Family Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse (Phasianidae)

Least Concern

Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus)


French: Coq bankiva German: Bankivahuhn Spanish: Gallo bankiva

Phasianus Gallus


, 1758,

Poulo Condor, south Vietnam


Closely related to G. sonneratii and G. lafayettii; hybridizes locally with G. sonneratii in areas of contact. An attempt to re-create the phylogeographical history of both wild and captive populations of this species identified nine highly divergent mtDNA clades (seven common to both populations), with three clades widely distributed in Eurasia, but the others restricted to S & SE Asia—one in Japan and SE China, two exclusive to Yunnan (S China), and another closely related to distribution of cock fighting; patterns suggest that different clades arose in different regions, e.g. Yunnan, S & SW China and/or surrounding areas, and Indian Subcontinent, respectively, thus supporting theory of multiple origins in S & SE Asia#R. Geographical variation clearly clinal; intergradation occurs between at least three (probably four) of the accepted races. Proposed race gallina (from Himachal Pradesh, in N India) treated as a synonym of murghi; some introduced populations have been described as races, e.g. in Philippines (philippensis) and Micronesia (micronesiae), but none considered valid. Five subspecies usually recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • G. g. murghi Robinson & Kloss, 1920 – Kashmir and N & NE India, adjacent Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh.
  • G. g. spadiceus (Bonnaterre, 1792) – extreme N India (E Arunachal Pradesh, E Assam), Myanmar, S China (SW Yunnan), Thailand (except E), Peninsular Malaysia and N Sumatra.
  • G. g. jabouillei Delacour & Kinnear, 1928 – S China (SE Yunnan, Guangxi and Hainan I), N Laos and N Vietnam.
  • G. g. gallus (Linnaeus, 1758) – E Thailand through Cambodia and C & S Laos to C & S Vietnam.
  • G. g. bankiva Temminck, 1813 – S Sumatra, Java and Bali.
  • Occurs also in Philippines, Sulawesi and parts of Lesser Sundas, where probably introduced. Introduced or feral in many areas, including throughout Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia; Reunion and the Grenadines; probably also New Zealand and South Africa.

    Descriptive notes

    Male 65–78 cm, 672–1450 g; female 41–46 cm, 485–1050 g. Male differs from that of G. lafayettii in form of comb and by absence of heavy... read more


    Male advertising call, mainly given at dusk or dawn close to roost, is similar to but shriller then... read more


    Throughout extensive range, occupies most tropical and subtropical habitats, including mangroves,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Opportunistic and omnivorous; probably shows seasonal preferences, depending upon availability. Gut contents of 37 birds in India contained... read more


    Mar–May, during dry season, in India, although eggs found Jan–Oct in different parts of country; Mar–Jun in Bangladesh;... read more


    None described and presumably none undertaken, as extremes of climate are limited in most of range... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Mace Lande: safe. Distributed over large range (c. 5,100,000 km²) and occurs in varied habitats, including secondary vegetation... read more

    Recommended citation

    McGowan, P.J.K. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus). 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 29 February 2020).