Common quail Coturnix coturnix, photographed by Wr.

Belongs within: Phasianidae.

Coturnix includes the Old World quails: small, short-tailed, often cryptically coloured gamebirds. They are relatively strong long-distance fliers, and include the only migratory phasianids. The king quail Coturnix chinensis, found in the wild from southern Asia to eastern Australia, is commonly kept as cagebirds.

Characters (from Madge & McGowan 2002): Bill slender; tail with 8-12 insignificant feathers, concealed by the coverts; outer primaries markedly long; tarsi unspurred.

<==Coturnix Bonnaterre 1791 M02 (see below for synonymy)
    |  i. s.: C. coromandelica (Gmelin 1789) [=Tetrao coromandelicus] CC10
    |         C. delegorguei JT12
    |         C. gallica (Milne-Edwards 1869) (see below for synonymy) M02
    |         C. longipes (Milne-Edwards 1869) (see below for synonymy) M02
    |--C. chinensis (Linnaeus 1766) BKB15, CC10 (see below for synonymy)
    |    |--C. c. chinensis L81
    |    `--C. c. lineata L81
    `--+--+--C. australis (Latham 1802) BKB15, CC10 (see below for synonymy)
       |  `--C. ypsilophora Bosc 1792 BKB15, R85 (see below for synonymy)
       `--+--Margaroperdix madagascariensis BKB15
          `--+--+--C. novaezelandiae Quoy & Gaimard in Dumont d’Urville 1830 BKB15, CC10 (see below for synonymy)
             |  `--C. pectoralis Gould 1837 BKB15, WS48 (see below for synonymy)
             `--+--C. coturnix (Linnaeus 1758) BKB15, M02 (see below for synonymy)
                |    |--C. c. coturnix L81
                |    `--C. c. africana L81
                `--C. japonica BKB15 [=C. coturnix japonica L81]

Coturnix Bonnaterre 1791 M02 [=Ortyx Chenu & des Murs 1854 non Stephens 1819 B94; incl. Palaeoperdix Milne-Edwards 1869 M02, Palaeortyx Milne-Edwards 1869 M02, Schaubortyx Brodkorb 1964 M02, Synaecus Agassiz 1846 CC10, Synoicus Gould 1843 CC10, Ypsilophorus Mathews 1912 CC10, Zecoturnix Iredale & Mathews 1926 CC10; Coturnicini, Ortygini]

Coturnix australis (Latham 1802) BKB15, CC10 [=Perdix australis WS48, C. ypsilophora australis M03, *Synaecus australis CC10, Synoecus (l. c.) australis CC10, *Synoicus ypsilophorus australis CC10, WS48, *Ypsilophorus australis CC10; incl. C. australis mungi Mathews 1912 WS48, C. australis rogersi Mathews 1912 WS48]

Coturnix chinensis (Linnaeus 1766) BKB15, CC10 [=Tetrao chinensis CC10, Ecalfactoria chinensis CC10, Excalphatoria (l. c.) sinensis CC10]

Coturnix coturnix (Linnaeus 1758) BKB15, M02 [=Tetrao coturnix M02, *Ortyx coturnix B94; incl. *Coturnix communis CC10, Scolopax ghardalamensis Fischer & Stephan 1974 M02]

Coturnix gallica (Milne-Edwards 1869) [=*Palaeortyx gallica, Taoperdix gallica; incl. Pa. brevipes Milne-Edwards 1869, T. brevipes, Rallus dasypus Milne-Edwards 1892, Quercyrallus dasypus, Palaeortyx depereti Ennouchi 1930, Plioperdix depereti, Pa. grivensis Lydekker 1893, Pl. grivensis, Pa. joleaudi Ennouchi 1930, Pl. joleaudi, Taoperdix keltica Eastman 1905, *Schaubortyx keltica, Coturnix miocenica Villalta 1963, Palaeortyx ocyptera Milne-Edwards 1892] M02

Coturnix longipes (Milne-Edwards 1869) [=*Palaeoperdix longipes, Palaeortyx longipes; incl. Palaeocryptonyx gaillardi Ennouchi 1930, Proalector gaillardi, Palaeortyx phasianoides grivensis Ballmann 1969 non Lydekker 1893, Palaeortyx intermedia Ballmann 1969] M02

Coturnix novaezelandiae Quoy & Gaimard in Dumont d’Urville 1830 BKB15, CC10 [=C. novaezealandiae CC10, *Zecoturnix novaezelandiae CC10; incl. C. novaezealandiae pounami Mathews 1944 CC10]

Coturnix pectoralis Gould 1837 BKB15, WS48 [=C. novaezealandiae pectoralis FST81; incl. C. pectoralis praetermissa Mathews 1912 WS48]

Coturnix ypsilophora Bosc 1792 BKB15, R85 [=C. ypsilophorus CC10, Synoicus ypsilophorus WS48; incl. Synoicus diemenensis Gould 1847 CC10, Synoecus (l. c.) diemenensis CC10]

*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.

[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.

[FST81] Falla, R. A., R. B. Sibson & E. G. Turbott. 1981. Collins Guide to the Birds of New Zealand and Outlying Islands 2nd ed. with addenda. Collins: Auckland.

[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.

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

Madge, S., & P. McGowan. 2002. Pheasants, Partridges & Grouse: Including buttonquails, sandgrouse and allies. Christopher Helm Publishers: London.

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

[M03] Morcombe, M. 2003. Field Guide to Australian Birds 2nd ed. Steve Parish Publishing.

[R85] Robertson, C. J. R. (ed.) 1985. Reader’s Digest Complete Book of New Zealand Birds. Reader’s Digest: Sydney.

[WS48] Whittell, H. M., & D. L. Serventy. 1948. A systematic list of the birds of Western Australia. Public Library, Museum and Art Gallery of Western Australia, Special Publication 1: 1–126.

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