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Spotted jewel-babbler (Ptilorrhoa leucosticta)
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Cinclosomatidae
Genus: Ptilorrhoa
J.L. Peters, 1940
Type species
Eupetes caerulescens[1]
Temminck, 1836

4, see text

Global range (In red)

The jewel-babblers are the bird genus Ptilorrhoa in the family Cinclosomatidae. The genus contains four species that are endemic to New Guinea. The genus was once considered to contain the rail-babbler,[2] but that species is now considered to belong to its own family. The genus is closely related to the better known quail-thrushes (Cinclosoma) of New Guinea and Australia. Together with a number of other genera they comprise the family Cinclosomatidae, although the validity of this family as a whole has been questioned.

The jewel-babblers resemble the quail-thrushes in shape, being plump, long-tailed and short winged. They are adapted to life on the forest floor. The plumage of this genus is the most striking divergence from the quail-thrushes, having large amounts of blue and often with chestnut on the back. The throats of all species are white and the patch is mostly surrounded by a black edge. There is moderate levels of sexual dimorphism in the plumage, except in the dimorphic jewel-babbler where the female has no blue and is all chestnut coloured. When moving they hold the body horizontally to the ground, and bob their heads back and forth in a similar fashion to pigeons, and move their tail in a fashion similar to wagtails.

The jewel-babblers as a whole are not a well known or studied genus.

It contains the following species:

Image Common Name Scientific name Distribution
Spotted jewel-babbler Ptilorrhoa leucosticta Highland forest, New Guinea
Blue jewel-babbler Ptilorrhoa caerulescens subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, New Guinea
Brown-headed jewel-babbler Ptilorrhoa geislerorum New Guinea
Chestnut-backed jewel-babbler Ptilorrhoa castanonota subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, New Guinea


  1. ^ "Cinclosomatidae". The Trust for Avian Systematics. Retrieved 2023-07-16.
  2. ^ Peters, James L. (1940). "A Genus for Eupetes caerulescens Temminck" (PDF). The Auk. 57 (1): 94. doi:10.2307/4078852. JSTOR 4078852.

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