Family Guans, Chachalacas, Curassows (Cracidae)

Least Concern

Rusty-margined Guan (Penelope superciliaris)


French: Pénélope péoa German: Weißstirnguan Spanish: Pava yacupemba

Penelope superciliaris


, 1815,

state of Pará, Brazil


May be closely related to P. marail. Has hybridized in captivity with P. purpurascens, P. pileata and Pipile cujubi. Described race cyanosparius (from headwaters of R Maués, in E Amazonas, in Brazil) apparently based on captive specimens, and further study needed; race alagoensis, described at same time by same author (but from NE Brazil)#R, has since been observed in the field and found to be distinctive#R#R. Proposed races ochromitra (from near Parnaguá, in S Piauí) and argyomitra (NW of Forte, in NE Goiás) are synonymized with jacupemba, and pseudonyma (from R Canhuma, near R Madeira, in Amazonas) with nominate. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. s. superciliaris Temminck, 1815 – NC & E Brazil S of Amazon (S to Maranhão).
  • P. s. jacupemba Spix, 1825 – E Bolivia (E Santa Cruz) and C & S Brazil (Maranhão E to C Pernambuco, S to Paraná).
  • P. s. alagoensis Nardelli, 1993 – NE Brazil (E Alagoas and probably also coastal Pernambuco).
  • P. s. major A. W. Bertoni, 1901 – E Paraguay, NE Argentina (Misiones) and extreme SE Brazil (Santa Catarina, Rio Grande do Sul).
  • Descriptive notes

    55–73 cm; 950–1150 g (superciliaris), 750–880 g (jacupemba). Pale supercilium, black ear-coverts and chestnut-orange edgings of inner wing... read more


    Poorly described in the literature; gives gruff barking (occasionally more throaty) calls, typical... read more


    Heavy forest, forest borders, semi-deciduous woodland, gallery forest, capoeira, coastal... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly ripe fruits, including those of bicuiba (Virola), sapacaia (Lecythis), murici (Byrsonima), aricanga palm... read more


    Season Oct–Feb in N Argentina and probably Aug–Feb in SE Brazil (Paraná), where nest with eggs in Oct in São... read more


    Sedentary. In study at several sites in São Paulo, daily altitudinal movements detected,... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Nominate race has apparently declined in many parts of range; not recorded since at least 1960 from around Belém and Santar... read more

    Recommended citation

    del Hoyo, J. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Rusty-margined Guan (Penelope superciliaris). 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 20 February 2020).