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The Marbled Wood-Quail is patchily distributed in lowland tropical and subtropical forest from Panama to Bolivia. The eight described subspecies do not differ greatly, varying mostly in subtle changes in coloration, especially on the sides of the head. The Marbled Wood-Quail is more often heard than seen, and its loud raucous vocalizations, which are often given as a duet or a chorus, are a common sound in many lowland forests. Apparently monogamous, the species builds chambered nests with dead vegetation at the base of trees or among roots.