Black-naped Tern (species: Sterna sumatrana) in Lizard Island area: all known taxa (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Sterna sumatrana
Black-naped Tern

©Ceri Pearce: Black-naped Terns at Eagle Island near Lizard Island

©Ceri Pearce: Black-naped Terns at Bird Islet, Lizard Island group.

©Anne Hoggett: Sterna sumatrana at Cod Hole, 27 Oct 2012
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Charadriiformes
Family Sternidae
Genus Sterna
Species Sterna sumatrana
Status unspecified



Distinguishing features

Appears bright white in flight with a narrow black band through the eye and across nape of neck. Back and wings very pale grey. Tail deeply forked. Black bill and legs.


  • Size data has not been obtained.


  • Wingspan data is not yet available.


Similar taxa


©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Local abundance

  • Lizard Island, Queensland, Australia: Moderately common during the breeding season (September to February) in the Lizard Island area. Domm (1977) says the species occurs year-round in the Lizard Island area while Smith (1987) says it is a regular visitor.


Eggs are laid on bare rock (Bird Islet and "Rocky Point" at Lizard Island) or on sand just above the high tide mark (Eagle Island) between September and February (Domm, 1977).

Web resources


  • Blaber, S.J.M., D.A. Milton, M.J. Farmer and G.C. Smith (1998). Seabird breeding populations on the far northern Great Barrier Reef, Australia: Trends and influences, Emu, 98: 44-57. LIRS catalog number 662.
  • Blaber, S.J.M., D.A. Milton, G.C. Smith and M.J. Farmer (1995). Trawl discards in the diets of tropical seabirds of the northern Great Barrier Reef, Australia, Marine Ecology Progress Series, 127: 1-13. LIRS catalog number 433.
  • Domm, S. (1977). Sea birds and waders of the Lizard Island area, The Sunbird, 8: 1-8. LIRS catalog number 4.
  • View all references