Family Megapodes (Megapodiidae)


Malleefowl (Leipoa ocellata)


French: Léipoa ocellé German: Thermometerhuhn Spanish: Talégalo leipoa

Leipoa ocellata


, 1840,

Swan River, Western Australia


E populations sometimes split off into separate race, rosinae#R. Monotypic.


SW & S Australia E to NW Victoria and EC New South Wales.

Introduced to Kangaroo I (off South Australia), where probably now extinct.

Descriptive notes

c. 60 cm; male 2000–2800 g, female 1520–2050 g. Most distinctive megapode, with pale, patterned plumage; flattened crest. Predominantly grey-brown below with... read more


Most frequently heard is territorial call, usually near nesting mound, a loud booming (by male)... read more


Woodland and scrub of semi-arid areas in temperate zone, especially areas dominated by dwarf mallee... read more

Food and feeding

Omnivorous, but probably mainly granivorous. Buds, flowers, fruits and seeds of shrubs, especially legumes; also seeds, flowers and leaves... read more


Mound building starts Mar–May, but more usually Jun–Aug; laying starts mid Sept/mid Oct in W New South Wales. Generally... read more


Sedentary; male tends mound for 9–11 months of year, at times returning at hourly intervals.... read more

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Mace Lande: Vulnerable. Total population was thought to number only 1000–10,000 individuals, and to be declining, but at start of 21st century was estimated... read more

Recommended citation

Elliott, A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Malleefowl (Leipoa ocellata). 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 18 August 2019).