Family Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse (Phasianidae)

Least Concern

Harlequin Quail (Coturnix delegorguei)


Taxonomy

French: Caille arlequin German: Harlekinwachtel Spanish: Codorniz arlequín
Taxonomy:

Coturnix delegorguei

Delegorgue

, 1847,

Oury, Upper Limpopo River, Transvaal, South Africa

.

Closely related to C. coromandelica. Race arabica, only slightly paler than others, possibly not valid, as most records in its range considered probably migrants from Africa#R; further study needed. Three subspecies tentatively recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. d. delegorguei Delegorgue, 1847 – Liberia and Ivory Coast E to Ethiopia and S, excluding forest belt and arid SW, to South Africa (S to E Northern Cape and Free State), and W Madagascar; apparently only a migrant in W Africa.
  • C. d. histrionica Hartlaub, 1849 – São Tomé, in Gulf of Guinea.
  • C. d. arabica Bannerman, 1929 – SW Arabian Peninsula.
  • Descriptive notes

    16–19 cm; male 49–93 g, female 63–95 g. Male has very distinctive combination of black-and-white head pattern, black breast and chestnut flanks. Female very... read more

    Voice

    Advertisement call by male considered to be faster, sharper, much more metallic and higher-pitched... read more

    Habitat

    Favours open grassland with scattered bush cover or palms, and cultivated areas; also lightly... read more

    Food and feeding

    Grass and weed seeds, including Eleusine, Setaria, Brachiaria, Sorghum purpureosericeum, and green... read more

    Breeding

    Season associated with heavy rains, irregular with much local variation: Jan–Mar (Nov–May and occasionally in other months) in... read more

    Movements

    Pattern varies according to locality. Nomadic in E & C Africa, movements seemingly associated... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Mace Lande: safe. Little specific information available. Considered to be at least common and even abundant in some areas, e.g. in... read more

    Recommended citation

    McGowan, P.J.K. & Kirwan, G.M. (2018). Harlequin Quail (Coturnix delegorguei). 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 https://www.hbw.com/node/53435 on 22 January 2018).