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O. pondicerianus
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Galliformes
Family: Phasianidae
Tribe: Gallini
Genus: Ortygornis
Reichenbach, 1852
Type species
Tetrao pondicerianus (grey francolin)

Ortygornis sephaena
Ortygornis pondicerianus
Ortygornis gularis


Dendroperdix (Smith, 1836)

Ortygornis is a genus of birds in the francolin group of the family Phasianidae.


The genus Ortygornis was introduced in 1852 by the German naturalist Ludwig Kaiser to accommodate a single species, the grey francolin, which is therefore the type species.[1] The name combines the Ancient Greek ortux meaning "quail" with ornis meaning "bird".[2]

The genus now contains three species, one found in Sub-Saharan Africa and two found South Asia (with one also being found in Iran). The species are:[3]

Image Common Name Scientific name Distribution
Crested francolin Ortygornis sephaena southern Africa.
Grey francolin Ortygornis pondicerianus India and Iran.
Swamp francolin Ortygornis gularis the Himalayas in northern India and Nepal.

Of the three species, the crested francolin was formerly placed in its own monotypic genus, Dendroperdix, while the two Asian species were formerly placed in Francolinus. Phylogenetic analyses support these three species grouping together as a distinct clade.[4][5]


  1. ^ Reichenbach, Ludwig (1852). Handbuch der speciellen Ornithologie (in German). Vol. 1. Dresden und Leipzig: Expedition Vollständigsten Naturgeschichte. p. xxviii. For a discussion of the publication date see: Dickinson, E.C.; Overstreet, L.K.; Dowsett, R.J.; Bruce, M.D. (2011). Priority! The Dating of Scientific Names in Ornithology: a Directory to the literature and its reviewers. Northampton, UK: Aves Press. p. 134. ISBN 978-0-9568611-1-5.
  2. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 285. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  3. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David; Rasmussen, Pamela, eds. (January 2022). "Pheasants, partridges, francolins". IOC World Bird List Version 12.1. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 6 July 2022.
  4. ^ Mandiwana-Neudani, T.G.; Little, R.M.; Crowe, T.M.; Bowie, R.C. (2019). "Taxonomy, phylogeny and biogeography of African spurfowls Galliformes, Phasianidae, Phasianinae, Coturnicini: Pternistis spp" (PDF). Ostrich. 90 (2): 145–172. doi:10.2989/00306525.2019.1584925. S2CID 195417777.
  5. ^ Kimball, R.T.; Hosner, P.A.; Braun, E.L. (2021). "A phylogenomic supermatrix of Galliformes (Landfowl) reveals biased branch lengths". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 158: 107091. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2021.107091. PMID 33545275. S2CID 231963063.

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