Family Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse (Phasianidae)


Black Partridge (Melanoperdix niger)


French: Rouloul noir German: Schwarzwachtel Spanish: Perdiz negra
Other common names: Black Wood-partridge

Cryptonyx niger


, 1829,

no locality


Race borneensis evidently very poorly differentiated, and species sometimes considered better treated as monotypic#R. Two subspecies tentatively recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. n. niger (Vigors, 1829) – Peninsular Malaysia S to Sumatra, including inshore islands.
  • M. n. borneensis Rothschild, 1917 – Borneo.
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 24–27 cm; male c. 280 g, female 281 g. Male very distinctive, showing combination of short thick bill and glossy black plumage (flight feathers dark brown). Peculiar... read more


    Poorly known and had been assumed to be somewhat quiet. Contact call apparently resembles heavy old... read more


    Primary and tall secondary lowland forest, usually with many spiny stemless palms (Bertram... read more

    Food and feeding

    No information available, although strong bill suggests that it feeds on hard seeds. Typically observed singly or in pairs.


    Little information available. Mating system unknown. One clutch of two eggs found in Jan, one of three in May, and four of five eggs in... read more


    No information available; presumably sedentary. Runs when disturbed, although typically sits tight... read more

    Status and conservation

    VULNERABLE. Mace Lande: vulnerable. Formerly considered Near Threatened. Believed to be very sparsely distributed in Peninsular Malaysia and probably also in Indonesia;... read more

    Recommended citation

    McGowan, P.J.K. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Black Partridge (Melanoperdix 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 16 December 2019).