Family Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse (Phasianidae)

Near Threatened

Malay Crested Fireback (Lophura rufa)


French: Faisan de Vieillot German: Malaienhaubenfasan Spanish: Faisán noble de Malasia
Other common names: Malayan Crested Fireback

Phasianus rufus


, 1822,

Sumatra; type from either Bengkulu or Padang


Has alternatively been placed in genus Euplocamus, but recent genetic work found no evidence that Lophura as currently constituted is polyphyletic#R. At one time considered a distinct species, and here reinstated as such, differing from L. ignita in its continuous dark blue belly with narrow white stripes on flanks vs broad chestnut with no stripes (3); white vs pale rufous on central rectrices (3); and female’s rich chestnut vs blackish tail (2); legs said to be predominantly red/reddish vs grey-green, but according to many photographs legs very variable in both forms [ns]. Form macartneyi (of which sumatrana is a synonym), from SE Sumatra (from Palembang S to Lampung), is here considered an unstable hybrid between L. rufa and a hypothesized relict (or introduced) population of L. ignita, which is known from Bangka, an island adjacent to the area in which macartneyi-type birds have been found; no two specimens of macartneyi in museums are alike#R. Described forms delacouri and albipennis, formerly synonymized with macartneyi#R, are invalid. Monotypic.


Malay Peninsula (S from Isthmus of Kra) and Sumatra.

Descriptive notes

Male c. 70 cm (tail 24–29 cm), 1810–2605 g; female 56–57 cm (tail 17–20 cm), 1350–1600 g. Distinctive crested pheasant with blue facial skin.... read more


Sharp squirrel-like “chukun, chunkun”, as well as loud wing-whirrs and low, upslurred croaks... read more


Lowland forest, at least locally often close to rivers. Recorded in logged forest, but seems... read more

Food and feeding

Diet mainly fruits and invertebrates. Appears to forage at all times of day; often singly, but during Sept–Dec also in groups of up to... read more


Few data. Eggs found in Apr, and chicks no more than six weeks old seen in mid Oct, but flocks with young are generally observed from Sept... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Global population unquantified, but species is local and sparse in some areas and reasonably common in others.... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N., Christie, D.A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Malay Crested Fireback (Lophura rufa). 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 9 December 2019).