The CROWNED LAPWING (Vanellus coronatus)
from sub-Saharan Africa, also called CROWNED PLOVER, is
related to the Senegal/African Wattled Lapwing and Australian Masked Lapwing (also called Masked Plover). Both male and female have a black top of head surrounded by white and then a thick black border; chest and wings are grey and under-parts white. It has no wattle.
The BLACKSMITH LAPWING (Vanellus armatus, also
Anitibyx armatus) from southern sub-Saharan Africa, also called the BLACKSMITH PLOVER, is named because of its chinking alarm call.
The "armatus" name relates to the bony "spurs" usually covered by plumage on its wings (cf. spur-winged plover) and used for territorial disputes and other fights.
The Blacksmith Lapwing/Plover is known for eating insects/parasites off large reptiles, including, it is said, cleaning food and leeches from the teeth/jaws of crocodiles (see also Egyptian Plover).
The EGYPTIAN PLOVER (Pluvianus aegyptius) from tropical Africa, including West Africa despite its name, is also sometimes called the Crocodile Bird due to a myth that it takes waste food and leeches from crocodiles' teeth; a story from Herodotus mentioning this alleged habit was based on Nile Crocodiles, hence the bird's common name.
A boldly marked bird with black crown bordered in white, orange breast and silver wings which, in flight, show a black bar with white margins, it is the only bird in the genus
KITTLITZ'S PLOVER (Charadrius pecuarius) is from sub-Saharan Africa and Egypt. It has bolder black lines on its face in the breeding season and loses the black in the non-breeding/winter season.