Bycanistes is a genus of medium to large, primarily frugivorous hornbills (family Bucerotidae) found in the forests and woodlands of Sub-Saharan Africa. They have often been included in the genus Ceratogymna, but today most authorities consider them separate. All species in this genus have black and white plumage. The plumage of the sexes is similar, but the casque of the male is larger than that of the female.

Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill - Bronx Zoo.jpg
Black-and-white-casqued hornbill
(Bycanistes subcylindricus)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Bucerotiformes
Family: Bucerotidae
Genus: Bycanistes
Cabanis & Heine, 1860

5-6, see text.

Recent genetic data shows that Bycanistes is the sister taxon to ground hornbills, this clade having diverged from the rest of the hornbill lineage early on.[1] Bycanistes is thought to represent an early African lineage, while the remaining Bucerotiformes evolved in Asia.


Image Scientific name Common Name Distribution
  Bycanistes fistulator Piping hornbill Senegal east to Uganda and south to Angola
  Bycanistes bucinator Trumpeter hornbill Burundi, Mozambique, Botswana, Congo, Kenya, the Caprivi strip of Namibia and eastern South Africa
  Bycanistes cylindricus Brown-cheeked hornbill Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Togo
Bycanistes albotibialis White-thighed hornbill Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Nigeria, Sudan, and Uganda
  Bycanistes subcylindricus Black-and-white-casqued hornbill western Kenya to Côte d'Ivoire with an isolated population in north Angola
  Bycanistes brevis Silvery-cheeked hornbill forests of East Africa from Ethiopia to South Africa


  1. ^ Woodruff, D. S. & Srikwan, S. 2011. Molecular genetics and the conservation of hornbills in fragmented landscapes. In Poonswad, P. (ed) The Asian Hornbills: Ecology and Conservation. National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Bangkok, pp. 257-264.
  • Kemp, A. C. (2001). "Family Bucerotidae (Hornbills)". pp. 436–523 in: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., & Sargatal, J. eds. (2001). Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. 6. Mousebirds to Hornbills. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. ISBN 84-87334-30-X