Family New World Quails (Odontophoridae)

Near Threatened

Marbled Wood-quail (Odontophorus gujanensis)


French: Tocro de Guyane German: Marmorwachtel Spanish: Corcovado común

Tetrao gujanensis

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,



Described race polionotus (NW Venezuela) is considered a synonym of marmoratus, and rufinus (lower Amazon) and snethlagei (R Amazon from Manacapurú E to R Tapajós) are included in nominate gujanensis. Eight subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • O. g. castigatus Bangs, 1901 – SW Costa Rica and (at least formerly) extreme W Panama.
  • O. g. marmoratus (Gould, 1843) – E Panama to N Colombia and NW Venezuela.
  • O. g. medius Chapman, 1929 – S Venezuela (Amazonas) and NW Brazil (NW Amazonas).
  • O. g. gujanensis (J. F. Gmelin, 1789) – SE Venezuela, the Guianas, Brazil (S, E of R Negro and R Madeira, to Mato Grosso and Tocantins#R) and extreme N Paraguay.
  • O. g. buckleyi C. Chubb, 1919 – base of E Andes of S Colombia, E Ecuador and N Peru.
  • O. g. rufogularis Blake, 1959 – upper reaches of R Yavarí, in NE Peru.
  • O. g. pachyrhynchus Tschudi, 1844 – E Peru, and possibly also W Bolivia.
  • O. g. simonsi C. Chubb, 1919 – E Bolivia.
  • Descriptive notes

    23–29 cm; male 313–380 g, female 298 g. Bare eyering of red or orange skin is distinctive. Plumage lacks any striking patterns; overall coloration brown and grey... read more


    Advertising call is a fast, rhythmic duet that is rapidly repeated, sometimes for prolonged periods... read more


    Lowland tropical and subtropical forest, locally up to 1800 m (in Venezuela, typically lower... read more

    Food and feeding

    Berries and Myriopoda (Diplopoda) in Surinam; starchy seeds and invertebrates, e.g. millipedes, ants, cockroaches, spiders and beetles, in... read more


    Nests found in Jan, Apr and Jun; breeding female collected in Costa Rica in Aug (where season suspected to occupy Jan–Aug); nest with... read more


    Presumably sedentary. Groups of 6–8 birds, possibly referring to families.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Mace Lande: Safe. Very little information available; total population may number over 1,000,000 birds, but... read more

    Recommended citation

    Carroll, J.P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Marbled Wood-quail (Odontophorus gujanensis). 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 February 2020).