A big, conspicuous, colorful barbet of dry country. Males have a black throat and crown; females have a pale throat and a crown that is speckled with black. There is some geographical variation; the belly can be yellow or white, and the breast orange or yellow. Found in areas of dry savanna with termite mounds, usually in pairs and small groups. Separated from D’Arnaud’s and Yellow-breasted Barbets by the red on the head. The song is a long series of the same rollicking musical phrase repeated over and over, often given as a duet.