Family Guans, Chachalacas, Curassows (Cracidae)


Chestnut-bellied Guan (Penelope ochrogaster)


French: Pénélope à ventre roux German: Rotbrustguan Spanish: Pava ventrirrufa

Penelope ochrogaster


, 1870,

nas Frechas and Engenho do Pari, near Cuyabá, Mato Grosso, Brazil


Closely related to P. pileata and P. jacucaca, and all three once considered conspecific. Monotypic.


Scattered localities in C Brazil, from W & S Tocantins and W Goiás to NC Minas Gerais, S Mato Grosso and N Mato Grosso do Sul#R. Possibly to be found also in adjacent areas of Bolivia, where appropriate habitat widespread.

Descriptive notes

67·5–75 cm. Sexes alike, except that male apparently has reddish eye, greyish in female, and legs are also more reddish in female (versus pale rust brown).... read more


Very little published information. Loud wing-whirring display is given mostly around dawn. In alarm... read more


Typically occurs in swampy woods of deciduous trees and also savannas, in lowlands. Probably... read more

Food and feeding

Virtually no information available. Recorded feeding on flowers of Tabebuia impetiginosa (Bignoniaceae) and Vismia... read more


Season suspected to be Oct–Nov, at least in Pantanal of Mato Grosso. Clutch size recorded as consisting of two eggs. No further... read more


No information available, but presumably sedentary.

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Endemic to Cerrado biome sensu lato. Populations only partly protected. Has been considered very rare; in contrast, some authorities state species to be... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Chestnut-bellied Guan (Penelope ochrogaster). 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 24 February 2020).