Perdicula asiaticajungle bush quail(Also: jungle bush-quail)

Geographic Range

Jungle bush-quail are found in India, specifically from Kashmir and the outer Himalayas south to Deccan and Orissa (Reay, 1965; Rutgers and Norris, 1970). They are also found in Sri Lanka (Alderton, 1992). (Alderton, 1992; Reay, 1965; Rutgers and Norris, 1970)


These quail are found in dry scrub and brush, open deciduous forest, and stony grasslands. They prefer stony areas with thorny bushes for nesting. In addition, these quail may be found at an altitude of 1200 m. (Johnsgard, 1988)

  • Range elevation
    1200 (high) m
    3937.01 (high) ft

Physical Description

Generally, these quail are 15.2 cm (Rutgers and Norris, 1970) to 17.5 cm (Alderton, 1992) in length and chestnut-brown with a dark eyebrow stripe bordered in white running onto the nape. They have dark brown ear coverts and their chestnut-brown chin and throat patch is bordered by a pale yellowish band with reddish-brown flecks. The breast and abdomen are white with distinct transverse black stripes. Underneath the chestnut-brown tail coverts is reddish-brown. The beak is brown with a black tip, and the legs and feet are orangish-yellow. Small spurs are also present. The main difference between males and females is that the hen has an almost uniform buff breast and abdomen (Rutgers and Norris, 1970). (Alderton, 1992; Rutgers and Norris, 1970)

  • Sexual Dimorphism
  • sexes colored or patterned differently
  • Range length
    15.2 to 17.5 cm
    5.98 to 6.89 in


The pair-bond is strong, and these quail are believed to be monogamous. (Johnsgard, 1988)

The breeding season occurs over an extended period of time from the end of the rainy season to the end of cold weather, depending on geographic location. The nest is in an area with cover for protection (Johnsgard, 1988).

The hen lays four to nine cream-colored, glossy eggs (Reay, 1965; Rutgers and Norris, 1970; Johnsgard, 1988) which take twenty-one days to hatch (Rutgers and Norris, 1970; Alderton, 1992). The nest is a bare hollow in the ground without a lining (Reay, 1965). The chicks, which are slightly larger than those of Chinese painted quail, are dark brown with a buff stripe on the back of the head (Reay, 1965). (Alderton, 1992; Johnsgard, 1988; Reay, 1965; Rutgers and Norris, 1970)

  • Breeding season
    The timing of the breeding season depends on geographic location.
  • Range eggs per season
    4 to 9
  • Average time to hatching
    21 days

Only the female incubates the eggs, but both parents raise the precocial chicks. (Reay, 1965)

  • Parental Investment
  • no parental involvement
  • precocial
  • pre-hatching/birth
    • protecting
      • female
  • pre-weaning/fledging
    • provisioning
      • male
      • female


We do not have information on lifespan/longevity for this species at this time.


Jungle bush-quail are shy and wary in the wild; they require a lot of grassy cover in order to become adapted to captivity. They are also sand-bathers (Reay, 1965). The male is very protective of the hen and newly hatched chicks (Alderton, 1992).

These quail form tight coveys of approximately a dozen birds. However, during the breeding season, males become very aggressive and territorial (Johnsgard, 1988). (Alderton, 1992; Johnsgard, 1988; Reay, 1965)

Home Range

We do not have information on home range for this species at this time.

Communication and Perception

When flushed from cover, jungle bush-quail will utter a separation call of repeated "tiri" notes. To advertise for a female, the male will utter a harsh, grating "chee-chee-chuck" repeatedly. He will also utter this call in response to a territorial challenge. (Johnsgard, 1988)

Food Habits

Jungle bush-quail eat a variety of grass and weed seeds such as pannicum, millet, and maw as well as lentils (Reay, 1965; Johnsgard, 1988; Alderton, 1992). They also eat maggots and small insect larvae (Reay, 1965; Alderton, 1992). (Alderton, 1992; Johnsgard, 1988; Reay, 1965)

  • Animal Foods
  • insects
  • Plant Foods
  • seeds, grains, and nuts


We do not have information on predation for this species at this time.

Ecosystem Roles

Jungle bush-quail have an impact on the plant seeds and prey they consume.

Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Jungle bush-quail are sometimes kept in aviaries.

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

There are no known adverse affects of jungle bush-quail on humans.

Conservation Status

Jungle bush-quail are not listed by CITES or the IUCN.

Other Comments

J.H. Reay has been given credit as the first person to successfully breed jungle bush-quail in captivity (Reay, 1965; Alderton, 1992). However, other accounts state that an individual named von Thein was the first breeder, and in 1909, nine young were reared in Calcutta (Hopkinson, 1926).

These quail are most closely related to those from the genus Coturnix (Johnsgard, 1988). (Alderton, 1992; Hopkinson, 1926; Johnsgard, 1988; Reay, 1965)


Alaine Camfield (editor), Animal Diversity Web.

Janice Pappas (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.



uses sound to communicate

bilateral symmetry

having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.


uses smells or other chemicals to communicate


animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.


union of egg and spermatozoan


forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.

internal fertilization

fertilization takes place within the female's body


offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).


Having one mate at a time.


having the capacity to move from one place to another.

native range

the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.


an animal that mainly eats all kinds of things, including plants and animals


found in the oriental region of the world. In other words, India and southeast Asia.

World Map


reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.

pet trade

the business of buying and selling animals for people to keep in their homes as pets.

scrub forest

scrub forests develop in areas that experience dry seasons.

seasonal breeding

breeding is confined to a particular season


reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female


associates with others of its species; forms social groups.


uses touch to communicate


that region of the Earth between 23.5 degrees North and 60 degrees North (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle) and between 23.5 degrees South and 60 degrees South (between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle).


defends an area within the home range, occupied by a single animals or group of animals of the same species and held through overt defense, display, or advertisement


the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.

tropical savanna and grassland

A terrestrial biome. Savannas are grasslands with scattered individual trees that do not form a closed canopy. Extensive savannas are found in parts of subtropical and tropical Africa and South America, and in Australia.


A grassland with scattered trees or scattered clumps of trees, a type of community intermediate between grassland and forest. See also Tropical savanna and grassland biome.

temperate grassland

A terrestrial biome found in temperate latitudes (>23.5° N or S latitude). Vegetation is made up mostly of grasses, the height and species diversity of which depend largely on the amount of moisture available. Fire and grazing are important in the long-term maintenance of grasslands.


uses sight to communicate

young precocial

young are relatively well-developed when born


Alderton, D. 1992. The Atlas of Quails. Neptune City, NJ: T.F.H. Publications.

Hopkinson, E. 1926. Records of Birds Bred in Captivity. London: H.F. & G. Witherby.

Johnsgard, P. 1988. The Quails, Partridges, and Francolins of the World. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Reay, J. 1965. Breeding of the Jungle Bush Quail. Avicultural Magazine, 71(1): 2-4.

Rutgers, A., K. Norris. 1970. Encyclopedia of Aviculture, Vol. 1. London: Blandford Press.