Eudyptula is a genus of only a single penguin species (a “monotypic” genus) within the penguin family of seventeen species. Eudyptula is also known as the Little penguin, the Little blue penguin, the Blue penguin or the Fairy penguin. The Little Penguin is the smallest member of seventeen species of flightless birds in the family of penguins.
Like all penguins, the Little penguin is characterized by its erect posture (although less so than other species of penguins), stiff wings (flippers), excellent swimming ability, awkward movement out of water, and distinctive two-tone colouring. The dark back and white front, make all penguins difficult to see when swimming, blending against the sea from above and the sky from below.
The Little penguin is also the only nocturnal penguin.
Six subspecies of the Little penguin have been described. One of them, the White-flippered penguin (Eudyptula minor albosignata), is considered by some not to be a subspecies but, in fact, a separate species (or a subspecies of a separate species) under the genus Eudyptula. If classified as a separate species, its conservation status is considered endangered.
- Eudyptes Penguinworld.com (accessed March 29, 2009)
- [www.catalogueoflife.org/annual-checklist/2009/ Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2009 Annual Checklist]. Bisby FA, Roskov YR, Orrell TM, Nicolson D, Paglinawan LE, Bailly N, Kirk PM, Bourgoin T, Baillargeon G., eds (2009), Species 2000: Reading, UK.