Thai National Parks

Species of Thailand

Golden-throated barbet

Psilopogon franklinii

Edward Blyth, 1842

In Thai: นกโพระดกคางเหลือง

The golden-throated barbet (Psilopogon franklinii) is an Asian barbet native to Southeast Asia, where it inhabits foremost forests between 900 and 2700 m altitude. It is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List because of its wide distribution and stable population.


Bucco franklinii was the scientific name proposed by Edward Blyth in 1842 who described a vivid green barbet with a golden throat collected in Darjeeling.

It was placed in the genus Megalaima proposed by George Robert Gray in 1842 who suggested to use this name instead of Bucco. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the following golden-throated barbet zoological specimens were described:

  • Megalaema ramsayi proposed by Arthur Viscount Walden in 1875 was a golden-throated barbet collected in the Karen Hills.
  • Cyanops franklinii auricularis proposed by Herbert C. Robinson and C. Boden Kloss in 1919 for a barbet collected at the Langbian Plateau in southern Vietnam.
  • Cyanops franklinii minor proposed by C. Boden Kloss and Frederick Nutter Chasen in 1926 for a specimen collected in Perak, Malaysia.
  • Cyanops franklinii trangensis proposed by Joseph Harvey Riley in 1934 for a barbet collected in Thailand.

Molecular phylogenetic research of barbets revealed that the birds in the genus Megalaima form a clade, which also includes the fire-tufted barbet, the only species placed in the genus Psilopogon at the time. Barbets formerly placed in this genus were therefore reclassified under the genus Psilopogon.

Two golden-throated barbet subspecies are recognised as of 2014:

  • P. f. franklinii occurs in the Himalayan foothills from central Nepal to northern Myanmar, Laos and southwestern China.
  • P. f. ramsayi occurs from central and eastern Myanmar to the Malay Peninsula.


The golden-throated barbet is vivid green above with paler yellowish-green plumage below, deep blue wings and verditer underneath the tail. Its bill is dusky black, and it is black around the eyes. Its forehead is crimson and its throat orange. Its legs are greenish.

It is 20.5-23.5 cm long and weighs 50 - 101 g.

Distribution and habitat

The golden-throated barbet is resident in Nepal, India, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Laos, Vietnam and mainland China. Its presence in Bangladesh is uncertain. It inhabits tropical and subtropical moist forests at elevations of 900 to 2700 m.

Behaviour and ecology

The male's territorial call is a very loud pukwowk.

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Category / Seasonal Status

BCST Category: Recorded in an apparently wild state within the last 50 years

BCST Seasonal status: Resident or presumed resident

Scientific classification

Psilopogon franklinii

Common names

  • Thai: นกโพระดกคางเหลือง


  • Megalaima franklinii auricularis, Herbert Christopher Robinson & Cecil Boden Kloss, 1919

    Range: Found in the highlands of southern and central Cambodia, central Laos and Vietnam. It resembles the nominate form, but has some blue behind the ear coverts.

  • Megalaima franklinii franklinii (nominate), Edward Blyth, 1842

    Range: From India east to northern Laos and southwestern China,

  • Megalaima franklinii minor, Frederick Nutter Chasen & Cecil Boden Kloss, 1926

    Range: Occurs in the mountains of Malaysia. It resembles the nominate form, but has some blue behind the ear coverts.

  • Megalaima franklinii ramsayi, Arthur Hay, A.K.A. Viscount Walden, 1875

    Range: Found in central and eastern Myanmar and northern and western Thailand. It has a grey lower throat and grey-streaked black ear coverts.

  • Megalaima franklinii trangensis, Joseph Harvey Riley, 1934

    Range: Occurs in peninsular Thailand. It resembles the nominate form.


  • Megalaima franklinii
  • Cyanops ramsayi

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)


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Golden-throated barbet

Range Map

Distribution map of Golden-throated barbet, Psilopogon franklinii in Thailand
  • Chiang Dao Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Doi Inthanon National Park
  • Doi Lang
  • Doi Pha Hom Pok National Park
  • Doi Phu Kha National Park
  • Doi Saket District, Chiang Mai
  • Doi Suthep - Pui National Park
  • Huai Nam Dang National Park
  • Kaeng Krachan National Park
  • Mae Taeng District, Chiang Mai
  • Mae Wong National Park
  • Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai
  • Nam Nao National Park
  • Pa Sang District, Lamphun
  • Pha Daeng National Park
  • Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park
  • Phu Kradueng National Park
  • Phu Luang Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Umphang Wildlife Sanctuary
Range map of Psilopogon franklinii in Thailand