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 (Dinesen et al. 1994).

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.

<==Francolinus Stephens 1819 [Francolinini] B94
    |--F. francolinus BKB15
    |    |--F. f. francolinus L81
    |    `--F. f. asiae L81
    `--+--+--F. coqui BKB15
       |  `--F. lathami JT12
       |--+--F. sephaena BKB15
       |  `--+--F. gularis JT12
       |     `--F. pondicerianus JT12
       |          |--F. p. pondicerianus L81
       |          `--F. p. interpositus L81
       `--+--+--F. levaillantii BKB15
          |  `--+--F. finschi BKB15
          |     `--+--F. shelleyi BKB15
          |        `--+--F. africanus BKB15
          |           `--F. levaillantoides BKB15
          |                |--F. l. levaillantoides B93
          |                `--F. l. jugularis (see below for synonymy) B93
          `--+--Bambusicola JT12
             |    |--B. fytchii JT12
             |    `--B. thoracica WBSJ82
             |         |--B. t. thoracica WBSJ82
             |         `--B. t. sonorivox WBSJ82
             `--Gallus Brisson 1760 BKB15, CC10 [incl. Pliogallus Gaillard 1939 M02; Gallini]
                  |  i. s.: G. beremendensis Jánossy 1976 M02
                  |         G. europaeus Harrison 1978 M02
                  |         G. moldovicus Burčak-Abramovič, Ganea & Šušpanov 1993 M02
                  |--*G. gallus (Linnaeus 1758) CC10, KB14, CC10 (see below for synonymy)
                  |    |--G. g. gallus SMD01
                  |    |--G. g. bankiva Temminck 1813 L81, CC10
                  |    |--G. g. domesticus (Linnaeus 1758) SMD01
                  |    |--G. g. ferrugineus L81
                  |    |--G. g. jabouillei RN72
                  |    |--G. g. murghii L81
                  |    `--G. g. spadiceus RN72
                  `--+--G. varius KB14
                     `--+--G. lafayetii BKB15
                        `--G. sonneratii BKB15

Francolinus incertae sedis:
  F. ahantensis JT12
  F. albogularis DL94
  F. camerunensis JT12
  F. chinensis S89
  F. clappertoni Children 1826 [=Perdix clappertoni; incl. F. rueppellii Gray 1844] S05
    |--F. c. clappertoni S05
    |--F. c. koenigseggi Madarász 1914 S05
    |--F. c. nigrosquamatus Neumann 1902 S05
    `--F. c. sharpii Ogilvie-Grant 1892 S05
  F. harwoodi JT12
  F. icterorhynchus L81
  F. jacksoni JT12
  F. nobilis JT12
  F. ochropectus FP64
  F. pictus DL94
  F. pintadeanus JT12
  F. psilolaemus JT12
  F. rufopictus JT12
  F. schlegelii DL94
  F. streptophorus JT12
  F. swierstrai FP64

Inorganic: Gallus gallus minilorientalus Okamura 1987 O87

Nomina nuda: Gallus steinheimensis Fraas in Engel 1908 M02

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 gallus CC10; incl. *Pliogallus crassipes Gaillard 1939 M02, G. domesticus fossilis Giebel 1847 (n. n.) M02, P. kormosi Gaillard 1939 M02, G. gallus levantinus Pichon & Tchernov 1987 M02]

*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.

[DL94] Dinesen, L., T. Lehmberg, J. O. Svendsen, L. A. Hansen & J. Fjeldså. 1994. A new genus and species of perdicine bird (Phasianidae, Perdicini) from Tanzania, a relict form with Indo-Malayan affinities. Ibis 136: 2–11.

[FP64] Fisher, J., & R. T. Peterson. 1964. The World of Birds: A comprehensive guide to general ornithology. Macdonald: London.

[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.

Last updated: 16 June 2019.

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