Family Sandgrouse (Pteroclidae)

Least Concern

Madagascar Sandgrouse (Pterocles personatus)


French: Ganga masqué German: Madagaskarflughuhn Spanish: Ganga malgache

Pterocles personatus


, 1843,

Majambo Bay, Madagascar


Recent study#R suggests that this species is part of a clade that contains also P. gutturalis and P. coronatus; or, alternatively, that all three may form a group along with the two Syrrhaptes species, P. orientalis, P. namaqua and P. exustus, and possibly including also P. alchata and P. burchelli; further study needed. Has previously been considered closest to P. decoratus. Monotypic.


N, W & S Madagascar.

Descriptive notes

c. 35 cm. Somewhat similar to P. coronatus and P. decoratus, with short central rectrices and black mask in male, but underparts with clear separation:... read more


Gives a rapid, guttural “catch-catcha-catcha”, “ag-ag-ag-ag-ag-ag-ag” or... read more


Savanna and open wooded plains in lowlands from sea-level to 1200 m; prefers level, sparsely... read more

Food and feeding

No precise information available, but seeds probably important, although insects also reported in species' diet. Apparently prefers to... read more


Season probably extends through late dry and early wet season (Aug–Nov) and again in early dry season (Apr–Jun): nests with... read more


No information; perhaps sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Reported to be widespread and rather common in W Madagascar; also common in S, but only patchy in N. Reguarly recorded around Toliara, S of Antsalova... read more

Recommended citation

de Juana, E. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Madagascar Sandgrouse (Pterocles personatus). 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).