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Pternistis is a genus of galliforms birds formerly classified in the francolin group of the partridge subfamily of the Phasianidae family. They are described as "partridge-francolins" in literature establishing their phylogenetic placement outside of the monophyletic assemblage of true francolins. Its 23 species range through Sub-Saharan Africa. They are commonly known as francolins or spurfowl but are closely related to jungle bush quail, Alectoris rock partridges and Coturnix quail. The species are strictly monogamous, remaining mated indefinitely. They procure most of their food by digging. Partridge-francolins subsist almost entirely on roots, beans of leguminous shrubs and trees, tubers, seed, feasting opportunistically on termites, ants, locusts, flowers and fruit. Important predators are jackals, caracals, servals and birds of prey, as well as herons and marabou storks.

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