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Temporal range: Early Pliocene to recent
Black grouse (Lyrurus tetrix)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Galliformes
Family: Phasianidae
Tribe: Tetraonini
Genus: Lyrurus
Swainson, 1832
Type species
Tetrao tetrix (black grouse)
Linnaeus, 1758

Lyrurus tetrix
Lyrurus mlokosiewiczi

Lyrurus is a genus of birds in the grouse subfamily. They are known as black grouse because the male's plumage of both species is colored black as its base colour.


The genus Lyrurus was introduced in 1832 by the English naturalist William John Swainson with the black grouse as the type species.[1] The genus name combines the Ancient Greek lura meaning "lyre" with -ouros meaning "-tailed".[2]


The genus contains two species:[3]

Image Scientific name Common name Distribution
Birkhahn.jpg Lyrurus tetrix Black grouse Europe (Swiss-Italian-French Alps specially) from Great Britain (but not Ireland) through Scandinavia and Estonia, eastwards through Russia and parts of Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and China
Tetrao mlokosiewiczi 67094840.jpg Lyrurus mlokosiewiczi Caucasian grouse The Caucasus, specifically the Caucasus Mountains


  1. ^ Swainson, William John; Richardson, J. (1831). Fauna Boreali-Americana, or, The Zoology of the Northern Parts of British America. Vol. Part 2. The Birds. London: J. Murray. p. 497. The title page bears the year 1831 but the volume was no published until 1832.
  2. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 233. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  3. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David; Rasmussen, Pamela, eds. (July 2021). "Pheasants, partridges, francolins". IOC World Bird List Version 11.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 23 August 2021.