Argus (bird)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other uses, see Argus.
Descent of Man - Burt 1874 - Fig 52.png
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Galliformes
Family: Phasianidae
Subfamily: Phasianinae


An argus is a member of either of two species of bird in the family Phasianidae that are closely related to pheasants and peafowl. It has hundreds or thousands of tiny white spots on its plumage pattern, and thus its naming might have been in reference to the mythical hundred-eyed giant argus, Argus Panoptes.

Two genera of birds are considered arguses: Rheinardia and Argusianus. Within these genera there are two recognized species each with two subspecies. Argusianus has also been credited with a mysterious second species that is sometimes thought to have gone extinct, but this is most likely based on a simple genetic aberration in the established species.