Family Megapodes (Megapodiidae)

Least Concern

Wattled Brush-turkey (Aepypodius arfakianus)


French: Talégalle des Arfak German: Kammbuschhuhn Spanish: Talégalo carunculado

Talegallus arfakianus


, 1877,

Arfak Mountains, New Guinea


Wattles of bare skin on neck and solitary behaviour at nesting mound may imply that species is more closely related to Alectura than to Talegalla, although breeding habits of latter virtually unknown. Doubtful races pyrrhopygius#R (Vogelkop) and arfaki (Arfak Mts) currently treated within nominate; also provisionally included is hypothetical population of Yapen I (known from single specimen), which might be a separate race, as bare skin of head and neck are red, not pale blue-white#R. Two subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. a. arfakianus#R (Salvadori, 1877) – mountains of New Guinea, and Yapen I.
  • A. a. misoliensis#R Ripley, 1957 – Misool I, in W Papuan Is (off NW New Guinea).
  • Descriptive notes

    38–46 cm; male 1450–1600 g, female 1200–1530 g. Dark reddish-brown rump and uppertail-coverts; legs and feet bluish grey to olive-brown. Bright reddish comb... read more


    On mainland New Guinea reported to give harsh crowing “kyew kyew-kyew-kyew-kyew-kyew”... read more


    Montane forests at 750–2800 m, though usually found above 1000 m and occurs in sympatry with... read more

    Food and feeding

    Fallen fruits and seeds; probably also insects. Ingests large amounts of small stones to help break down food.


    Apparently during most of year, with eggs from all months except Jul, Aug (when chick recorded) and Nov. Mound builder: usually fairly... read more


    Presumably sedentary. Normally solitary or in pairs. When disturbed, tends to fly up into tree.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Mace Lande: Safe; misoliensis possibly Vulnerable. Total population possibly numbers 10,000–1,000,000 individuals;... read more

    Recommended citation

    Elliott, A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Wattled Brush-turkey (Aepypodius arfakianus). 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 24 August 2019).