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Stone partridge
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Galliformes
Family: Odontophoridae
Subfamily: Ptilopachinae
Bowie, Coehn & Crowe 2013
Genus: Ptilopachus
Swainson, 1837
Type species
Ptilopachus erythrorhynchus[1] = Tetrao petrosus
Swainson, 1837

Stone partridge (P. petrosus)
Nahan's partridge (P. nahani)

Ptilopachus is an African genus of birds in the New World quail family.


The genus Ptilopachus was introduced in 1837 by the English naturalist William John Swainson to accommodate a single species, the stone partridge, which is therefore the type species.[2][3] The genus name is from Ancient Greek ptilon meaning "feather" with pakhus meaning "thick" or "dense".[4]

As traditionally defined, only the stone partridge was included in this genus, but based on genetic evidence, it now also includes Nahan's partridge (formerly considered a francolin). The study also concludes that this genus is more closely related to the New World quails (Odontophoridae) and might be considered their only African representative.[5][6][7]

Image Genus Common Name Distribution
P. petrosus Gmelin, 1789 Stone partridge Kenya and Ethiopia to Gambia
P. nahani (Dubois, AJC, 1905) Nahan's partridge northeastern DR Congo and western Uganda


At about 25 cm (9.8 in) in length, both are relatively small, terrestrial birds with a red eye-ring, base of the bill, and legs, and brownish upperparts.[8]

See also

  • Donacobius, the only American species of an otherwise Old World bird lineage


  1. ^ "Odontophoridae". The Trust for Avian Systematics. Retrieved 2023-08-05.
  2. ^ Swainson, William John (1837). On the Natural History and Classification of Birds. Vol. 2. London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, Green & Longman and John Taylor. p. 344.
  3. ^ Peters, James Lee, ed. (1934). Check-List of Birds of the World. Vol. 2. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. p. 104.
  4. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 323. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  5. ^ Crowe, T.M.; Bowie, R.C.K.; Bloomer, P.; Mandiwana, T.G.; Hedderson, T.A.J.; Randi, E.; Pereira, S.L.; Wakeling, J. (2006). "Phylogenetics, biogeography and classification of, and character evolution in, gamebirds (Aves: Galliformes): effects of character exclusion, data partitioning and missing data". Cladistics. 22 (6): 495–532. doi:10.1111/j.1096-0031.2006.00120.x. hdl:2263/14099. PMID 34892896.
  6. ^ Cohen, C.; Wakeling, J.L.; Mandiwana-Neudani, T.G.; Sande, E.; Dranzoa, C.; Crowe, T.M.; Bowie, R.C.K. (2012). "Phylogenetic affinities of evolutionarily enigmatic African galliforms: the Stone partridge Ptilopachus petrosus and Nahan's francolin Francolinus nahani, and support for their sister relationship with New World quails". Ibis. 154 (4): 768–780. doi:10.1111/j.1474-919X.2012.01269.x.
  7. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David; Rasmussen, Pamela, eds. (January 2022). "Megapodes, guans, guineafowl, New World quail". IOC World Bird List Version 12.1. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 5 July 2022.
  8. ^ McGowan, P. J. K. (1994). Francolins (genus Francolinus). Pp. 489–504 in: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., & Sargatal, J. eds. (1994). Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. 2. New World Vultures to Guineafowl. Lynx Edicions, Barcelon. ISBN 84-87334-15-6

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