|Adult and immature P. afer cranchii (Leach, 1818) in Queen Elizabeth NP|
(Müller, PLS, 1776)
|Geographic distribution shown in green|
The red-necked spurfowl or red-necked francolin (Pternistis afer), is a gamebird in the pheasant family Phasianidae that is a resident species in southern Africa.
The red-necked spurfowl was described in 1776 by the German zoologist Philipp Ludwig Statius Müller and given the binomial name Tetrao afer. The type locality was later designated as Benguela in western Angola. The specific epithet afer is the Latin word for "African". The species is now placed in the genus Pternistis that was introduced by the German naturalist Johann Georg Wagler in 1832. A molecular phylogenetic study published in 2019 found that the red-necked spurfowl is sister to the grey-breasted spurfowl.
Although many subspecies have been described only four are now recognised:
The red-necked spurfowl is 25–38 cm (9.8–15.0 in) in length, with significant size differences between the subspecies. It is a generally dark spurfowl, brown above and black-streaked grey or white underparts. The bill, bare facial skin, neck and legs are bright red.
The red-necked spurfowl breeds across the central belt of Africa and down the east coast to South Africa.
The red-necked spurfowl is a wary species, keeping to deep cover, although it sometimes feeds in open scrub or cultivation if disturbance is limited and there are thickets nearby. The nest is a bare scrape, and three to nine eggs are laid.
Widespread and common throughout its large range, the red-necked spurfowl is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
|volume=has extra text (help)