Family Asian Barbets (Megalaimidae)

Least Concern

Blue-throated Barbet (Psilopogon asiaticus)


French: Barbu à gorge bleue German: Blauwangen-Bartvogel Spanish: Barbudo gorjiazul común

Trogon asiaticus


, 1790,

Calcutta, India


Until recently, treated as conspecific with P. chersonesus. Closely related to P. incognitus, and a mixed pair reported in the wild; related also to P. oorti. One molecular study suggested, surprisingly, that asiaticus was sister to P. annamensis#R. Has in the past been thought to be close to P. monticola, and was sometimes even considered conspecific, but morphological differences alone seem sufficient to warrant separate species status. Recent molecular study#R found that davisoni from Laos and Vietnam was sister to nominate asiaticus (from Himalayas), whereas purported davisoni from N Thailand was very divergent from all others and closer to annamensis, thus possibly a cryptic species; further investigation required. Form described as race rubescens (from S Assam and NW Myanmar) is a morph of nominate asiaticus; laurentii (described from Yunnan, S China) is synonym of davisoni. Two subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. a. asiaticus (Latham, 1790) – NE Pakistan E along Himalayas to N Myanmar and SC China (W Yunnan), S to Bangladesh and C Myanmar.
  • P. a. davisoni (A. O. Hume, 1877) – SE Myanmar and SC China (SE Yunnan E to Guangxi) to N & C Vietnam.
  • Descriptive notes

    22–23 cm; 61–103 g. Medium-sized, short-tailed green barbet with blue throat and face. Both sexes of nominate race with black-edged red cap and forehead broken by... read more


    Song of three-note phrases, “tu-ku-tuk”, in variably long series, often ending in short... read more


    Primary and secondary evergreen and deciduous mountain forest, also clearings, edges, orchards,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Eats figs (Ficus) and other fruits, and berries, also flowers of pistachio (Pistacia integgerima) and probably others (e.... read more


    Mar–Jul; also later in S and at low altitudes, where double-brooded. Countersinging and simultaneous singing of paired birds; bobbing... read more


    Resident, and largely or entirely sedentary; possible downslope movements from highest altitudes in... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common almost everywhere in range; common but local in Pakistan, where possibly expanding range; common in Nepal, where densities of 2·5... read more

    Recommended citation

    Short, L.L., Horne, J.F.M. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Blue-throated Barbet (Psilopogon asiaticus). 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 27 January 2020).