A small and intricately marked sandgrouse. The distinctive male has a black mark across the face and onto the throat. The female is plainer. Both sexes have a dark belly and a white band on the breast. Found in dry savanna and thornscrub habitat. Female resembles some other sandgrouse, but is identified by the combination of small size and the white mark on the breast. The call is a low-pitched “chut-to-la,” which is often given in flight.