Dotterels Lapwings Plovers > Banded Lapwing | Black-fronted Dotterel | Lesser Sand Plover | Oriental Plover | Pacific Golden Plover

The family Charadriidae includes groups of birds known commonly as dotterels, lapwings and plovers, among others.

The name plovers, lapwings and dotterels were names that were not applied with any great consistency. With some species being redefined, the general rule currently appears to be that the larger species are often called lapwings, whilst the smaller species are called plovers or dotterels. Two taxonomic sub-groups have emerged with lapwings belonging to the subfamily Vanellinae, and most plovers and dotterels belonging to the subfamily Charadriinae.

Further rationalisation of the common names have seen the large and common Australian bird known traditionally as the ‘spur-winged plover’, is now called the ‘masked lapwing’; whilst the former ‘sociable plover’ is now the ‘sociable lapwing’.

Banded Lapwing (Vanellus tricolor)
Banded Lapwing (Vanellus tricolor)
Black-fronted Dotterel (Elseyornis melanops)
Black-fronted Dotterel (Elseyornis melanops)
Lesser Sand Plover (Charadrius mongolus)
Lesser Sand Plover (Charadrius mongolus)
Oriental Plover (Charadrius veredus)
Oriental Plover (Charadrius veredus)
Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva)
Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva)

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Charadriiformes
  • Family: Charadriidae
  • Subfamily: Charadriinae
  • Genera:
    • Anarhynchus
    • Charadrius
    • Elseyornis
    • Oreopholus
    • Peltohyas
    • Phegornis
    • Pluvialis
    • Thinornis

Footnote & References

  1. Charadriidae, (last visited Oct. 1, 2021).
  2. Do you know the difference? Plvoers and Dotterels, Family Charadriidae, by Ellinor Campbell, drawings by Kaye Traynor, Angair Inc,

WadersBanded Lapwing Bar-tailed Godwit Black-fronted Dotterel Black-necked Stilt Hooded Plover Inland Dotterel Lesser Sand Plover Long-toed Stint Oriental Plover Pacific Golden Plover Pectoral Sandpiper Red-necked Avocet Red-necked Stint Ruff Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Sooty Oystercatcher