Pheasant
Overview
Pheasants refer to some members of the Phasianinae (Horsfield
Thomas Horsfield
Thomas Horsfield M. D. was an American physician and naturalist.Horsfield was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and studied medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He was the grandson of Timothy Horsfield, Sr., a colonel and justice of the peace in Bethlehem, and a friend mentioned in Benjamin...

, 1821) subfamily of Phasianidae
Phasianidae
The Phasianidae is a family of birds which consists of the pheasants and partridges, including the junglefowl , Old World Quail, francolins, monals and peafowl. The family is a large one, and is occasionally broken up into two subfamilies, the Phasianinae, and the Perdicinae...

 in the order
Order (biology)
In scientific classification used in biology, the order is# a taxonomic rank used in the classification of organisms. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, family, genus, and species, with order fitting in between class and family...

 Galliformes
Galliformes
Galliformes are an order of heavy-bodied ground-feeding domestic or game bird, containing turkey, grouse, chicken, New and Old World Quail, ptarmigan, partridge, pheasant, and the Cracidae. Common names are gamefowl or gamebirds, landfowl, gallinaceous birds or galliforms...

.

Pheasants are characterised by strong sexual dimorphism
Sexual dimorphism
Sexual dimorphism is a phenotypic difference between males and females of the same species. Examples of such differences include differences in morphology, ornamentation, and behavior.-Examples:-Ornamentation / coloration:...

, males being highly ornate with bright colours and adornments such as wattles
Wattle (anatomy)
A wattle is a fleshy dewlap or caruncle hanging from various parts of the head or neck in several groups of birds, goats and other animals. In some birds the caruncle is erectile tissue.The wattle is frequently an organ of sexual dimorphism...

 and long tail
Tail
The tail is the section at the rear end of an animal's body; in general, the term refers to a distinct, flexible appendage to the torso. It is the part of the body that corresponds roughly to the sacrum and coccyx in mammals, reptiles, and birds...

s. Males are usually larger than females and have longer tails. Males play no part in rearing the young. Pheasants typically eat seeds and some insects.

The best-known is the Common Pheasant
Common Pheasant
The Common Pheasant , is a bird in the pheasant family . It is native to Georgia and has been widely introduced elsewhere as a game bird. In parts of its range, namely in places where none of its relatives occur such as in Europe , it is simply known as the "pheasant"...

, which is widespread throughout the world in introduced feral populations and in farm operations.
Encyclopedia
Pheasants refer to some members of the Phasianinae (Horsfield
Thomas Horsfield
Thomas Horsfield M. D. was an American physician and naturalist.Horsfield was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and studied medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He was the grandson of Timothy Horsfield, Sr., a colonel and justice of the peace in Bethlehem, and a friend mentioned in Benjamin...

, 1821) subfamily of Phasianidae
Phasianidae
The Phasianidae is a family of birds which consists of the pheasants and partridges, including the junglefowl , Old World Quail, francolins, monals and peafowl. The family is a large one, and is occasionally broken up into two subfamilies, the Phasianinae, and the Perdicinae...

 in the order
Order (biology)
In scientific classification used in biology, the order is# a taxonomic rank used in the classification of organisms. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, family, genus, and species, with order fitting in between class and family...

 Galliformes
Galliformes
Galliformes are an order of heavy-bodied ground-feeding domestic or game bird, containing turkey, grouse, chicken, New and Old World Quail, ptarmigan, partridge, pheasant, and the Cracidae. Common names are gamefowl or gamebirds, landfowl, gallinaceous birds or galliforms...

.

Pheasants are characterised by strong sexual dimorphism
Sexual dimorphism
Sexual dimorphism is a phenotypic difference between males and females of the same species. Examples of such differences include differences in morphology, ornamentation, and behavior.-Examples:-Ornamentation / coloration:...

, males being highly ornate with bright colours and adornments such as wattles
Wattle (anatomy)
A wattle is a fleshy dewlap or caruncle hanging from various parts of the head or neck in several groups of birds, goats and other animals. In some birds the caruncle is erectile tissue.The wattle is frequently an organ of sexual dimorphism...

 and long tail
Tail
The tail is the section at the rear end of an animal's body; in general, the term refers to a distinct, flexible appendage to the torso. It is the part of the body that corresponds roughly to the sacrum and coccyx in mammals, reptiles, and birds...

s. Males are usually larger than females and have longer tails. Males play no part in rearing the young. Pheasants typically eat seeds and some insects.

The best-known is the Common Pheasant
Common Pheasant
The Common Pheasant , is a bird in the pheasant family . It is native to Georgia and has been widely introduced elsewhere as a game bird. In parts of its range, namely in places where none of its relatives occur such as in Europe , it is simply known as the "pheasant"...

, which is widespread throughout the world in introduced feral populations and in farm operations. Various other pheasant species are popular in aviaries, such as the Golden Pheasant
Golden Pheasant
The Golden Pheasant or "Chinese Pheasant", is a gamebird of the order Galliformes and the family Phasianidae...

 (Chrysolophus pictus).

Uses of pheasants

Pheasants were traditionally shot for sport and for the table mostly by the upper class elite (e.g., in Britain
Hunting and shooting in the United Kingdom
Hunting and shooting have been practised for many centuries in the United Kingdom and, in some areas, are a major part of British rural culture...

), and were valued for their attractive appearance. Due to changes in hunting laws this practice has been significantly reduced.

Species in taxonomic order

This list is ordered to show presumed relationships between species
  • Blood Pheasant (genus Ithaginis)
    • Blood Pheasant
      Blood Pheasant
      The Blood Pheasant is the only species in genus Ithaginis of the pheasant family. This relatively small, short-tailed pheasant is widespread and fairly common in northern Southasia...

      , (I. cruentus)
  • Koklass (genus Pucrasia)
    • Koklass Pheasant, (P. macrolopha)
  • Gallopheasants (genus Lophura)
    • Kalij Pheasant
      Kalij Pheasant
      The Kalij Pheasant, Lophura leucomelanos, is a pheasant found in forests and thickets, especially in the Himalayan foothills, from the Northern India to western Thailand. Males are rather variable depending on the subspecies involved, but all have an at least partially glossy bluish-black plumage,...

      , (L. leucomelanos)
      • White-crested Kalij Pheasant, (L. l. hamiltoni)
      • Nepal Kalij Pheasant, (L. l. leucomelanos)
      • Black-backed Kalij Pheasant, (L. l. melanota)
      • Black Kalij Pheasant, (L. l. moffitti)
      • Black-breasted Kalij Pheasant, (L. l. lathami)
      • William's Kalij Pheasant, (L. l. williamsi)
      • Oates' Kalij Pheasant, (L. l. oatesi)
      • Crawfurd's Kalij Pheasant, (L. l. crawfurdi)
      • Lineated Kalij Pheasant, (L. l. lineata)
    • Silver Pheasant
      Silver Pheasant
      The Silver Pheasant is a species of pheasant found in forests, mainly in mountains, of mainland Southeast Asia, and eastern and southern China, with introduced populations in Hawaii and various locations in the US mainland. The male is black and white, while the female is mainly brown...

      , (L. nycthemera)

    • Imperial Pheasant
      Imperial Pheasant
      The Imperial Pheasant, Lophura × imperialis is a dark blue medium-sized, up to 75 cm long, pheasant with bare red facial skin, blue crest, crimson legs and glossy plumage. Female is brown with erectile short feather crest, blackish tail and primaries.The Imperial Pheasant is found in the...

      , (L. imperialis)
    • Edward's Pheasant, (L. edwardsi)
    • Vietnamese Pheasant
      Vietnamese Pheasant
      The Vietnamese Pheasant, or Vietnam Fireback, is a species of gallopheasant. Discovered in 1964, it is endemic to central Vietnam. Its range concentrates around Ke Go Nature Reserve in Ha Tinh Province.-References:*...

      , (L. hatinhensis)
    • Swinhoe's Pheasant
      Swinhoe's Pheasant
      Swinhoe's Pheasant, Lophura swinhoii, is a bird of the pheasant subfamily of Phasianidae family that is endemic to Taiwan, where it inhabits primary broadleaved forest and mature secondary forest at 200-2,300 m. It was sometimes referred to as the unofficial "national bird" of Taiwan, but the...

      , (L. swinhoii)
    • Hoogerwerf's Pheasant, (L. hoogerwerfi)
    • Salvadori's Pheasant
      Salvadori's Pheasant
      The Salvadori's Pheasant, Lophura inornata is a bird of genus Lophura, native to Indonesia. It is found in the mountain rainforests of Sumatra. Thus it is also known as the "Sumatran Pheasant." The species name "inornata" means "without ornament."...

      , (L. inornata)
    • Crestless Fireback
      Crestless Fireback
      The Crestless Fireback is a species of bird in the Phasianidae family.It is found in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests....

      , (L. erythrophthalma)
      • Malayan Crestless Fireback, (L. e. erythrophthalma)
      • Bornean Crestless Fireback, (L. e. pyronota)
    • Crested Fireback
      Crested Fireback
      The Crested Fireback, Lophura ignita, is a medium-sized, up to 70 cm long, forest pheasant with a peacock-like dark crest, bluish black plumage, reddish brown rump, black outer tail feathers, red iris and bare blue facial skin...

      , (L. ignita)
      • Lesser Bornean Crested Fireback, (L. i. ignita)
      • Greater Bornean Crested Fireback, (L. i. nobilis)
      • Vieilott's Crested Fireback, (L. i. rufa)
      • Delacour's Crested Fireback, (L. i. macartneyi)
    • Siamese Fireback
      Siamese Fireback
      The Siamese Fireback, Lophura diardi also known as Diard's Fireback is a medium-sized, approximately 80 cm long, pheasant. The male has a grey plumage with an extensive red facial skin, crimson legs and feet, ornamental black crest feathers, reddish brown iris and long curved blackish tail...

      , (L. diardi)
    • Bulwer's Pheasant
      Bulwer's Pheasant
      Bulwer's Pheasant is also known as Bulwer's Wattled Pheasant, the Wattled Pheasant, or the White-tailed Wattled Pheasant. It is a Southeast Asian bird in the Phasianidae family; endemic to the forests of Borneo. It is currently listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN.-Description:Bulwer's Pheasant is...

      , (L. bulweri)
  • Eared Pheasants (genus Crossoptilon
    Crossoptilon
    The genus Crossoptilon consists of four species of eared pheasants.All are large, sexually monomorphic and found in China.-Species:* White Eared Pheasant, Crossoptilon crossoptilon* Tibetan Eared Pheasant, Crossoptilon harmani...

    )
    • White-eared Pheasant
      White-eared Pheasant
      The Genus Crosssoptilon comprises four distinct ecological species of "Eared Pheasants", so named because of their prominent ear tufts.White Eared Pheasants are called Shagga by indigenous Himalayan peoples...

      , (C. crossoptilon)
    • Tibetan Eared Pheasant
      Tibetan Eared Pheasant
      The Tibetan Eared Pheasant is a species of bird in the Phasianidae family. It is found in China and India.Its natural habitats are boreal forests and temperate forests. It is threatened by habitat loss.-Source:...

      , (C. harmani)
    • Brown Eared Pheasant
      Brown Eared Pheasant
      The Brown Eared Pheasant, Crossoptilon mantchuricum is a large, up to 100 cm long, dark brown pheasant of mountain forests of northern China. It has stiff white ear coverts behind the eyes, which look like a moustache. The crown is black with red bare facial skin and its tail of twenty-two...

      , (C. mantchuricum)
    • Blue Eared Pheasant
      Blue Eared Pheasant
      The Blue Eared Pheasant, Crossoptilon auritum is a large, up to 96 cm long, dark blue-grey pheasant with velvet black crown, red bare facial skin, yellow iris, long white ear coverts behind the eyes and crimson legs. Its tail of twenty-four elongated bluish grey feathers is curved, loose and...

      , (C. auritum)
  • Cheer Pheasant (genus Catreus
    Cheer Pheasant
    The Cheer Pheasant, Catreus wallichii also known as Wallich's Pheasant is an endangered species of the pheasant family, Phasianidae. It is the only member in monotypic genus Catreus...

    )
    • Cheer Pheasant
      Cheer Pheasant
      The Cheer Pheasant, Catreus wallichii also known as Wallich's Pheasant is an endangered species of the pheasant family, Phasianidae. It is the only member in monotypic genus Catreus...

      , (C. wallichi)
  • Long-tailed Pheasants (genus Syrmaticus
    Syrmaticus
    The genus Syrmaticus contains the five species of long-tailed pheasants. The males have short spurs and usually red facial wattles, but otherwise differ wildly in appearance...

    )
    • Reeve's Pheasant, (S. reevesi)
    • Elliot's Pheasant
      Elliot's Pheasant
      The Elliot's Pheasant, Syrmaticus ellioti also known as Bar-backed Pheasant is a large, up to 80 cm long, brown and white pheasant with a black throat, chestnut brown upperparts plumage, white belly, nape and wingbars, red bare facial skin and long rusty-barred whitish tail...

      , (S. ellioti)
    • Mrs. Hume's Pheasant, (S. humiae)
    • Mikado Pheasant
      Mikado Pheasant
      The Mikado Pheasant, Syrmaticus mikado, is a gamebird in the pheasant family Phasianidae of the order Galliformes, gallinaceous birds.-Distribution and habitat:The Mikado Pheasant is endemic to mountainous regions of Taiwan...

      , (S. mikado)
    • Copper Pheasant
      Copper Pheasant
      The Copper Pheasant, Syrmaticus soemmerringii also known as Soemmerring's Pheasant is a large, up to 136cm long, pheasant with a rich coppery chestnut plumage, yellowish bill, brown iris and red facial skin. The female is a brown bird with greyish brown upperparts and buff barred dark brown below...

      , (S. soemmerringi)
  • Typical Pheasants (genus Phasianus
    Phasianus
    The "typical" pheasant genus Phasianus in the family Phasianidae consists of at least one species. Both Phasianus and "pheasant" comes from the Greek word phāsiānos, meaning " of the Phasis". Phasis is the ancient name of the main river of western Georgia, currently called the Rioni.The Common...

    )
    • Green Pheasant
      Green Pheasant
      The Green Pheasant, Phasianus versicolor, also known as Japanese Pheasant, is native to the Japanese Archipelago, to which it is endemic. The male is distinguished from that species by its dark green plumage on the breast and mantle. The male also has an iridescent violet neck, red bare facial...

       (P. versicolor)
    • Common Pheasant
      Common Pheasant
      The Common Pheasant , is a bird in the pheasant family . It is native to Georgia and has been widely introduced elsewhere as a game bird. In parts of its range, namely in places where none of its relatives occur such as in Europe , it is simply known as the "pheasant"...

      , (P. colchicus)
      • Caucasus Pheasants, Phasianus colchicus colchicus group
      • White-winged Pheasants, Phasianus colchicus chrysomelas/principalis group
        • Prince of Wales Pheasant, Phasianus colchicus principalis
      • Mongolian Ring-necked Pheasants or White-winged Ring-necked Pheasants, Phasianus colchicus mongolicus group
      • Tarim Pheasants, Phasianus colchicus tarimensis group
      • Chinese Ring-necked Pheasants, Phasianus colchicus torquatus group
        • Taiwan Pheasant, Phasianus colchicus formosanus
  • Ruffed Pheasants (genus Chrysolophus
    Chrysolophus
    Chrysolophus is a genus of the pheasant family of birds.These are species which have spectacularly plumaged males. The Golden Pheasant is native to western China, and Lady Amherst's Pheasant to Tibet and westernmost China, but both have been widely introduced elsewhere...

    )
    • Golden Pheasant
      Golden Pheasant
      The Golden Pheasant or "Chinese Pheasant", is a gamebird of the order Galliformes and the family Phasianidae...

      , (C. pictus)
    • Lady Amherst's Pheasant
      Lady Amherst's Pheasant
      The Lady Amherst's Pheasant, Chrysolophus amherstiae, is a bird of the order Galliformes and the family Phasianidae.These are native to south western China and Myanmar, but have been introduced elsewhere, and have established a self-supporting, but now declining, feral population in England, the...

      , (C. amherstiae)
  • Peacock-Pheasants (genus Polyplectron
    Polyplectron
    The peacock-pheasants are a bird genus, Polyplectron, of the family Phasianidae, consisting of eight species. They are colored inconspicuously, relying on heavily on crypsis to avoid detection. When threatened, peacock-pheasants will alter their shapes utilising specialised plumage that when...

    )
    • Bronze-tailed Peacock-Pheasant, (P. chalcurum)
    • Mountain Peacock-Pheasant, (P. inopinatum)
    • Germain's Peacock-Pheasant, (P. germaini)
    • Grey Peacock-Pheasant
      Grey Peacock-pheasant
      The Grey Peacock-Pheasant, Polyplectron bicalcaratum also known as Burmese Peacock is a large Southeast Asian member of the order Galliformes. It is rather closely related to the peafowl , and like these – and like most other Polyplectron – has brilliant eyespots on its plumage...

       (P. bicalcaratum
    • Hainan Peacock-Pheasant
      Hainan Peacock-pheasant
      The Hainan Peacock-Pheasant is an endangered bird that belongs to the pheasant family Phasianidae. It is endemic to the island of Hainan, China. It is extremely rare.- Description :...

      , (Polyplectron katsumatae)
    • Malayan Peacock-Pheasant, (P. malacense)
    • Bornean Peacock-Pheasant, (P. schleiermacheri)
    • Palawan Peacock-Pheasant, (P. emphanum)
  • Crested Argus (genus Rheinartia)
    • Crested Argus
      Crested Argus
      The Crested Argus is a large and spectacular peacock-like pheasant with dark-brown-spotted black and buff plumage, a pink bill, brown irises and blue skin around the eyes. The head is small. The male has a broad and greatly elongated tail of twelve feathers. He measures from in total length...

      , (R. ocellata)
  • Great Argus (genus Argusianus
    Argusianus
    The genus Argusianus G.R. Gray, 1849 consists of two species of spectacularly plumaged pheasant with greatly elongated secondaries and central tail feathers....

    )
    • Great Argus
      Great Argus
      The Great Argus, Argusianus argus is a brown-plumaged pheasant with a small blue head and neck, rufous red upper breast, black hair-like feathers on crown and nape, and red legs. The male is among the largest of all pheasants. He measures in total length, including a tail of , and weighs . It has...

      , (A. argus)
    • Double-banded Argus
      Double-banded Argus
      A mysterious pheasant, the Double-banded Argus, Argusianus bipunctatus, is known only from the portion of a single primary flight feather...

      , (Argusianus bipunctatus )


Previous classifications

Euplocamus and Gennceus are older names more or less corresponding to the current Lophura.
  • Euplocamus was used, for example, by Hume
    Allan Octavian Hume
    Allan Octavian Hume was a civil servant, political reformer and amateur ornithologist in British India. He was one of the founders of the Indian National Congress, a political party that was later to lead the Indian independence movement...

     and Marshall
    Charles Henry Tilson Marshall
    Charles Henry Tilson Marshall was a British Army Officer, serving in the Punjab, India. In his spare time he collected birds in the Punjab and the Himalayas, and sent these to Allan Octavian Hume. He was the brother of George Frederick Leycester Marshall, with whom he published ornithological...

    's in their Game Birds of India, Burmah and Ceylon (1879–1881).
  • Gennceus, was used, for example, by Frank Finn
    Frank Finn
    Frank Finn FZS, MBOU was an English ornithologist.Finn was born in Maidstone and educated at Maidstone Grammar School and Brasenose College, Oxford. He went on a collecting expedition to East Africa in 1892, and became First Assistant Superintendent of the Indian Museum, Calcutta in 1894, and...

     in Indian Sporting Birds (1915) and Game Birds of India and Asia (1911?).


These old genera were used for:
Vernacular Hume & Marshall Finn: Sporting Birds Finn: Game Birds Contemporary
Vieilott's Crested Fireback  E. vielloti Lophura rufa (sic) L. ignita rufa
Black-backed Kalij  E. melanonotus G. melanonotus L. leucomelanos melanota
Common or White-crested Kalij  E. albocristatus G. albocristatus L. leucomelanos hamiltoni
Nepal Kalij  E. leucomelanus G. leucomelanus L. leucomelanos leucomelanos
Purple, Horsfield's or Black-breasted Kalij  E. horsfieldi G. horsfieldi L. leucomelanos lathami
Lineated Kalij  E. lineatus G. lineatus also: Burmese Silver Pheasant L. leucomelanos lineata
Anderson's Silver Pheasant  ? G. andersoni, considered hybrid of L. nycthemera and L. l. lineata L. nycthemera andersoni (invalid)
Crawfurd's Silver Pheasant (or Crawford's? ) E. andersoni considered a further cross of Anderson's and L. l. lineata ?
Crawfurd's Kalij (same as C.'s Silver Pheasant?) ? G. andersoni L. leucomelanos crawfurdi
Cuvier's Kalij  ? G. cuvieri ?
Oates's Kalij  ? G. oatesi L. leucomelanos oatesi
Whitehead's Silver Pheasant  ? G. whiteheadi ?
Swinhoe's Kalij ? G. swinhoii L. swinhoii

External links

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