is sedentary.


Paleontology Anatidae Histrionicus histrionicus Italy Pleistocene 


Das Auftreten der Kragenente Histrionicus histrionicus (Linnaeus 1758) im Mittelpleistozän Italiens

Wir beschreiben hier ein fast komplettes Rabenschnabelbein der Kragenente Histrionicus histrionicus (Linnaeus 1758) aus dem Mittelpleistozän von Casal Selce (Rom, Mittelitalien). Das Fossil ist sehr gut erhalten, und seine Morphologie und Dimensionen stimmen perfekt mit denen rezenter Kragenenten überein und unterscheiden sich von anderen Tauchenten. Dieser Fund repräsentiert das erste europäische Fossil dieser Entenart, die zuvor lediglich in Nordamerika als Fossil gefunden worden war, und ist außerdem einer von nur wenigen dokumentierten europäischen Funden wildlebender Kragenenten außerhalb Islands, wo diese Art ansässig ist.



We wish to thank A. P. Anzidei, Soprintendenza Speciale per I Beni Archeologici of Roma, C. Petronio and R. Sardella, Sapienza Università di Roma, for their helps in administrative practises and field works. C. Lefevre (MNHN) and H. de Lumley (IPH) are thanked for the possibility to access the comparative collections of their institutions. E. Albertini kindly provided the Histrionicus histrionicus specimen available for the MPOC Collection. F. Silvano (Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Stazzano, Alessandria, Italy) is thanked for the loan of the recent coracoid of Clangula hyemalis. M. Pavia was financially supported by Italian MIUR PRIN 2009MSSS9L_002 to Giulio Pavia and by Synthesys Projects FR-TAF-2607 and NL-TAF-225.


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Copyright information

© Dt. Ornithologen-Gesellschaft e.V. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Museo di Geologia e Paleontologia, Dipartimento di Scienze della TerraTurinItaly

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