Oceanitidae – Austral Storm Petrels

Black-bellied Storm Petrel Fregetta tropica ©Trevor Hardaker Website

The Oceanitinae is one of two subfamilies of storm petrels. Because the distribution of the subfamily is predominantly in the southern hemisphere they are sometimes known as the southern storm petrels. The subfamily contains five genera in which there are eight species. They were the second group of storm petrels to break off from the ancestral petrel stock, and for this reason some authors have suggested that they should constitute a separate family from the Hydrobatinae storm petrels.

According to the IOC there are just 9 Austral Storm Petrels in the newly split family of Oceanitidae, which are:

Wilson’s Storm Petrel Oceanites oceanicus
Elliot’s Storm Petrel Oceanites gracilis
Pincoya Storm Petrel Oceanites pincoyae

Grey-backed Storm Petrel Garrodia nereis

White-faced Storm Petrel Pelagodroma marina

White-bellied Storm Petrel Fregetta grallaria
Black-bellied Storm Petrel Fregetta tropica
New Zealand Storm Petrel Fregetta maoriana

Polynesian Storm Petrel Nesofregetta fuliginosa

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