Family Sandgrouse (Pteroclidae)

Least Concern

Painted Sandgrouse (Pterocles indicus)


French: Ganga indien German: Bindenflughuhn Spanish: Ganga india
Other common names: Indian Sandgrouse

Tetrao indicus

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

Coromandel, India


Recent study#R suggests that this species may form a clade with P. decoratus, P. bicinctus, P. quadricinctus and P. lichtensteinii. Formerly considered conspecific with P. bicinctus and P. lichtensteinii. Monotypic.


NE Pakistan (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) E to N India (N Haryana District) and from Gujarat E to West Bengal and Odisha, S through peninsula to Tamil Nadu.

Descriptive notes

28 cm; c. 170–227 g. As P. lichtensteinii, P. quadricinctus and P. bicinctus, small, densely barred, with short tail and black and white... read more


Flight call a rapid sequence of 2–4 staccato gravelly notes, with emphasis on the last one “dji-dji... read more


Bare foothills and plateaux, sparsely covered with scrub or thorn bushes (Acacia, ... read more

Food and feeding

Seeds, some shoots and apparently termites in certain seasons. Drinks after dusk.


Perhaps mostly Apr–May-Jun, but scattered records in all other months except Jul and Sep. Scrape among stones and earth, with little... read more


Sedentary, perhaps locally nomadic. Tends to concentrate in some areas near the end of the rains. read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Moderately common in parts of India; rather rare and local, but locally frequent in Pakistan. Usually in pairs or small groups.

Recommended citation

de Juana, E. & Boesman, P. (2020). Painted Sandgrouse (Pterocles indicus). 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 27 February 2020).