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Turnix hottentottus (Hottentot buttonquail) 

Kaapse kwarteltjie [Afrikaans]; isiGwaca (generic term for quail) [Zulu]; Sehwiri/Sekhwiri [North Sotho]; Huta (generic name for quail) [Shona]; Xitsatsana (generic term for buttonquail), Xitshatshana [Tsonga]; Hottentotvechtkwartel [Dutch]; Turnix hottentot [French]; Hottentottenlaufhühnchen [German]; Toirão-hotentote [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: Turniciformes > Family: Turnicidae

Distribution and habitat

Endemic to South Africa, occurring in patches of the south-Western Cape bordering on the Eastern Cape, generally preferring coastal and mountain fynbos with plenty of restios. It may also move into grassy patches, fallow fields, west coast strandveld and coastal renosterveld.

Movements and migrations

Resident and possibly sedentary, although it may make local movements at night.


  • Probably a polyandrous, territorial solitary nester, using a simple scrape in the ground as a nest. This is lined with a few pieces of grass and typically placed under small bush or between grass tufts.
  • Egg-laying season is from September-December.
  • It lays 2-5 eggs, which are probably incubated by the female for about 12-14 days (like the Black-rumped buttonquail).


Status uncertain, as although it may be common in remote mountainous areas, it is possibly threatened by development and the spread of alien trees in coastal lowlands.


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