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Chestnut-bellied Malkoha.jpg
Chestnut-bellied malkoha (Phaenicophaeus sumatranus)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Cuculiformes
Family: Cuculidae
Genus: Phaenicophaeus
Stephens, 1815

Malkohas are large birds in the cuckoo family Cuculidae, all in the genus Phaenicophaeus. The group name is derived from the Sinhala word for the red-faced malkoha; mal-koha meaning flower-cuckoo. These are all Asian tropical species. The genus name is derived from the Ancient Greek phoiniko- crimson, and phaes "eyes" or "face",[1] referring to the red-faced malkoha. However, the 'œ' was mistranscribed as 'æ'.[2]


Species in taxonomic order are:

Image Scientific name Common Name Distribution
Phaenicophaeus diardi Black-bellied malkoha Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, and Thailand.
Phaenicophaeus sumatranus (adult) -Singapore-6.jpg Phaenicophaeus sumatranus Chestnut-bellied malkoha Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, and Thailand.
Blue-faced Malkoha crop.jpg Phaenicophaeus viridirostris Blue-faced malkoha peninsular India and Sri Lanka.
Green-billed Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus tristis).jpg Phaenicophaeus tristis Green-billed malkoha Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia
Phaenicophaeus calyorhynchus.JPG Phaenicophaeus calyorhynchus Yellow-billed malkoha Sulawesi, Indonesia
Chestnut-breasted Malkoha San Deigo Zoo 2009.jpg Phaenicophaeus curvirostris Chestnut-breasted malkoha Southeast Asia from Myanmar through to eastern Java, the Philippines and Borneo
Red-faced Malkoha x.jpg Phaenicophaeus pyrrhocephalus Red-faced malkoha Sri Lanka
Red-crested-malkoha.jpg Phaenicophaeus superciliosus Rough-crested malkoha or red-crested malkoha northern Philippines
Scaled-feather-malkoha.jpg Phaenicophaeus cumingi Scale-feathered malkoha northern Philippines.

Raffles's malkoha ("P." chlorophaeus) is a highly distinct species and may not even be as closely related to malkohas as long believed. Its placement in a monotypic genus Rhinortha is supported by a morphological, molecular and behavioral evidence.

The green malkoha or yellowbill seems also distinct from the typical malkohas; it is placed in the monotypic genus Ceuthmochares.


  1. ^ Liddell, Henry George and Robert Scott (1980). A Greek-English Lexicon (Abridged Edition). United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-910207-4.
  2. ^ Payne RB, Sorenson MD (2005). The Cuckoos: Cuculidae. Oxford University Press. p. 294. ISBN 0-19-850213-3.