|Mongolian ringneck-type common pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) cock|
The Phasianinae (Horsfield, 1821) are a subfamily of the pheasant family (Phasianidae) of landfowl, the order Galliformes. The subfamily includes true pheasants, tragopans, grouse, turkey and similar birds. Although this subfamily was considered monophyletic and separated from the partridges, francolins, and Old World quails (Perdicinae) till the early 1990s, molecular phylogenies have shown that this placement is paraphyletic. For example, some partridges (genus Perdix) are more closely affiliated to pheasants, whereas Old World quails and partridges from the genus Alectoris are closer to junglefowls. Due to this, Phasianinae was redefined in 2021 as containing all genera more closely allied to Phasianus than to Pavoninae or Rollulinae; several groups formerly included in Phasianinae, such as peafowl and junglefowl, were placed into Pavoninae. Phasianinae is believed to have diverged from Pavoninae during the early Oligocene, about 30 million years ago.
The Phasianinae are characterised by strong sexual dimorphism, males being highly ornate with bright colours and adornments, such as wattles and long tails. Males are usually larger than females and have longer tails. Males play no part in rearing the young. They typically eat seeds and some insects.
Genera in taxonomic order
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