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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Cladus: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Cladus: Holozoa
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Megaclassis: Osteichthyes
Cladus: Sarcopterygii
Cladus: Rhipidistia
Cladus: Tetrapodomorpha
Cladus: Eotetrapodiformes
Cladus: Elpistostegalia
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Archosauromorpha
Cladus: Crurotarsi
Divisio: Archosauria
Cladus: Avemetatarsalia
Cladus: Ornithodira
Subtaxon: Dinosauromorpha
Cladus: Dinosauriformes
Cladus: Dracohors
Cladus: Dinosauria
Ordo: Saurischia
Cladus: Eusaurischia
Subordo: Theropoda
Cladus: Neotheropoda
Cladus: Averostra
Cladus: Tetanurae
Cladus: Avetheropoda
Cladus: Coelurosauria
Cladus: Tyrannoraptora
Cladus: Maniraptoromorpha
Cladus: Maniraptoriformes
Cladus: Maniraptora
Cladus: Pennaraptora
Cladus: Paraves
Cladus: Eumaniraptora
Cladus: Avialae
Infraclassis: Aves
Cladus: Euavialae
Cladus: Avebrevicauda
Cladus: Pygostylia
Cladus: Ornithothoraces
Cladus: Ornithuromorpha
Cladus: Carinatae
Parvclassis: Neornithes
Cohors: Neognathae
Cladus: Pangalloanserae
Cladus: Galloanseres
Ordo: Galliformes

Familia: Phasianidae
Subfamilia: Perdicinae
Genus: Alectoris
Species: Alectoris graeca
Subspecies: A. g. graeca – A. g. orlandoi – A. g. saxatilis – A. g. whitakeri

Alectoris graeca (Meisner, 1804)

Perdix graeca (protonym)


Systematisches Verzeichniss der Vögel: 41.

Vernacular names
العربية: حجل الصخر
български: Планински кеклик
brezhoneg: Klujar-roc'h
català: Perdiu de roca
čeština: Orebice horská
Cymraeg: Petrisen graig
Deutsch: Steinhuhn
Ελληνικά: Πετροπέρδικα
English: Rock Partridge
Esperanto: Rokperdriko
español: Perdiz griega
euskara: Greziar eper
فارسی: کبک صخره
suomi: Kivikkopyy
français: Perdrix bartavelle
galego: Perdiz grega
magyar: Szirtifogoly
italiano: Coturnìce
日本語: ハイイロイワシャコ
ქართული: კაკაბი
македонски: Еребица камењарка
кырык мары: Европа кеклик
Napulitano: Pernice
Nederlands: Steenpatrijs
norsk: Steinhøne
polski: Góropatwa skalna
پنجابی: پڑی چکور
português: Perdiz-grega
română: Potârniche de stâncă
русский: Европейский кеклик
slovenščina: Kotorna
shqip: Thëllëza e malit
српски / srpski: Јаребица камењарка
svenska: Stenhöna
Türkçe: Kaya kekliği
українська: Кеклик європейський
中文: 欧石鸡

The rock partridge or common rock partridge (Alectoris graeca) is a gamebird in the pheasant family, Phasianidae, of the order Galliformes (gallinaceous birds). It is native to southern Europe, and is closely related and very similar to its eastern equivalent, the chukar partridge, A. chukar.


It is a resident breeder in dry, open and often hilly country.

It nests in a scantily lined ground scrape laying 5-21 eggs.

The rock partridge takes a wide variety of seeds and some insect food.

The rock partridge is a rotund bird, with a light brown back, grey breast and buff belly. The face is white with a black gorget. It has rufous-streaked flanks and red legs. When disturbed, it prefers to run rather than fly, but if necessary it flies a short distance on rounded wings. It is very similar to the chukar partridge, but is greyer on the back and has a white, not yellowish foreneck. The sharply defined gorget distinguishes this species from red-legged partridge. The song is a noisy ga-ga-ga-ga-chakera- chakera- chakera.

This species is declining in parts of its range due to habitat loss and over-hunting. While populations are usually stable, the status of the Sicilian population may be more precarious, and certainly deserves attention (Randi 2006).

This species is closely related to the chukar, Przevalski's, and Philby's partridges, forming a superspecies. The Western Mediterranean red-legged and Barbary partridges with their spotted neck collar are slightly more distant relatives. Nonetheless, although this species' range does not naturally overlap with that of its relatives, they co-occur where they have been introduced as gamebirds, for example in North America, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Russia, and in southeastern France where red-legged partridges have been released. In these areas, hybrids between this species, the chukar, and the red-legged partridge are usually found.(McGowan 1994, see also Randi 2006)

Three living subspecies are usually recognized (McGowan 1994), which differ marginally in coloration and somewhat more according to molecular studies (Randi 2006; see below for details):

A. g. graeca (Meisner, 1804) - eastern rock partridge

E Bosnia to Greece and Bulgaria, Apennines.

A. g. saxatilis (Bechstein, 1805) - central rock partridge

Southern half of the Alps to W Bosnia.

A. g. whitakeri Schiebel, 1934 - Sicilian rock partridge

Restricted to Sicily.

The proposed subspecies from the Apennines, A. g. orlandoi Priolo, 1984, is of doubtful validity. It is usually included in saxatilis, but apparently mostly derives from Albanian A. g. graeca. These probably crossed the Adriatic via a land-bridge during the last ice age, to become isolated only with the sea levels rising at the beginning of the Holocene c.12.000-10.000 years ago, with Alpine birds much less contributing to the Apennines population.(Randi 2006)

Apennine birds are not consistently recognizable by external morphology, and are only weakly differentiated with regards to mtDNA D-loop and hypervariable control region sequences and microsatellite genotyping. As they nonetheless constitute a discrete subpopulation evolving towards subspecies status, their population numbers could arguably deserve monitoring.(Randi 2006)

In addition, there was a paleosubspecies, A. g. martelensis, which is only known from fossils.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Alectoris graeca.

BirdLife International (2020). "Alectoris graeca". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2020: e.T22678684A183062253. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-3.RLTS.T22678684A183062253.en. Retrieved 11 November 2021.

Alectoris graeca graeca

McGowan, Philip J. K. (1994): 11. Rock Partridge. In: del Hoyo, Josep; Elliott, Andrew & Sargatal, Jordi (editors): Handbook of Birds of the World, Volume 2: New World Vultures to Guineafowl: 485, plate 43. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. ISBN 84-87334-15-6
Randi, Ettore (2006): Evolutionary and conservation genetics of the rock partridge, Alectoris graeca. Acta Zoologica Sinica 52(Supplement): 370–374. PDF fulltext

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