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the web of life in southern Africa

Guttera edouardi (Crested guineafowl) 

[= Guttera pucherani

Kuifkoptarentaal [Afrikaans]; iMpangele-yehlathi, iNgekle [Zulu]; Hangatoni [Shona]; Mangoko, Xiganki [Tsonga]; Kroonparelhoen (Kenya) [Dutch]; Pintade de Pucheran [French]; Kräuselhauben-Perlhuhn [German]; Pintada-de-crista [Portuguese]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves (birds) > Order: Galliformes > Family: Numididae

Guttera edouardi (Crested guineafowl)   

Crested guineafowl. [photo Johan van Rensburg ©]


Distribution and habitat

Occurs in West Africa, East Africa, Central Africa and Southern Africa. Within southern Africa, found in N Limpopo, N KwaZulu-Natal, E Swaziland, Mozambique, SE and NW Zimbabwe, Caprivi in Namibia. Preferred habitats are forest edges, thickets and dense woodland. 

Distribution of Crested guineafowl in southern Africa, based on statistical smoothing of the records from first SA Bird Atlas Project (© Animal Demography unit, University of Cape Town; smoothing by Birgit Erni and Francesca Little). Colours range from dark blue (most common) through to yellow (least common). See here for the latest distribution from the SABAP2.  



Recorded by June Stannard, Ndumu Game Reserve, South Africa 1968, [© Transvaal Museum]


Predators and parasites

  • Worm (Helminth) parasites: 
    • Acanthocephala: Empodius segmentatus
    • Tapeworms (Cestoda): Raillietena steinhardti, Ascometra numida
    • Nematoda: Tetrameriasis species, Ascaridia numidae
  • External parasites:
    •  Ticks: Amblyomma hebraeum and Amblyomma nuttalli


  • Omnivorous
    • Plant material: fruits (e.g. berries), seeds, soft shoots, leaves, stems, bulbs roots.
    • Animals: Spiders, insects (e.g. beetles, grasshoppers, termites), millipedes.

Known to forage in association with Vervet monkeys Cercopithecus aethiops: eats wasted fruit material dropped by the monkeys and also feeds from their faeces.


  • Nest a shallow scrape in the ground, hidden among grass.
  • Breeding season (laying dates): October to February - after first heavy rains. 
  • After laying 2-12 eggs (usually 4-7), the female incubates them for about 23 days before they hatch.
  • The parents guard the chicks throughout their development. After two weeks, the chicks can fly short distances and after about a month they moult into juvenile plumage.


  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG (eds) 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town.