Hildebrandt's spurfowl

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Hildebrandt's spurfowl
Hildebrandt's francolin (Pternistis hildebrandti).jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Galliformes
Family: Phasianidae
Genus: Pternistis
P. hildebrandti
Binomial name
Pternistis hildebrandti
(Cabanis, 1878)
Hildebrandt's spurfowl distribution map.svg
   geographic distribution

Francolinus hildebrandti

Hildebrandt' s Francolin (Pternistis hildebrandti) (8290838825).jpg

Hildebrandt's spurfowl (Pternistis hildebrandti) is a species of bird in the family Phasianidae. It is found in Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Zambia. The species is named for Johann Maria Hildebrandt, who collected the first specimens in Kenya. The sexes differ markedly in their plumage and females are smaller than males.


Hildebrandt's spurfowl was described in 1878 by the German ornithologist Jean Cabanis based on specimens collected by the zoologist Johann Maria Hildebrandt in the Taita–Taveta County of Kenya. Cabanis honoured Hildebrandt and coined the scientific name Francolinus (Scleroptera) hildebrandti.[2][3] The species is now placed in the genus Pternistis that was introduced by the German naturalist Johann Georg Wagler in 1832.[4][5] A phylogenetic study published in 2019 found that Hildebrandt's spurfowl is sister to the Natal spurfowl.[6]

Two subspecies are recognised:[5]

  • P. h. hildebrandti (Cabanis, 1878) — Kenya, north and west Tanzania, southeast Democratic Republic of the Congo, northeast Zambia
  • P. h. johnstoni (Shelley, 1894) — southeast Tanzania, north Mozambique, Malawi


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2018). "Pternistis hildebrandti". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2018: e.T22678827A132050308. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T22678827A132050308.en. Retrieved 14 November 2021.
  2. ^ Cabanis, Jean (1878). "Francolinus (Scleroptera) hildebrandti". Journal für Ornithologie (in German). 26: 204, 206, 243–244, Plate 4 Fig. 2. doi:10.1007/BF02004188. S2CID 46121382.
  3. ^ Peters, James Lee, ed. (1934). Check-list of Birds of the World. Vol. 2. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. p. 81.
  4. ^ Wagler, Johann Georg (1832). "Neue Sippen und Gattungen der Säugthiere und Vögel". Isis von Oken (in German and Latin). cols 1218–1235 [1229].
  5. ^ a b Gill, Frank; Donsker, David; Rasmussen, Pamela, eds. (2020). "Pheasants, partridges, francolins". IOC World Bird List Version 10.1. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 8 February 2020.
  6. ^ Mandiwana-Neudani, T.G.; Little, R.M.; Crowe, T.M.; Bowie, R.C.K. (2019). "Taxonomy, phylogeny and biogeography of African spurfowls Galliformes, Phasianidae, Phasianinae, Coturnicini: Pternistis spp". Ostrich. 90 (2): 145–172. doi:10.2989/00306525.2019.1584925. S2CID 195417777.

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