The Phasianinae (Horsfield, 1821) are a subfamily of the pheasant family (Phasianidae) of landfowl, the order Galliformes. The subfamily includes pheasants, tragopans, junglefowl, peafowl, and other similar birds.[1] Although this subfamily was considered monophyletic and separated from the partridges, francolins, and Old World quails (Perdicinae) till the early 1990s,[1][2] molecular phylogenies have shown that the two Phasianidae subfamilies actually constitute only one lineage. 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.[3][4]

Mongolian ringneck-type common pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) cock
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Galliformes
Family: Phasianidae
Subfamily: Phasianinae
Horsfield, 1821
Type species
Phasianus colchicus

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.

Species in taxonomic order

This list is ordered to show presumed relationships between species.

ImageGenusLiving species
Lophophorus, monals
Gallus, junglefowl and chickens
Lophura, gallopheasants
  • 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. 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)
  • Imperial pheasant, Lophura imperialis
  • Edward's pheasant, Lophura edwardsi
  • Swinhoe's pheasant, Lophura swinhoii
  • Hoogerwerf's pheasant, Lophura hoogerwerfi
  • Salvadori's pheasant, Lophura inornata
  • Crestless fireback, Lophura erythrophthalma
    • Malayan crestless fireback, (L. e. erythrophthalma)
    • Bornean crestless fireback, (L. e. pyronota)
  • Crested fireback, Lophura 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, Lophura diardi
  • Bulwer's pheasant, Lophura bulweri
Crossoptilon, eared pheasants
Syrmaticus, long-tailed pheasants
Phasianus, typical pheasants
  • Green pheasant Phasianus versicolor
  • Common pheasant, Phasianus 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
Chrysolophus, ruffed pheasants
Polyplectron, peacock-pheasants
Pavo Peacock


  1. Johnsgard, P. A. (1986). The Pheasants of the World. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
  2. Johnsgard, P. A. (1988). The Quails, Partridges, and Francolins of the World. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
  3. Kimball, R. T.; Braun, E. L.; Zwartjes, P. W.; Crowe, T. M.; Ligon, J. D. (1999). "A molecular phylogeny of the pheasants and partridges suggests that these lineages are not monophyletic". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 11 (1): 38–54. doi:10.1006/mpev.1998.0562. PMID 10082609.
  4. Kimball, Rebecca T.; Braun, Edward L. (2014). "Does more sequence data improve estimates of galliform phylogeny? Analyses of a rapid radiation using a complete data matrix". PeerJ. 2: e361. doi:10.7717/peerj.361. PMC 4006227. PMID 24795852.
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