Jungle bush quail

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The jungle bush quail (Perdicula asiatica) is a species of quail found in the Indian subcontinent, ranging across India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Jungle bush quail
The Jungle Bush Quail.jpg
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Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Galliformes
Family: Phasianidae
Genus: Perdicula
P. asiatica
Binomial name
Perdicula asiatica
(Latham, 1790)
Eggs, Collection Museum Wiesbaden

The species is not globally threatened as it has an extensive range and tends to avoid agricultural areas. The population in Sri Lanka has contracted since the 1950s, but is thought to be widespread and common elsewhere in the range.

The jungle bush quail is largely sedentary, although the birds in Nepal are thought to migrate in winter.

Taxonomy and systematicsEdit

The jungle bush quail is one of four species in the genus Perdicula.

It was originally described as Perdix asiatica by John Latham in 1790.[2] The generic name Perdicula is a Modern Latin diminutive of the genus Perdix, and means small partridge. The specific epithet asiatica comes from the Latin asiaticus, meaning Asiatic.[3] Other names for the species include jungle quail and jungle bush-quail.[4]

There are five recognised subspecies of the jungle bush quail:[5]

  • P. a. asiaticaLatham, 1790: The nominate subspecies, it is found in north and central India.
  • P. a. vidaliWhistler & Kinnear, 1936: Found in southwest India.
  • P. a. ceylonensisWhistler & Kinnear, 1936: Found on Sri Lanka.
  • P. a. punjaubiWhistler, 1939: Found in northwestern India.
  • P. a. velloreiAbdulali & Reuben, 1965: Found in south India.


Very different from the female, the male jungle bush quail has a white moustache, heavily barred white underparts, and variegated wings. The female has a uniform, rich chestnut breast and belly. However, both the male and the female have red and white streaks on the head. It is roughly 6.3–7.2 in (16–18 cm) in length and weighs 2–2.85 oz (57–81 g).[6]

Breeding and ecologyEdit

Typically found in small groups of 6-25 birds.


The diet of the jungle bush quail consists mainly of seeds. particularly of grasses, although it also takes insects.[7]


A juvenile jungle bush quail.

Breeding takes place after the rains and lasts until the onset of colder weather, with the precise period varying across the range; five or six eggs are produced and incubation takes between 16 and 18 days.


The species is listed as least-concern by the IUCN.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2018). "Perdicula asiatica". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2018: e.T22678997A131873750. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T22678997A131873750.en. Retrieved 11 November 2021.
  2. ^ Latham, John (1790). Index ornithologicus, sive, Systema ornithologiae : complectens avium divisionem in classes, ordines, genera, species, ipsarumque varietates : adjectis synonymis, locis, descriptionibus, &c. 2. Londini: Sumptibus authoris. pp. 649–650.
  3. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. Christopher Helm. pp. 297, 57. ISBN 978-1-4081-3326-2.
  4. ^ "Perdicula asiatica (Jungle Bush-Quail) - Avibase". avibase.bsc-eoc.org. Retrieved 2021-07-14.
  5. ^ "Pheasants, partridges, francolins – IOC World Bird List". Retrieved 2021-07-14.
  6. ^ Hume, A.O.; Marshall, C.H.T. (1880). Game Birds of India, Burmah and Ceylon. II. Calcutta: A.O. Hume and C.H.T. Marshall. p. 116.
  7. ^ Madge, Steve; Phil, MacGowan (2010). Pheasants, Partridges, and Grouse: Including buttonquails, sandgrouse, and allies. London, United Kingdom: Christopher Helm. ISBN 978-1-4081-3565-5.