Sunday, July 22, 2018

Cape Gull

The Cape gull (L. d. vetula), found in southern Africa, is one of five subspecies of the kelp gull (Laurus dominicanus). I've been struck by how many subspecies are called by "Cape." I assume it relates to the early European influence in Africa and their influence in assigning names to the animals. 
We saw these Cape gulls at the Cape of Good Hope, in South Africa, on rocks right next to the ocean. 
The kelp gull is found throughout much of the southern hemisphere. It has black upperparts and wings. The head, underparts, tail and spots or "mirrors" on the wingtips are white. The bill is yellow with a red spot on the lower mandible and the legs are a greenish yellow. 

The nominate subspecies, sometimes known as the Dominican gull (L. d. dominicanus), is found in South America, Australia and New Zealand. Other subspecies are found in the Indian Ocean, Madagascar and Antarctica. 

1 comment:

  1. Does that red dot serve any evolutionary function? And doesn't the California gull have something similar?