Grey francolin Francolinus pondicerianus interpositus, copyright Jugal Tiwari.

Belongs within: Phasianidae.

Francolinus, the francolins, is a diverse genus of quail- and partridge-like birds found in Africa and southern Asia. Members of the genus have streaked, barred or vermiculated plumage dorsally, and scutellate scalation on the rear of the tarsus.

Recent phylogenetic studies indicate that the genus Francolinus as previously recognised is broadly polyphyletic. In particular, the junglefowl of the genus Gallus, including the domestic chicken G. gallus, may be nested within Francolinus. Junglefowl are distinguished from other members of the Phasianidae by the presence in males of well-developed wattles and a comb on the head, and a strongly arched tail. They are currently found in tropical Asia, though fossils also indicate the presence of chickens in Europe during the warm interglacials of the Pleistocene (Mlíkovský 2002). The domestic chicken, of course, has been carried by humans around the world. Also potentially nested within Francolinus are the bamboo-partridges of the genus Bambusicola, forest partridges with a long wedge-shaped tail found in eastern Asia.

<==Francolinus Stephens 1819 [Francolinini]B94
    |--F. francolinusBKB15
    |    |--F. f. francolinusL81
    |    `--F. f. asiaeL81
    `--+--+--F. coquiBKB15
       |  `--F. lathamiBKB15
       |--+--F. sephaenaBKB15
       |  `--+--F. gularisBKB15
       |     `--F. pondicerianusBKB15
       |          |--F. p. pondicerianusL81
       |          `--F. p. interpositusL81
       `--+--+--F. levaillantiiBKB15
          |  `--+--F. finschiBKB15
          |     `--+--F. africanusBKB15
          |        |--F. levaillantoidesBKB15
          |        |    |--F. l. levaillantoidesB93
          |        |    `--F. l. jugularis (see below for synonymy)B93
          |        `--F. shelleyiBKB15
             |    |--B. fytchiiBKB15
             |    `--B. thoracicusBKB15
             |         |--B. t. thoracicusWBSJ82
             |         `--B. t. sonorivoxWBSJ82
             `--Gallus Brisson 1760BKB15, CC10 [incl. Pliogallus Gaillard 1939M02; Gallini]
                  |  i. s.: G. beremendensis Jánossy 1976M02
                  |         G. europaeus Harrison 1978M02
                  |         G. ferrugineusS89 [=G. gallus ferrugineusL81]
                  |         G. moldovicus Burčak-Abramovič, Ganea & Šušpanov 1993M02
                  |--*G. gallus (Linnaeus 1758)CC10, KB14, CC10 (see below for synonymy)
                  |    |--G. g. gallusSMD01
                  |    |--G. g. bankiva Temminck 1813L81, CC10
                  |    |--G. g. domesticus (Linnaeus 1758)SMD01
                  |    |--G. g. jabouilleiRN72
                  |    |--G. g. murghiiL81
                  |    `--G. g. spadiceusRN72
                  `--+--G. variusBKB15
                     `--+--G. lafayetiiBKB15
                        `--G. sonneratiiBKB15
Francolinus incertae sedis:
  F. ahantensisJT12
  F. albogularisJT12
  F. camerunensisJT12
  F. chinensisS89
  F. clappertoni Children 1826 [=Perdix clappertoni; incl. F. rueppellii Gray 1844]S05
    |--F. c. clappertoniS05
    |--F. c. koenigseggi Madarász 1914S05
    |--F. c. nigrosquamatus Neumann 1902S05
    `--F. c. sharpii Ogilvie-Grant 1892S05
  F. harwoodiJT12
  F. icterorhynchusJT12
  F. jacksoniJT12
  F. nobilisJT12
  F. ochropectusJT12
  F. pictusJT12
  F. pintadeanusJT12
  F. psilolaemusJT12
  F. rufopictusJT12
  F. schlegeliiJT12
  F. streptophorusJT12
  F. swierstraiJT12
Inorganic: Gallus gallus minilorientalus Okamura 1987O87
Nomina nuda: Gallus steinheimensis Fraas in Engel 1908M02

Francolinus levaillantoides jugularis [incl. Scleroptila jugularis cunenensis Roberts 1932, S. jugularis gilli Roberts ex Brooke 1993 (n. n.)]B93

*Gallus gallus (Linnaeus 1758)CC10, KB14, CC10 [=Phasianus gallusCC10; incl. *Pliogallus crassipes Gaillard 1939M02, G. domesticus fossilis Giebel 1847 (n. n.)M02, P. kormosi Gaillard 1939M02, G. gallus levantinus Pichon & Tchernov 1987M02]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B94] Bock, W. J. 1994. History and nomenclature of avian family-group names. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 222: 1–281.

[B93] Brooke, R. K. 1993. Annotated catalogue of the Aves type specimens in the South African Museum. Annals of the South African Museum 102 (10): 327–349.

[BKB15] Burleigh, J. G., R. T. Kimball & E. L. Braun. 2015. Building the avian tree of life using a large-scale, sparse supermatrix. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 84: 53–63.

[CC10] Checklist Committee (OSNZ). 2010. Checklist of the Birds of New Zealand, Norfolk and Macquarie Islands, and the Ross Dependency, Antarctica 4th ed. Ornithological Society of New Zealand and Te Papa Press: Wellington.

[JT12] Jetz, W., G. H. Thomas, J. B. Joy, K. Hartmann & A. Ø. Mooers. 2012. The global diversity of birds in space and time. Nature 491: 444–448.

[KB14] Kimball, R. T., & E. L. Braun. 2014. Does more sequence data improve estimates of galliform phylogeny? Analyses of a rapid radiation using a complete data matrix. PeerJ 2: e361.

[L81] Long, J. L. 1981. Introduced Birds of the World: The worldwide history, distribution and influence of birds introduced to new environments. Reed: Sydney.

[M02] Mlíkovský, J. 2002. Cenozoic Birds of the World. Part 1: Europe. Ninox Press: Praha.

[O87] Okamura, C. 1987. New facts: Homo and all Vertebrata were born simultaneously in the former Paleozoic in Japan. Original Report of the Okamura Fossil Laboratory 15: 347–573.

[RN72] Rutgers, A., & K. A. Norris (eds) 1972. Encyclopaedia of Aviculture vol. 1. London, Blandford Press.

[S89] Salvadori, T. 1889. Viaggio di Leonardo Fea nella Birmania e nelle regioni vicine. XIX.—Uccelli raccolti nei Monti Carin a nord-est di Tounghoo, nel Pegù presso Rangoon e Tounghoo e nel Tenasserim presso Malewoon. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Genova, Serie 2a, 7: 369–438.

[SMD01] Skoracki, M., W. Magowski & J. Dabert. 2001. Picobia polonica sp. n. (Acari: Prostigmata: Syringophilidae), a new species of quill mite from the domestic hen, Gallus gallus domesticus (Aves: Phasianidae). Folia Parasitologica 48: 154–158.

[S05] Steinheimer, F. D. 2005. Eduard Rüppel’s avian types at the Natural History Museum, Tring (Aves). Senckenbergiana Biologica 85 (2): 233–264.

[WBSJ82] Wild Bird Society of Japan. 1982. A Field Guide to the Birds of Japan. Kodansha International Ltd.: Tokyo.

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