Penguin Species

 Genus Aptenodytes

Emperor Penguins – Aptenodytes forsteri

Emperor penguins by Georges Nijs

Emperor penguins
by Georges Nijs

The largest standing and most easily recognised of the living penguin species standing at almost a metre tall (Barbraud, Weimerskirch 2001). Exclusively found in the high Antarctic, Emperor penguins breed, in large colonies, on sea ice and islets found around the coast of the Antarctic continent (Barbraud, Weimerskirch 2001).


King Penguins – Aptenodytes patagonica

King penguin William Warby

King penguin
William Warby


This species of penguin can grow to about 80 centimetres tall They are found in Subantarctic and Antarctic fringe areas (Stonehouse 1960). They breed in large colonies on numerous islands, including The Falkland Islands and Marion Island, rearing a single chick (Stonehouse 1960).


Genus Pygoscelis

Gentoo Penguins – Pygoscelis papua

Gentoo Penguin By Samuel Blanc

Gentoo Penguin
By Samuel Blanc

This species is the largest of the pygoscelids, they distribute themselves on temperate and Antarctic islands (Wilson, Adelung & Latorre 1998). Southern Gentoos breed on the Southern Scotion Arc, Both on the peninsula and on the surrounding islands (Wilson, Adelung & Latorre 1998). The Northern Gentoos breed in the grass of areas such as Iles Crozet and the Falkland Islands (Wilson, Adelung & Latorre 1998).



Chinstrap Penguins – Pygoscelis antarctica

Chinstrap Penguin  By Gilad Rom

Chinstrap Penguin
By Gilad Rom

This species of penguin are the smallest of the pygoscelids. They breed mostly on Islands of the Scotia Arc, as well as on the Antarctic peninsula (South of 65°S) (Trivelpiece et al. 1986). Chinstrap penguins breed in large colonies of tens or even hundreds of thousands (Trivelpiece et al. 1986). Their breeding grounds are often rugged, rocky slopes which are sometimes adjacent to colonies of Gentoo or Adelie penguins (Trivelpiece et al. 1986).



Adelie penguins – Pygoscelis adeliae

Adelie penguin By Jerzy Strzelecki

Adelie penguin
By Jerzy Strzelecki

Adelie Penguins can be recognised by their short limbs, dense plumage and feathered beak. They breed in colonies along the coasts of the Antarctic continent and Peninsula as well as on the southern Scotia Arc islands (Taylor 1962). Adelie Penguins will spend the winter in the pack ice, following which they will return to their breeding grounds in October (often this will occur before the spring thaw has begun) (Taylor 1962).



Genus Eudyptes

(There are six species of penguin in this genus, however four of these species do not class as Antarctic penguins)

Macaroni Penguins – Eudyptes chrysolophos

Macaroni penguin By Liam Quinn

Macaroni penguin
By Liam Quinn


Probably the largest members of this genus with size and weight approaching the smaller pygoscelid penguins (Davis, Croxall & Oconnell 1989), They breed in south Georgia and other islands of the Scotia Arc (Davis, Croxall & Oconnell 1989).


Rockhopper penguin – Eudyptes crestatus

Rockhopper penguin By Samuel Blanc.

Rockhopper penguin
By Samuel Blanc

Rockhopper penguins can be found scattered across islands of the Subantarctic zone, breeding on scree slopes in large colonies (Guinard, Weimerskirch & Jouventin 1998). They are a small breed of penguins, their crests droop in comparison to Maceroni penguins and they have bright red eyes (Guinard, Weimerskirch & Jouventin 1998).