Laridae, gulls, cosmopolitan.
The family Laridae is composed of two chief groups, Larinae and Sterninae - the gulls and the terns, though two other subfamilies are frequently counted, the skuas (Stercorariinae), and that formed by the single genus Rhynchops, the skimmers; but there seems no strong reason why the former should not be referred to the Larinae and the latter to the Sterninae.
The sub-family Sterninae of the gulls or Laridae, but, according to P. J.
SKUA, 1 the name for a long while given to certain of the Laridae (see Gull), birds which sufficiently differ in structure, appearance and habits to justify their separation as a distinct genus, Stercorarius (Lestris of some writers), or even subfamily, Stercorariinae.
The petrels, all of which are placed in the family Procellariidae, were formerly associated with the Laridae (see GuLL), but they are now placed as the sole members of the suborder Tubinares (the name denoting the characteristic tubular structure of their nostrils) and of the order Procellariiformes (see Bird).