Family Asian Barbets (Megalaimidae)

Near Threatened

Red-throated Barbet (Psilopogon mystacophanos)


French: Barbu arlequin German: Harlekinbartvogel Spanish: Barbudo arlequín

Bucco mystacophanos


, 1824,



Traditionally thought to belong to a group that includes also P. javensis, P. rafflesii, P. corvinus and P. chrysopogon; last two of these, however, appear not closely related to the others. Forms described as aurantiifrons (from peninsular Thailand) and humii (Borneo) now included within nominate. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. m. mystacophanos (Temminck, 1824) – S Myanmar (SC Tenasserim), SW & peninsular Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia (except SW), Sumatra and Borneo.
  • P. m. ampalus (Oberholser, 1912) – Batu Is, off W Sumatra.
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 23 cm; 60–95 g. Mode­rately large, green barbet with strongest sexual dimorphism of any Old World capitonid. Male of nominate race has yellow forehead and small... read more


    2 songs, both vary; one a series of single to 4 “tyuk”, “tuk” or “... read more


    Foothill and also lowland dipterocarp forest, logged forest, second-growth forest, plantations of... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly fruits, especially figs, also others such as durian; also insect larvae; and snails at times, e.g. in courtship feeding. Captives,... read more


    May–Jun on mainland; Nov–May and Sept in Sumatra; in Borneo reported Jun–Jul, but immatures Nov–Jun with most in... read more


    Resident, and probably sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Seems to be common throughout range; no data on Batu Is race ampalus. Appears quite adaptable.... read more

    Recommended citation

    Short, L.L. & Horne, J.F.M. (2020). Red-throated Barbet (Psilopogon mystacophanos). 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 19 February 2020).