T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Penquin (White-flippered) Eudyptula minor albosignata

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves (the birds)
Order: Sphenisciformes (the penguins)
Family: Spheniscidae
Genus: Eudyptula
Species: E. minor
Subspecies: E. m. albosignata
Scientific name: Eudyptula minor albosignata
Synonyms: Eudyptula albosignata, Eudyptula minor minor morpha albosignata
Common name: White-flippered penguin, korora, Little Blue penquin

Eudyptula minor albosignata (White-flippered penguin) is a little blue penguin endemic to Canterbury. It is endangered and its numbers are decreasing. Colonies are located on Banks Peninsula and Motuanu Island. Stragglers are often found in the Cook Strait and coastal Otago. It is one of six subspecies of penguins of Eudyptula minor. It is slightly larger than Eudyptula minor (Little blue penguin) standing approximately 30 centimetres tall and weighing approximately 1.5 kilograms.

The white-flippered penguin is unique in that it has white colour markings on both edges of its flippers; as opposed to only one edge as with other Eudyptula penguins. The white-flippered penguin looks and behaves similar to other blue penguins. It has a stocky build with blue feathers above and white below. During August- October the adults return from the sea and make a difficult climb of 100 m or more up the steep rocky cliffs to build their nest. It is during March that the chicks fledge. The male and female penguins look similar but the female is slightly smaller. They are nocturnal and only come ashore at night after they first congregate into a group of several individuals.

The wing has a white band on each edge.



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