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INFORMATION AVAILABLE

GENERAL & REFERENCES

EXTERNAL APPEARANCES

REPRODUCTION

BEHAVIOUR

NATURAL DIET

RANGE & HABITAT

CONSERVATION

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General and References

Alternative Names (Synonyms)

Versicolor teal
Gray teal
Argentine grey teal
Pampas ducks
Pampa teal (Falklands)
Silberente (German)
Versicolorente (German)
Sarcelle bariolee (French)
Sarcelle versicolore (French)
Cerceta capuchina (Spanish)
Pato capuchino (Spanish)
Cerceto versicolor (Spanish)
Anas versicolor versicolor
- Northern silver teal
Anas versicolor frentensis - Southern silver teal
Punanetta versicolor

Names for newly-hatched

Duckling, downy.

Names for non-breeding males or other colour-phases

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References

Species Author

Debra Bourne

Major References

B1, B3, B5, B8, B19, B25, B26.

Aviculture references:
B7, B29, B30, B31, B40, B94, B97, B108, B128.w1, B128.w2).
D1, D8

Other References

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TAXA Group (where information has been collated for an entire group on a modular basis)

Parent Group

Specific Needs Group referenced in Management Techniques

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Aviculture Information

Notes

General Information:
  • Dabbling Ducks are generally hardy, easy to maintain and easy to breed. Shelter may be required by some of the smaller species in winter. They should be provided with cover (including marginal pond cover) and loafing areas as well as water. A pen which is 50% water is suggested. The water may be shallow (i.e. no more than two feet deep is required), and muddy areas for dabbling in are also appreciated. These ducks are generally good in mixed collections, although the smaller and quieter species may be bullied. Territorial disputes between ducks of the same species may be avoided by keeping only one pair of each species in an enclosure, unless the area is very large. For a single pair of ducks a pen are of 50 to 100 square metres, depending on the size of duck, should be provided.
  • A diet based on wheat and pellets is suggested, with maintenance pellets changed to breeders pellets for the breeding season. Bread and greenfood are also appreciated. Grit should always be available, with soluble grit (e.g. oystershell grit) as a calcium source when breeding.
  • Most species are ground nesters and both close ground cover and ground level nest boxes should be provided. Hand-rearing is generally preferred, as these ducks are generally poor parents in captive conditions, particularly in enclosures shared with other waterfowl. These ducks are prone to hybridization, particularly with closely related species, which should be kept apart from one another.

(B7, B29, B30, B40, B94, B128.w1, D1)

Species-specific information:

  • Silver teal (Versicolor teal) are relatively hardy, although frost-free shelter should be available in winter. They are suitable for mixed collections, although breeding may be improved in a separate enclosure. Good cover should be provided.  Feed as other dabbling ducks (grain, pellets, bread, grass).
  • These ducks are bred fairly easily - sporadically rather than commonly. Eggs may be laid from early or mid-April to May or June, in close ground cover or in nest boxes, and may be parent-incubated, but hand-rearing is suggested, providing good food. They may lay a second or even third clutch if eggs are removed.
  • Hybridisation uncommon, but reported with Anas puna - Puna teal (formerly considered a (formerly considered a sub-species) and at least once with Anas formosa - Baikal teal

(B29, B31, B40, B94, B97, B108, B128.w2).

Aviornis UK Ringing Scheme recommended average closed ring size: J 9.0mm (D8).

Management Techniques

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External Appearance (Morphology)

Measurement & Weight

Length 38-43cm (B1).
Adult weight General 373-442g (B1).
Male Anas versicolor versicolor - Northern silver teal average 442g (B3), mean 15.6 ounces (B8).
Female Anas versicolor versicolor - Northern silver teal average 373g (B3), mean 13.1 ounces (B8).
Newly-hatched weight --
Growth rate --

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Head

Adult Bill Male Powder-blue with pale yellow base and black culmen stripe and nail (B1, B3, B5, B8, B25, B26).
Variations (If present) Anas versicolor fretensis - Southern silver teal:- larger area yellow/orange at base (B8).
Eyes (Iris) Male Brown (B25).
Variations(If present) --
Juvenile Bill Slightly duller (B25).
Eyes (Iris) Brown (B25).

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Legs

Adult Male Dark grey (B3, B5, B25).
Variations (If present) --
Juvenile Dark grey (B3, B5, B25).

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Plumage

Adult Male Dorsal head (eye upward) and hindneck brown/black, lower sides of head pale buff, throat and sides of neck buff with fine black speckling, breast and cranial (fore) flanks buff with dark brown spotting, caudal flanks boldly barred. Rump, tail and coverts and abdomen vermiculated dark grey and white; upperparts brown-black with buff feather edging (mantle and scapulars), tertials dark brown, elongated. Wings grey, greater coverts broadly white-tipped, secondaries metallic green/blue with subterminal black and tipped white (B3, B5, B8, B25).
Variations (If present) Female:- slightly duller, tertials shorter, barring on flanks less distinct, speculum less bright (B1, B3, B5).

Sub-specific difference:- Anas versicolor fretensis - Southern silver teal coarser brown not black-brown spotting and barring, flank barring whitish bars narrower, blackish brown bars wider (B5, B25).

Juvenile Duller, crown browner, markings less distinct, lacks long tertials, speculum duller (B1, B3, B5, B25).

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Newly-hatched Characteristics

General: upperparts blackish brown with greyish-white markings; underparts greyish white, with black eyeline and short ‘ear’ line (B1, B5, B26).
Bill: Grey (B5).
Feet: Grey (B5).

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Reproduction

Reproductive Season

Time of year Variable; begin mainly October-November in the south, September to March in Peru (B1, B8).
No. of Clutches Up to four in a year (B8).

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Nest placement and structure

On the ground, in waterside reedbeds and long grass, down-lined (B1, B3, B5, B8, B25, B26).

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Egg clutches

No. of Eggs Average --
Range 6-10 (B1); 7-10 (B3, B8).
Egg Description Cream-white or pale pinkish (B3, B8, B26); size: 58 x 44mm; weight 34g (Anas versicolor versicolor - Northern silver teal) (B3).

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Incubation

25-27 days (B8); 25-26 days (B1, B3).

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Hatching

Synchronous.

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Fledging

50-60 days (B8).

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Sexual Maturity

Males Presumed one year old (Anas standard).
Females Presumed one year old (Anas standard).

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Behaviour

Feeding Behaviour

Adults Dabble, head-dip and up-end in shallow water, occasionally dive (B1, B3, B8, B25).
Newly-hatched --

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Parental Behaviour

Nest-building By female (B8).
Incubation By female (B3).
Newly-hatched Tended by both parents (B8, B25, B26).
Juveniles

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Social Behaviour

Intra-specific Usually found as pairs or small groups, but sometimes larger flocks (B3, B8, B25).
Inter-specific Sometimes found with other waterfowl species (B8, B25).

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Sexual Behaviour

Strong, long-term pair bonds (B3, B8, B25).

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Predation in Wild

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Activity Patterns

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Circadian --

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Natural Diet

Adults

Seeds and vegetative parts of aquatic plants, aquatic insects and their larvae, molluscs, crustaceans (B1, B3, B5, B8, B26).

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Newly-hatched

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Range and Habitat

Distribution and Movement (Migration etc.)

Normal Anas versicolor versicolor - Northern silver teal Southern Bolivia, southern Brazil south to central Argentina. A. v. frentensis - Southern silver teal Southern silver teal Central Chile and central Argentina south to Tierra del Fuego and Falkland Islands (B1, B8, B19).

Southern populations migrate as far north as southern Brazil in winter, others mainly sedentary, Falkland Islands population sedentary (B1, B8).

Occasional and Accidental

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Introduced

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Habitat

Shallow freshwater lakes, swamps, pools, in open country but with abundant bordering vegetation (B1, B3, B8, B19, B25, B26).

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Conservation

Intraspecific variation

Two subspecies usually described, Anas versicolor versicolor - Northern silver teal, and Anas versicolor fretensis - Southern silver teal with more yellow at bill base (B1, B3, B25).

Anas puna - Puna teal sometimes considered a sub-species, Anas versicolor puna, of the silver teal (B1, B3, B5, B25, B26).

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Conservation Status

Wild Population -
(Importance)

Not globally threatened, locally numerous (B1, B8).

CITES listing --
Red-data book listing --
Threats Some hunting pressure (B1, B8).

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Captive Populations

Anas versicolor versicolor - Northern silver teal is well established in collections (B8).

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Trade

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