Monotypic, presumably related to
Laughing Gull. Found only in the Galapagos Islands and probably one of
the world's rarest gulls. The total world population is estimated at only
Adult plumage is acquired in the third year. All plumages are sooty-brown or sooty-gray.
Adult Lava Gull. Significantly larger than Laughing Gull (L. atricilla), which it resembles. The white rather than gray eye-crescents suggest this individual is in alternate rather than basic plumage. Notice how the dark hood is clearly differentiated from the grayer body. Photographed in the Galapagos Islands during early November. Copyright of Angus Wilson©.