Imperial pheasant

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Imperial pheasant
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Galliformes
Family: Phasianidae
Subfamily: Phasianinae
Genus: Lophura
Species: L. × imperialis
Binomial name
Lophura × imperialis
Delacour & Jabouille, 1924

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. The female is brown with erectile short feather crest, blackish tail and primaries.

The imperial pheasant is found in the forests of Vietnam and Laos. Its appearance resembles another of Vietnam's enigmatic birds, the Vietnamese pheasant, but it is larger in size, has a longer tail, and an all dark blue crest and tail feathers. The latter species has a white crest and central tail feathers.

Previously known only from a pair taken alive to Europe by Jean Théodore Delacour in 1923, this species was rediscovered in 1990, when an immature male was trapped by a rattan collector. Another immature male was caught in February 2000.

This rare bird was determined not to be a true species, but a naturally occurring hybrid between the Edwards's pheasant and the subspecies annamensis of the silver pheasant (L. nycthemera).[1]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ A. Hennache, P. Rasmussen, V. Lucchini, S. Rimondi, E. Randi. 'Hybrid origin of the imperial pheasant Lophura imperialis (Delacour and Jabouille, 1924) demonstrated by morphology, hybrid experiments, and DNA analyses'. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Volume 80, Number 4, December 2003, pp. 573-600. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8312.2003.00251.x.