Exact meaning of the term "coturnix quail"?


Dec 10, 2018
Looking up information on quail, the term "coturnix quail" comes up a lot. Originally I assumed this was referring to common quail aka coturnix coturnix as opposed to japanese quail aka coturnix japonica. However I've also seen "japanese quail" and "coturnix quail" used interchangeably, suggesting that "coturnix quail" is simply another term for "japanese quail".

Is this a case of an ambigious term being used inconsistently, or do people generally mean "japanese quail" when they say "coturnix quail"? Are common quail even kept as poultry/pets much?


Premium Feather Member
Jul 8, 2018
Coturnix are usually pet quail. They can also be used for eggs and meat.

And yes, quail are just as much a part of poultry-keeping as other fowl. :)

OhZark Biddies

Free Ranging
Apr 13, 2018
Sittin on a rock
My Coop
Good question, this is what I found:

Looks like they are now considered two different species.


Coturnix Coturnix = common quail

“Like the Japanese quail, common quails are sometimes kept as poultry”

“there are a few true breeding mutations of the Japanese quail. The breeds from the United States are: Texas A&M, English white, golden range, red range, Italian, Manchurian, Tibetan, rosetta, scarlett, roux dilute and golden tuxedo.”


Dec 10, 2018
When you hear "Coturnix", people mean Coturnix japonica.
Thank you for your answer! That's what I suspected.

I guess that means my own "coturnix quail" are also coturnix japonica then. There's a couple of color variants in there too, which AFAIK only exist for japanese quail.

The two are capable of reproducing with one another, but I'm unsure about the fertility of the offspring.
Their offspring would have to be infertile for them to be considered different species, might be how they were proven to be different species in the first place.

“Like the Japanese quail, common quails are sometimes kept as poultry”
Tbh I haven't been able to find any examples of common quail aka coturnix coturnix being used for poultry. All poultry-related information that explicitly states the species I've seen has referenced coturnix japonica. There's no citation for that line in the Wikipedia article either, meaning it could well be incorrect.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom