Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)

Least Concern

Mottled Duck (Anas fulvigula)


French: Canard brun German: Mexikostockente Spanish: Ánade moteado

Anas obscura var. fulvigula


, 1874,

St John’s River, Florida


Hitherto included within A. platyrhynchos. Close relationship between forms fulvigula and diazi apparent in morphology and established by molecular analysis#R. Both taxa differ from A. platyrhynchos on account of male appearing like female (4); white line on lower edge of speculum narrower or non-existent (1); upperwing-coverts dark-mottled brown, continuous with back vs plain grey in male and dark-mottled brownish-grey in female platyrhynchos (ns[1]); speculum green-blue vs purple-blue (2). Differences between diazi and fulvigula are not marked: fulvigula has plainer, buffier face with less dark crown (2), an obvious black spot at base of mandible vs barely discernible black spot (1), no or vestigial white borders to speculum (1), and weaker yellow bill (ns[1]). Three subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. f. diazi Ridgway, 1886 – Mexican Duck – extreme S USA from Arizona to Texas, S to C Mexico.
  • A. f. maculosa Sennett, 1889 – coast of S USA (Texas, Louisiana) S to E Mexico.
  • A. f. fulvigula Ridgway, 1874 – Florida Duck – Florida.
  • Descriptive notes

    53–58 cm (fulvigula), 51–56 cm (diazi); 699–1151 g (fulvigula), 815–1060 g (diazi). Previously considered as... read more


    Vocalizations of race fulvigula similar to those of A. platyrhynchos, with male... read more


    Can occur on almost every wetland within range, large or small, seasonal or permanent, in fresh,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Omnivorous and opportunistic. Diet of fulvigula/maculosa comprises molluscs, insects (especially chironomids),... read more


    Mainly Feb–Jun, occasionally as late as Aug in maculosa. Race fulvigula, at least, seasonally monogamous, although extra-... read more


    Considered to be largely sedentary, although race diazi has occasionally been recorded N... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Subspecies fulvigula and maculosa combined numbered c. 200,000–250,000 in 1960s, but latter has spread N since then... read more

    Recommended citation

    del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Mottled Duck (Anas fulvigula). 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 21 February 2020).