Family Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse (Phasianidae)


Malay Crestless Fireback (Lophura erythrophthalma)


French: Faisan à queue rousse German: Malaien-Gelbschwanzfasan Spanish: Faisán colicanelo malayo
Other common names: Malayan Crestless Fireback, Crestless Fireback (when lumped with L. pyronota)

Phasianus erythrophthalmus


, 1822,

Bengkulu, western Sumatra


Has alternatively been placed in genus Acomus or genus Houppifer, but recent genetic work found no evidence that Lophura as currently constituted is polyphyletic#R. The same work identified five clades within Lophura, present species (with L. pyronota) forming a clade with L. inornata#R. In a genetic study (cytochrome b) of relationships of Syrmaticus to Phasianus, Catreus and Lophura, it was found that present species formed a cluster with Phasianus versicolor and Catreus#R. Hitherto form pyronota has been treated as a subspecies of present species, but differs in its matt pale grey vs glossy deep blue neck (2); bold narrow white streaking from neck to mid-belly and on hindneck onto mantle (3); deep blue vs purplish-vinous uppertail-coverts (2); and longer uppertail-coverts, extending onto tail so that the amount of pale brown on the tail appears shorter by 2 cm (effect size 5.98; score 3); moreover, it is reported to raise its breast feathers in display in a way not shown by erythrophthalma#R, but further study needed. Monotypic.


Peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra.

Descriptive notes

Male 47–50 cm (tail 15–18 cm), 1043–1194 g; female 42–44 cm (tail 14–16 cm), one bird 837 g. Male distinctive, with bright ochraceous-... read more


Low “tak-takrau”, vibrating throaty purr and loud “kak” when alarmed. Low... read more


An extreme lowland specialist, inhabiting primary and well-regenerated, closed-canopy, evergreen... read more

Food and feeding

Animal and plant material found in roughly equal proportions in gut contents; animal items included termites (Isoptera), ticks (Ixodoidea)... read more


Eggs found from mid Mar to Jun, with young observed in Jul and Sept. Mating system suggested to be probably polygynous, based on... read more


No information available.

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Sparsely distributed in Peninsular Malaysia, where declining through loss of its lowland habitat. Appears to occur at low densities in Sumatra, where relatively... read more

Recommended citation

McGowan, P.J.K., Kirwan, G.M. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Malay Crestless Fireback (Lophura erythrophthalma). 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 6 December 2019).