Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)

Least Concern

Hottentot Teal (Spatula hottentota)


French: Sarcelle hottentote German: Hottentottenente Spanish: Cerceta hotentote

Querquedula hottentota


, 1838,

western coast of South Africa, near Orange River, Cape Province


Normally placed in Anas. Closest to S. puna and S. versicolor#R, and all three sometimes placed together in genus Punanetta. Earlier name Anas punctata suppressed owing to confusion over type specimens#R. Monotypic.


N Nigeria and S Niger E to L Chad area; Ethiopia S to Namibia and Western Cape Province (South Africa); Madagascar.

Descriptive notes

30–36 cm; one male 288 g, female 216–282 g; wingspan 58–69 cm. Small, often rather inconspicuous duck that is smaller and darker than Anas... read more


Clicking notes given by both sexes, e.g. a harsh “ke-ke-ke”, repeated up to 5–7 times at reducing... read more


Swamps, marshes, small lakes and pools of shallow fresh waters with abundant floating and emergent... read more

Food and feeding

Aquatic invertebrates (crustaceans, molluscs, insects and larvae, especially Coleoptera and Diptera), seeds, fruits, roots and vegetative... read more


Season variable, mainly according to water levels: all months in South Africa (peaking Jan–Apr, wet season), Apr–May and Aug (... read more


Mostly sedentary, but subject to seasonal movements of dispersal related with availability of... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Fairly widespread, though rather inconspicuous. In early 2000s, overall estimates of 25,000–100,000 birds in E & S Africa,... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Hottentot Teal (Spatula hottentota). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 25 February 2020).