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Length 28-31 cm. The throat is white with a black edge. The breast and flanks have chestnut stripes, and the belly is barred black and white. In flight, differs from the similar Red-winged Francolin in that only the primaries are reddish.
Francolinus shelleyi has two subspecies:
 Scleroptila vs. Francolinus
Sibley & Monroe (1996) placed this species in the genus Scleroptila, but this genus has not been recognized by Clements (2007) or Howard & Moore (2003), and the Opus follows in this consensus.
Grassland with scattered acacia, savanna and open woodland - usually rocky areas.
It is a shy bird. The diet includes insects, small molluscs, seeds, bulbs and roots.
A repeated til-it, til-leoo or I'll-drink yer-beer, generally only heard in early morning.
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