Family Cuckoos (Cuculidae)

Least Concern

Scale-feathered Malkoha (Lepidogrammus cumingi)


French: Malcoha frisé German: Schuppenhalskuckuck Spanish: Malcoha frisado

Phoenicophaus [sic] Cumingi


, 1839,

Luzon, Philippines


Previously placed in Phaenicophaeus. Placement in present, monotypic genus based primarily on scale-like feathers of head#R; however, genetic analysis suggests that this species is sufficiently similar to Dasylophus superciliosus to be included in same genus#R, and both show contrasting crest plumage. Monotypic.


Luzon, Marinduque and Catanduanes, in N Philippines.

Descriptive notes

40–42 cm (of which tail constitutes c. 22–24 cm); male 148·5–204·3 g, female 121·1–194·8 g. Adult dark brown above, head... read more


Metallic whistles that are usually higher-pitched compared with voice of D. superciliosus... read more


Forest, both primary and secondary, including in pine forests, typically in the canopy of tall... read more

Food and feeding

Insects including caterpillars up to 110 mm long, centipedes, scorpions, snails, worms, and small snakes and lizards, with some vegetation... read more


Little information. Perhaps breeds Mar–May (estimated from juveniles and gonadal data), but no evidence of breeding in birds... read more


Resident, although record from Dalton Pass at 3500 m (far above usual altitudinal range) suggests... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Seems to be fairly common in most forest types, but the continued destruction of its forest habitat must surely present a major... read more

Recommended citation

Payne, R. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Scale-feathered Malkoha (Lepidogrammus cumingi). 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).