Scaly spurfowl

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Scaly spurfowl
Scaly francolin (Pternistis squamatus).jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Galliformes
Family: Phasianidae
Genus: Pternistis
P. squamatus
Binomial name
Pternistis squamatus
(Cassin, 1857)
Scaly spurfowl distribution map.svg
   geographic distribution

Francolinus squamatus

The scaly spurfowl (Pternistis squamatus) is a species of bird in the family Phasianidae. It is found in Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.


The scaly spurfowl was formally described in 1857 by the American ornithologist John Cassin from specimens collected by Paul Du Chaillu in the Cape Lopez region in what is now the West Africa state of Gabon. Cassin coined the binomial name Francolinus squamatus.[2] The specific epithet squamatus is Latin for "scaled".[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 the scaly spurfowl is a sister species to the Ahanta spurfowl.[6]

Three subspecies are now recognised:[5]

  • P. s. squamatus (Cassin, 1857) — southeast Nigeria to north and east Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo), Gabon and the Republic of the Congo (R Congo)
  • P. s. schuetti (Cabanis, 1880) — east R Congo to Uganda, central and southwest Kenya, and central Ethiopia. Also northeast and southeast Tanzania and north Malawi (Vipya Plateau)[a]
  • P. s. maranensis (Mearns, 1910) — southeast Kenya, northeast Tanzania


  1. ^ Mandiwana-Neudani et al. (2019) treat P. s. schuetti as a full species, Schuett's spurfowl.[6]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2016). "Pternistis squamatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T22678839A92791112. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22678839A92791112.en. Retrieved 15 November 2021.
  2. ^ Cassin, John (1856). "Catalogue of Birds collected at Cape Lopez, Western Africa, by Mr. P.B. DuChaillu, in 1856, with notes and descriptions of new species". Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. 8: 316–322 [321]. Although the title page gives the year as 1856, the volume was not published until 1857.
  3. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 363. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  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. ^ a b 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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