Family Frogmouths (Podargidae)

Least Concern

Marbled Frogmouth (Podargus ocellatus)


French: Podarge ocellé German: Marmorschwalm Spanish: Podargo ocelado
Other common names: Plumed Frogmouth (plumiferus)

Podargus ocellatus

Quoy and Gaimard

, 1830,

Manokwari, New Guinea


Formerly included in Rigidipenna inexpectata as a subspecies but that species differs in tail morphology and osteological characters#R. Plumage coloration and rainforest habitat differ from those of congeners, and may suggest some distant affinity with Batrachostomus, although similarities to latter may be due at least partly to convergent evolution. Taxonomy of S race plumiferus much confused in past, partly because of dearth of available specimens, leading to over-reliance on descriptions; it has been treated as a race of P. papuensis or of P. strigoides, but recent study of specimens and vocalizations#R leaves little doubt that it is best regarded as a race of present species. Five subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. o. ocellatus Quoy & Gaimard, 1830 – W Papuan Is, New Guinea (including islands in Geelvink Bay) and Aru Is.
  • P. o. intermedius E. J. O. Hartert, 1895 – Trobriand Is and D’Entrecasteaux Is.
  • P. o. meeki E. J. O. Hartert, 1898 – Tagula I (in Louisiade Archipelago).
  • P. o. marmoratus Gould, 1855 – Cape York Peninsula (N Queensland), in NE Australia.
  • P. o. plumiferus Gould, 1846 – coastal E Australia in SE Queensland and NE New South Wales.
  • Descriptive notes

    37–48 cm; 132–180 g (ocellatus). Plumage coloration variable; some accounts refer to distinct colour morphs, but variation in coloration appears to be... read more


    Highly vocal; frequently calls from perch in tree. Both sexes apparently use the full repertoire,... read more


    Humid forest; in addition to rainforest, also occurs at forest edge, and in tall secondary forest... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet consists mainly of large insects such as beetles and grasshoppers, with a single report of a frog being eaten. Hunts by hawking from... read more


    Aug–Dec (-Feb) in Australia; few data from New Guinea suggest Mar, May, Aug–Nov; large nestling on Bougainville in Aug.... read more


    Adults are apparently sedentary in territories throughout year. No information on dispersal or... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Occupies a large geographical range. Nevertheless, the status of both subspecies in Australia gives cause for concern, since they... read more

    Recommended citation

    Holyoak, D.T. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2020). Marbled Frogmouth (Podargus ocellatus). 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 21 February 2020).