Family Guineafowl (Numididae)

Least Concern

Black Guineafowl (Agelastes niger)


French: Pintade noire German: Schwarzperlhuhn Spanish: Pintada negra

Phasidus niger


, 1857,

Cape Lopez, Gabon


Formerly placed in monotypic genus Phasidus, but thought to be closely related to A. meleagrides. Monotypic.


SE Nigeria S to N Angola (Cabinda) and E, N of R Congo, to extreme NE DRCongo.

Descriptive notes

c. 40–43 cm; c. 700 g. Distinguished from larger Guttera plumifera by lack of long plumes on pinkish head and unspotted plumage. Head bare, skin either rose-... read more


Gives musical, high-pitched “kwee” repeated frequently at rate of 2–3 per second... read more


Dense primary rainforest, with possible preference for dense undergrowth; also occurs at forest... read more

Food and feeding

Basically insects, with beetles, ants and termites recorded; other invertebrates such as millipedes and small frogs. Plant matter includes... read more


Probably monogamous. In NE DRCongo, breeds in almost any month, but mainly during drier period of Dec–Feb; elsewhere little known,... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Mace Lande: Safe. Total population may number 100,000–500,000 birds. Probably declining due to habitat loss and hunting... read more

Recommended citation

Martínez, I. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Black Guineafowl (Agelastes niger). 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 10 December 2019).