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Male Common Pheasant
Male Common Pheasant
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Galliformes
Family: Phasianidae

See also partridge

Pheasants are a group of large birds in the order Galliformes. In many countries they are hunted as game.

Pheasant are characterised by strong sexual dimorphism, with males being highly ornate with bright colours and adornments such as wattles and long tails. They are usually larger than the females. Males play no part in rearing the young.

There are 35 species of pheasant in 11 different genera. The best-known is the Ringnecked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus torquatus) 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 (Chrysolophus pictus).

Species in taxonomic order

This list is ordered to show relationships between species

  • Blood Pheasant (genus Ithaginis)
    • Blood Pheasant, (I. cruentus)
  • Koklass (genus Pucrasia)
    • Koklass Pheasant, (P. macrolopha)
  • Gallopheasants (genus Lophura)
    • Kalij Pheasant, (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, (L. nycthemera)
      • (L. n. nycthemera)
      • (L. n. lewisi)
      • (L. n. annamensis)
      • (L. n. engelbachi)
      • (L. n. beli)
      • (L. n. berliozi)
      • (L. n. rufripes)
      • (L. n. ripponi)
      • (L. n. occidentalis)
      • (L. n. beaulieui)
      • (L. n. fokiensis)
      • (L. n. whiteheadi)
      • (L. n. omeiensis)
      • (L. n. rongjiangensis)
    • Imperial Pheasant, (L. imperialis)
      Edward's Pheasant, (L. edwardsi)
      Swinhoe Pheasant, (L. swinhoii)
      Salvadori's Pheasant, (L. inornata)
    • Crestless Fireback Pheasant, (L. erythrophthalma)
      • Malayan Crestless Fireback, (L. e. erythrophthalma)
        Bornean Crestless Fireback, (L. e. pyronota)
    • Crested Fireback Pheasant, (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, (L. diardi)
      Bulwer's Wattled Pheasant, (L. bulweri)
  • Eared Pheasants (genus Crossoptilon)
    • White-eared Pheasant, (C. crossoptilon)
      Brown Eared Pheasant, (C. mantchuricum)
      Blue Eared Pheasant, (C. auritum)
  • Cheer (genus Catreus)
    • Cheer Pheasant, (C. wallichi)
  • Long-tailed Pheasants (genus Syrmaticus)
    • Reeve's Pheasant, (S. reevesi)
      Elliot's Pheasant, (S. ellioti)
      Bar-tailed Pheasant, (S. humiae)
      Mikado Pheasant, (S. mikado)
      Copper Pheasant, (S. soemmerringi)
  • True Pheasants (genus Phasianus)
    • Green Pheasant (P. versicolor)
    • Common Pheasant, (P. colchicus)
      • Pheasant (P.c. colchicus)
      • Ringnecked Pheasant (P.c. torquatus)
  • Ruffed Pheasants (genus Chrysolophus)
    • Golden Pheasant, (C. pictus)
      Lady Amherst's Pheasant, (C. amherstiae)
  • Peacock Pheasants (genus Polyplectron)
    • Bronze-tailed Peacock Pheasant, (P. chalcurum)
      Mountain Peacock Pheasant, (P. inopinatum)
      Germain's Peacock Pheasant, (P. germaini)
      Grey Peacock Pheasant (P. bicalcaratum)
      Malaysian Peacock Pheasant, (P. malacense)
      Bornean Peacock Pheasant, (P. schleiermacheri)
      Palawan Peacock Pheasant, (P. emphanum)
  • Crested Argus (genus Rheinartia)
    • Crested Argus Pheasant, (R. ocellata)
  • Great Argus (genus Argusianus)
    • Great Argus Pheasant, (A. argus)
Pheasant Fowling.--"Showing how to catch Pheasants."--Fac-simile of a Miniature in the Manuscript of the "Livre du Roy Modus" (Fourteenth Century).
Pheasant Fowling.--"Showing how to catch Pheasants."--Fac-simile of a Miniature in the Manuscript of the "Livre du Roy Modus" (Fourteenth Century).


  • Beebe, William. 1918-22. A Monograph of the Pheasants. 1st edition in 4 volumes: H. F. Witherby, London. Reprint: 1990, Dover Publications.(4 volumes bound as 2). ISBN 0-48-62657-9-X and ISBN 0-48-626580-3. Republished as: Pheasants: Their Lives and Homes. 2 vols. 1926. Single volume edition: New York Zoological Society, 1936.)
  • Green-Armytage, Stephen. 2002. Extraordinary Pheasants.Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York. Book ISBN 0-81-091007-1.
  • Madge and McGowan,Pheasants, Partridges and Grouse ISBN 0-7136-3966-0

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