Crested Fireback Lophura ignita Scientific name definitions

Guy M. Kirwan, Josep del Hoyo, Philip J. K. McGowan, Nigel Collar, David Christie, and Peter F. D. Boesman
Version: 2.0 — Published September 24, 2021


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Rather few data, with many aspects of its breeding biology being known only from observations made in captivity. Mating system presumed to be polygamous (4).


Throughout its range, and from the limited data available, the breeding of Crested Firebacks appears to be protracted or not especially seasonal. On the Malay Peninsula, eggs have been obtained in April, while young (less than six weeks old) were observed in October (1, 4). On Borneo, eggs have been recorded being laid in July and August in Sabah (40, 25) and in February and March in West Kalimantan (25); based on camera-trap photos and the molt patterns observed, Fischer et al. (3) suggested a breeding season between February and August on the island. In Myanmar and on Sumatra, nothing is known of this species’ breeding biology (39, 24).

Nest Site

Only three nests have been reported in the literature.

Site Characteristics

One, on the Thai-Malay Peninsula, was sited under thick bushes in ‘dense evergreen jungle’ (4). In Sabah, two nests found in Danum Valley were formed between the buttress roots of large trees (40).


Structure and Composition

A simple scrape lined with dead leaves, grass, bamboo, and feathers (4, 40).


Size and Shape

Ovular. Egg size 50.6–56.8 × 39.3–43.6 mm (n = 14) (4). See also Coomans de Ruiter (44).


No data.

Color and Surface Texture

Noted as being ‘plain and stone white’ by Wells (4) or ‘uniformly creamy-buff’ by Sheldon et al. (40), although the latter also noted that in one nest, the eggs observed had ‘faint brown spots’.

Clutch Size

In the wild, known from a single observation of a nest with seven eggs (40). Captive birds have been recorded laying up to five eggs (4).




In zoos, the incubation period is recorded as being 24 days (4).

Young Birds

On hatching, the chicks are precocial (1). Chicks have blackish-brown down above, buffy white and rufous below, with a rufous crown (4).

Parental Care

As with other pheasants, Crested Fireback chicks are tended by the female alone (1).

Cooperative Breeding

Not recorded.

Brood Parasitism by Other Species

Not recorded.

Fledgling Stage


Recommended Citation

Kirwan, G. M., J. del Hoyo, P. J. K. McGowan, N. Collar, D. A. Christie, and P. F. D. Boesman (2021). Crested Fireback (Lophura ignita), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (B. K. Keeney, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.crefir1.02