• WordNet 3.6
    • n Sterna a genus of Sterninae
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n sterna A Linnean genus of Laridæ, typical of the subfamily Sterninæ, and containing all the terns or sea-swallows, or variously restricted. It is now commonly confined to species of moderate and large size, white with usually a pearly-blue mantle and black cap, and having a long deeply-forked tail, whose outer feathers are more or less narrowly linear for much of their length. The species are numerous, and are found all over the world, as S. hirundo, the common tern of Europe and America; S. arctica, the arctic tern of the northern hemisphere; S. paradisea or dougalli, the roseate tern (see cut under roseate), very widely distributed; and S. forsteri and S. trudeaui of America. Among the large species, representing a subgenus Thalasseus, are S. tschegrava or caspia, the Caspian tern of Asia, Europe, and America; S. maxima, the royal tern (smaller than the last, in spite of its name) of America; S. elegans, the ducal tern of America. (See cut under Thalasseus.) A group of small species, such as S. minuta of Europe and S. antillarum of America, are called least terns, and all have a white frontal crescent in the black cap: these represent a subgenus Sternula. (See cut under Sternula.) Some middle-sized terns with dark upper parts, widely distributed in tropical and warm temperate regions, are the subgenus Haliplana, as the common sooty and bridled terns, S. fuliginosa and S. anæsthetica. (See cut under sooty.) Gull-billed terns form a section Gelochelidon (see cut there). The wholly white terns, the black terns, and the noddies belong to other genera. See Sterninæ and tern.
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In literature:

The fish were attended by flocks of terns and noddies, the former the beautiful Sterna melanauchen.
"Narrative Of The Voyage Of H.M.S. Rattlesnake, Commanded By The Late Captain Owen Stanley, R.N., F.R.S. Etc. During The Years 1846-1850. Including Discoveries And Surveys In New Guinea, The Louisiade Archipelago, Etc. To Which Is Added The Account Of Mr. E.B. Kennedy's Expedition For The Exploration Of The Cape York Peninsula. By John Macgillivray, F.R.G.S. Naturalist To The Expedition. In Two Volumes. Volume 1." by John MacGillivray
Sterna melanauchen 1 2 3.
"Voyage Of H.M.S. Rattlesnake, Vol. 2 (of 2)" by John MacGillivray
A. Sterna anglica, Mont.
"In the Andamans and Nicobars" by C. Boden Kloss
S^8, Sclerite between 7th and 8th sterna.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 13, Slice 4" by Various