Family Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse (Phasianidae)

Least Concern

Bar-backed Partridge (Arborophila brunneopectus)


French: Torquéole à poitrine brune German: Braunbrust-Buschwachtel Spanish: Arborófila pechiparda
Other common names: Bar-backed Hill-partridge

Arboricola brunneopectus


, 1855,

Muleyit, Tenessarim, Myanmar


Has sometimes been considered conspecific with A. orientalis and A. javanica (with A. campbelli, A. rolli and A. sumatrana); others attribute morphological similarities to convergent evolution. Close relationship with A. rufipectus or A. hyperythra, or both, also suggested by some. Birds in Guangxi (S China) probably belong to race henrici, but sometimes ascribed to nominate race. Races well marked, particularly in head pattern#R. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. b. brunneopectus (Blyth, 1855) – CS China (SW Yunnan) and E Myanmar S to W Thailand and N Laos.
  • A. b. henrici (Oustalet, 1896) – N & C Vietnam; probably also S China (Guangxi).
  • A. b. albigula (Robinson & Kloss, 1919) – SC Vietnam.
  • Occurrence and distribution in C & S Laos, also race or races involved, uncertain.

    Descriptive notes

    c. 26–29 cm; male c. 317 g, female c. 268 g. Barring on back, greyish-brown or brown breast, and black-and-white spots on flanks are distinctive in combination. Female... read more


    Advertising call is bisyllabic whistled “ti-hu, ti-hu, ti-hu” with a seesaw rhythm and... read more


    Dry evergreen, semi-evergreen and hill evergreen forests, including bamboo-dominated areas, up to... read more

    Food and feeding

    No information on diet available, but forages in leaf litter in coveys of 4–9 birds.


    Only nest record is from early Jun, near Rangoon, Burma: four white eggs in a scrape well filled with bamboo leaves and grass, in open... read more


    No information available.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Mace Lande: brunneopectus safe; albigula/henrici Vulnerable. Nominate brunneopectus considered... read more

    Recommended citation

    McGowan, P.J.K. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Bar-backed Partridge (Arborophila brunneopectus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 12 December 2019).