Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)


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Kingdom  Animalia
Order  Charadriiformes
Higher classification  Ciconiiformes
Phylum  Chordata
Scientific name  Jacanidae
Rank  Family
Jacana Birds of The World SHOREBIRDS
Lower classifications  African jacana, Wattled jacana, Northern jacana, Madagascan jacana

Comb crested jacana with newly hatched chicks

The jacanas (sometimes referred to as Jesus birds or lily trotters) are a group of tropical waders in the family Jacanidae. They are found worldwide within the tropical zone. See Etymology below for pronunciation.


Jacana Jacana San Diego Zoo Animals amp Plants

Eight species of jacana are known from six genera. The fossil record of this family is restricted to a recent fossil of the wattled jacana from Brazil and a Pliocene fossil of an extinct species, Jacana farrandi, from Florida. A fossil from Miocene rocks in the Czech Republic was assigned to this family, but more recent analysis disputes the placement and moves the species to the Coraciidae.

Jacana Jaana The Big Foot of the Bird World The Ark In Space

They are identifiable by their huge feet and claws which enable them to walk on floating vegetation in the shallow lakes that are their preferred habitat. They have sharp bills and rounded wings, and many species also have wattles on their foreheads.

Jacana tolweborgtreeToLimages2153397648da1edb0879o

In terms of sexual size dimorphism, female jacanas are larger than the males. The latter, as in some other wader families like the phalaropes, take responsibility for incubation, and some species (notably the northern jacana) are polyandrous. However, adults of both sexes look identical, as with most shorebirds. They construct relatively flimsy nests on floating vegetation, and lay eggs with dark irregular lines on their shells, providing camouflage amongst water weeds.

Jacana Jacana Wikipedia

Their diet consists of insects and other invertebrates picked from the floating vegetation or the water’s surface.

Most species are sedentary, but the pheasant-tailed jacana migrates from the north of its range into peninsular India and southeast Asia.

Jacana africanus African jacana

African jacana the jesus bird

Etymology and pronunciation

Jacana Northern Jacana Audubon Field Guide

Jacana is Linnæus' scientific Latin spelling of the Brazilian Portuguese jaçanã. That is from a Tupi name of the bird, ñaha'nã.

The Portuguese word is pronounced approximately [ʒasaˈnã]. As in façade, Provençal, and araçari, the Ç is meant to be pronounced as an S. US dictionaries give various pronunciations: /ˌʒɑːsəˈnɑː/ ZHAH-sə-NAH, /ˌɑːsəˈnɑː/ JAH-sə-NAH, as well as the anglicised /əˈkɑːnə/ jə-KAH-nə, which is the only pronunciation in an Australian dictionary. A British dictionary gives /ˈækənə/ JAK-ə-nə for the spelling "jacana" and /ʒæsəˈnɑː/ zhas-ə-NAH for "jaçana".



  • Genus: Microparra
  • Lesser jacana – Microparra capensis
  • Genus: Actophilornis
  • African jacana – Actophilornis africanus
  • Madagascar jacana – Actophilornis albinucha
  • Genus: Irediparra
  • Comb-crested jacana – Irediparra gallinacea
  • Genus: Hydrophasianus
  • Pheasant-tailed jacana – Hydrophasianus chirurgus
  • Genus: Metopidius
  • Bronze-winged jacana – Metopidius indicus
  • Genus: Jacana
  • Northern jacana – Jacana spinosa
  • Wattled jacana – Jacana jacana
  • References

    Jacana Wikipedia