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Sterna albifrons albifrons

(Little Tern)

Common Names

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Click on the language to view common names.

Common Names in Afrikaans:


Common Names in Dutch:


Common Names in English:

Little Tern, Least Tern, Little Striker, Minute Tern, Sea Swallow, Silver Ternlet

Common Names in French:

Sterne Naine

Common Names in German:


Common Names in Hebrew:

שחפית גמדית, שחפית סוונדרס

Common Names in Italian:


Common Names in Japanese:


Common Names in Russian:

Malaya Krachka, Крачка малая, Малая крачка

Common Names in Spanish:

Charrancito, Charrancito Común


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Little Tern courtship is mediated by fish. Females stand on the beach (``I'm here, I'm here!'') keeping their competitors at a distance (``Get away from me, you hussy!''). A male flies in with a minnow draped in his beak (``I've got a fish, I've got a fish!'') and finds a female who will accept it (``I've got a fish!'' ``I'm here!'' etc. ). The male flies back out to sea (``Yes yes yes she took my fish!'').


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Sterna albifrons Pallas 1764


Name Status: Accepted Name . Latest taxonomic scrutiny: June 24, 1996.

Similar Species

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Members of the genus Sterna

ZipcodeZoo has pages for 69 species and subspecies in this genus:

S. acuticauda (Black-Bellied Tern) · S. albifrons (Silver Ternlet) · S. albifrons albifrons (Little Tern) · S. albifrons athalassos (Little Tern) · S. albifrons sinensis (Eastern Little Tern) · S. albistriata (Black-Fronted Tern) · S. albostriata (Saunder's Little Tern) · S. aleutica (Aleutian Tern) · S. anaetheta (Bridled Tern) · S. anaethetus (Bridled (Brown Winged) Tern) · S. anaethetus anaethetus (Brown-Winged Tern) · S. anaethetus recognita (Bridled Tern) · S. antillarum (American Least Tern) · S. antillarum albifrons (Little Tern) · S. antillarum antillarum (Least Tern) · S. antillarum athalassos (Interior Least Tern) · S. antillarum browni (California Least Tern) · S. aurantia (River Tern) · S. balaenarum (Damara Tern) · S. bengalensis (Lesser Crester Tern) · S. bengalensis bengalensis (Lesser Crester Tern) · S. bergii (Greater Crested Tern) · S. bergii bergii (Greater Crested Tern) · S. bernsteini (Chinese Crested-Tern) · S. caspia (Caspian Tern) · S. caspia caspia (Caspian Tern) · S. dougallii (Roseate Tern) · S. dougallii bangsi (Roseate Tern) · S. dougallii dougallii (Roseate Tern) · S. elegans (Elegant Tern) · S. eurygnatha (Cayenne Tern) · S. forsteri (Forster's Tern) · S. fuscata (Wide-Awake) · S. fuscata crissalis (Sooty Tern) · S. fuscata fuscata (Sooty Tern) · S. hirundinacea (South American Tern) · S. hirundo (Common Tern) · S. hirundo hirundo (Common Tern (Common)) · S. hirundo longipennis (Common Tern (Siberian)) · S. lorata (Peruvian Tern) · S. lunata (Grey-Backed Tern) · S. maxima (Royal Tern) · S. maxima maxima (Royal Tern) · S. melanogaster (Black-Bellied Tern) · S. nereis (Fairy Tern) · S. nereis nereis (Fairy Tern) · S. nilotica (Bulled-Billed Tern) · S. nilotica groenvoldi (Gull-Billed Tern) · S. nilotica nilotica (Gull-Billed Tern) · S. nilotica vanrossemi (Gull-Billed Tern) · S. paradisaea (Arctic Tern) · S. repressa (White-Cheeked Tern) · S. sandvicensis (Caribbean Tern) · S. sandvicensis eurygnatha (Sandwich Tern) · S. sandvicensis sandvicensis (Caribbean Tern) · S. saundersi (Saunders' Little Tern) · S. striata (White-Fronted Tern) · S. striata striata (White-Fronted Tern) · S. sumatrana (Black-Naped Tern) · S. sumatrana sumatrana (Black-Naped Tern) · S. superciliaris (Yellow-Billed Tern) · S. trudeaui (Snowy-Crowned Tern) · S. virgata (Kerguelen Tern) · S. vittata (Antarctic Tern (Antarctic)) · S. vittata bethunei (New Zealand Antarctic Tern) · S. vittata gaini (Antarctic Tern) · S. vittata georgiae (Antarctic Tern (South Georgia)) · S. vittata vittata (Antarctic Tern (Antarctic)) · S. zimmermanni (Chinese Crested-Tern)

More Info

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Further Reading

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Last Revised: 2015-02-06