Red-necked Spurfowl
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Pternistis afer loangwae
Common Name Red-necked Francolin
Range central belt of Africa and down the east coast to South Africa.
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Galliformes
Family Phasianidae
Genus Pternistis
Species Pternistis afer
Conservation Status
Least Concern

The Red-necked spurfowl or red-necked francolin (Pternistis afer), is a species of francolin in the Phasianidae family.


It is 25–38 cm in length, with a significant size difference between the subspecies, of which there are some seven or eight. It is a generally dark francolin, brown above and black-streaked grey or white underparts. The bill, bare facial skin, neck and legs are bright red.

Distribution and Status

The red-necked spurfowl breeds across the central belt of Africa and down the east coast to South Africa. Widespread and common throughout its large range, the red-necked spurfowl is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.


The red-necked spurfowl is a wary species, keeping to deep cover, although it sometimes feeds in open scrub or cultivation if disturbance is limited and there are thickets nearby. The nest is a bare scrape, and three to nine eggs are laid.


Many races have been described. Most of them are subsumed under 7 to 8 taxa, but these differ depending on the author:

02 46 050 Francolinus afer afer
Pternistis afer afer

(Müller, 1776)

western Angola & northwestern Namibia
Pternistis afer castaneiventer

(Gunning & Roberts, 1911)

eastern South Africa
Red-necked Spurfowl (Francolinus afer)
Pternistis afer harterti

(Reichenow, 1909)

Rwanda, Burundi to northern Tanzania
No image small
Pternistis afer lehmanni

(Latham, 1801)

Limpopo and Mpumalanga, South Africa
No image small
Pternistis afer leucoparaeus

(Latham, 1801)

southeastern Kenya
Red-necked Francolin - Malawi S4E2852 (15362427470)
Pternistis afer loangwae

(C.H.B.Grant & Mackworth-Praed, 1934)

eastern Zambia & Malawi
Pternistis afer notatus

(Roberts, 1924)

Western Cape, South Africa
Pternistis afer swynnertoni

(W.L.Sclater, 1921)

eastern Zimbabwe & central Mozambique
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