Family Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse (Phasianidae)

Least Concern

Black Francolin (Francolinus francolinus)


French: Francolin noir German: Halsbandfrankolin Spanish: Francolín ventrinegro

Tetrao Francolinus


, 1766,



Present species, F. pictus and F. pintadeanus appear to form a group of closely related species; hybridization with F. pictus occurs in areas of contact. Geographical variation is clinal; festinus (from S Afghanistan) included in bogdanovi, and parkerae (Indian Punjab) included in asiae. Restricted population of Amik Gölü, in S Turkey, has been awarded race billypayni, but usually included in nominate. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • F. f. francolinus (Linnaeus, 1766) – Turkey and Cyprus E to E Transcaucasia and Iran, and S through Syria to N Israel.
  • F. f. arabistanicus Zarudny & Härms, 1913 – C & S Iraq and W Iran.
  • F. f. bogdanovi Zarudny, 1906 – SE Iran E to S Afghanistan and W Pakistan.
  • F. f. henrici Bonaparte, 1856 – S & E Pakistan and W India (Kutch, in Gujarat).
  • F. f. asiae Bonaparte, 1856 – N Pakistan and N India (except Kutch, E to W Bihar and Odisha), and W & C Nepal.
  • F. f. melanonotus A.O. Hume, 1888 – E Nepal, NE India (Assam and Sikkim to Manipur), Bhutan and Bangladesh.
  • Population of Kutch (W India) is apparently introduced; introduced also into S USA (Florida, Louisiana), Hawaiian Is, Caucasus and Guam (Mariana Is, in W Pacific). Formerly in Europe (probably introduced), and reintroduced into Tuscany (Italy) and Algarve (Portugal).

    Descriptive notes

    31–36 cm; male 283–566 g, female 227–482 g; wingspan 50–55 cm. Differs from other spotted francolins by chestnut on sides and back of neck, and black... read more


    Relatively silent except for male's advertising call, a strident, somewhat rasping series of... read more


    Inhabits range of well-watered habitats, from alluvial riverbanks and tall grass female... read more

    Food and feeding

    Seeds of grasses, weeds and cereal crops, shoots, leaves, tubers, berries and figs; also a range of insects and their larvae, especially... read more


    Season varies widely: Mar–Oct in S Asia, mainly Apr in S parts, Jun–Jul in W & C, Sept in drier areas of Bihar (NE India),... read more


    Sedentary, though speculated to be only summer visitor to highest altitudes of Indian Subcontinent... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern).Very widely distributed with range in excess of 1,000,000 km². Globally not a cause of concern, but drastic reduction in numbers... read more

    Recommended citation

    McGowan, P.J.K. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Black Francolin (Francolinus francolinus). 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 6 December 2019).