Erckel’s francolin Francolinus erckelii, copyright Peter Prokosch.

Belongs within: Phasiani.
Contains: Arborophila, Coturnix, Alectoris, Francolinus, Polyplectron, Meleagridinae, TetraoninaePerdixSyrmaticus, Phasianus, Lophura.

The Phasianidae are the family of gamebirds including the pheasants, partridges and Old World quail. They are primarily terrestrial birds with stout bodies and bills and relatively short, rounded wings. Historically, this group has been divided between the larger ‘Phasianinae’ (pheasants and peafowl), many of which have elongate tails and are often brightly coloured, and the often smaller and more conservatively coloured ‘Perdicinae’ (partridges and Old World quail). However, recent phylogenetic analyses have not supported this division. The fossil genus Palaeortyx, known from the Palaeogene of Europe, is a basal representative of the Phasianidae that shares leg proportions (with humerus and femur subequal in length) with stem-Galliformes (Mayr 2009).

A basal clade within the recent Phasianidae unites the Udzungwa forest partridge Xenoperdix udzungwensis of inland Tanzania with the hill partridges Arborophila and related taxa of eastern Asia. Xenoperdix and Arborophila species share dark grey-brown or blackish under-wing coverts bordered by a contrasting white stripe formed by the outer webs of the middle coverts, and a reticulate scalation along the rear of the tarsus (Dinesen et al. 1994). Other members of this clade include the ferruginous partridge Caloperdix oculeus and the crested partridge or roul-roul Rollulus rouloul.

The francolins of Africa and Asia, generalised phasianids historically associated in the genus Francolinus, have been found by molecular analyses to be polyphyletic and may be divided between the genera Francolinus and Pternistis.

The ocellated pheasants form a clade including the peacocks Pavo and the great argus pheasant Argusianus argus. Members of this group have males with display plumage marked by iridescent ‘eye-patches’. Most species are found in southern and eastern Asia except the Congo peafowl Afropavo congensis of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Fossil species of peacock, P. archiaci and P. bravardi, are also known from the Miocene and Pliocene, respectively, of Europe (Mlíkovský 2002).

The blood pheasant Ithaginis cruentus is a short-tailed, montane pheasant found in the Himalayan region that receives its vernacular name from more or less extensive areas of blood-red coloration on the face and breast. The horned pheasants of the genus Tragopan are found in southern and eastern Asia; males of this genus have a pair of brightly coloured, fleshy ‘horns’ on the head that are erected during courtship displays.

<==Phasianidae [Pavoninae, Perdicinae, Perdicini, Phasianinae, Phasianini, Starnini]
    |--Palaeortyx Milne-Edwards 1869M09
    |    |--*P. gallica Milne-Edwards 1869M02, M09 (see below for synonymy)
    |    |--P. brevipes Milne-Edwards 1869M09 [=Taoperdix brevipesM02]
    |    |--P. phasianoides Milne-Edwards 1869M09 [=Taoperdix phasianoidesM02]
    |    `--P. prisca (Milne-Edwards 1869)M09
    `--+--+--Xenoperdix Dinesen, Lehmberg et al. 1994BKB15, DL94
       |  |    |--*X. udzungwensis Dinesen, Lehmberg et al. 1994DL94
       |  |    `--X. obscurataBKB15
       |  `--ArborophilinaeKB14
       |       |--ArborophilaBKB15
       |       `--+--Caloperdix oculeusJT12
       |          `--Rollulus Bonnaterre 1791BKB15, B94 [incl. Cryptonyx Temminck 1815B94; Rollulini]
       |               |--R. cristatusS42
       |               `--R. rouloulBKB15
          |  `--+--+--AlectorisBKB15
          |     |  `--Tetraogallus Gray 1832BKB15, B94 [incl. Oreotetrax Cabanis 1846B94; Oreotetragini, Tetraogallini]
          |     |       |  i. s.: T. caucasicusJT12 (see below for synonymy)
          |     |       |--T. tibetanusBKB15
          |     |       `--+--T. himalayensisBKB15
          |     |          `--+--T. altaicus (Gebler 1837)BKB15, M01 [=Perdix altaicusM01]
          |     |             `--T. caspiusBKB15
          |     `--+--+--PerdiculaBKB15
          |        |  |    |--P. argoondahJT12 [=P. asiatica argoondahL81]
          |        |  |    |--P. asiaticaBKB15
          |        |  |    |--P. erythrorhynchaJT12
          |        |  |    `--P. manipurensisJT12
          |        |  `--Ammoperdix Gould 1851BKB15, M02
          |        |       |--A. griseogularisJT12
          |        |       `--A. heyiBKB15
          |        |            |--A. h. heyiL81
          |        |            `--A. h. nicolliL81
          |        `--+--‘Francolinus’ hartlaubiBKB15
          |           `--+--‘Francolinus’ erckelii (Rüppell 1835)BKB15, S05 [=Perdix erckeliiS05]
          |              `--+--‘Francolinus’ castaneicollisBKB15
          |                 `--+--PternistisS05
          |                    |    |--P. leucoscepus (Gray 1867)S05 (see below for synonymy)
          |                    |    `--+--P. aferB93 (see below for synonymy)
          |                    |       `--P. swainsoniiB93 [=Francolinus swainsoniiBKB15]
          |                    |            |--P. s. swainsoniiB93
          |                    |            `--P. s. gilli Roberts 1932 [=Francolinus swainsoni gilli]B93
          |                    `--+--+--‘Francolinus’ bicalcaratusBKB15
          |                       |  `--‘Francolinus’ squamatusBKB15
          |                       `--+--‘Francolinus’ griseostriatusBKB15
          |                          `--+--+--‘Francolinus’ adspersusBKB15
          |                             |  `--‘Francolinus’ capensisBKB15
          |                             `--+--‘Francolinus’ hildebrandtiBKB15
          |                                `--‘Francolinus’ natalensisBKB15
          `--+--‘Arborophila’ rufipectusBKB15
             `--+--+--+--+--Rheinardia ocellataBKB15
                |  |  |  |    |--R. o. ocellataRN72
                |  |  |  |    `--R. o. nigrescensRN72
                |  |  |  `--Argusianus Rafinesque 1815BKB15, B94 (see below for synonymy)
                |  |  |       |--A. argusBKB15
                |  |  |       |    |--A. a. argusRN72
                |  |  |       |    `--A. a. grayiRN72
                |  |  |       `--‘Argus’ giganteusS42
                |  |  `--+--Afropavo Chapin 1936BKB15, B94 [Afropavonini]
                |  |     |    `--A. congensisDL94
                |  |     `--Pavo Linnaeus 1758BKB15, CC10 [Pavonini]
                |  |          |--*P. cristatus Linnaeus 1758CC10 [incl. P. cristatus nigripennisRN72]
                |  |          |--P. archiaci (Gaudry 1862) (see below for synonymy)M02
                |  |          |--P. bicalcaratus Linnaeus 1758L58
                |  |          |--P. bravardi (Gervais 1849) (see below for synonymy)M02
                |  |          `--P. muticusBKB15
                |  |               |--P. m. muticusRN72
                |  |               |--P. m. imperatorRN72
                |  |               `--P. m. spiciferRN72
                |  `--+--FrancolinusBKB15
                |     `--+--Haematortyx sanguinicepsBKB15
                |        `--+--PolyplectronBKB15
                |           `--Galloperdix Blyth 1844JT12, B94 [Galloperdicini]
                |                |--G. bicalcarataJT12
                |                |--G. lunulataJT12
                |                `--G. spadiceaJT12
                `--+--Ithaginis Wagler 1822BKB15, B94 [Ithaginini]
                   |    `--I. cruentusBKB15
                   `--+--+--Tragopan Cuvier 1829BKB15, B94 [incl. Satyra Lesson 1828B94; Tragopanini]
                      |  |    |  i. s.: T. melanocephalusJT12
                      |  |    |--T. blythiiBKB15
                      |  |    |    |--T. b. blythiiRN72
                      |  |    |    `--T. b. molesworthiRN72
                      |  |    `--+--T. cabotiBKB15
                      |  |       `--+--T. satyraBKB15
                      |  |          `--T. temminckii (Gray in Hardwicke 1831)BKB15, CC10 (see below for synonymy)
                      |  `--+--TetraophasisBKB15
                      |     |    |--T. obscurusBKB15
                      |     |    `--T. szechenyiiBKB15
                      |     `--Lophophorus Temminck 1813BKB15, B94 [Lophophorini]
                      |          |--L. sclateriBKB15
                      |          `--+--L. impejanusBKB15
                      |             `--L. lhuysiiBKB15
                      `--+--+--Rhizothera longirostrisBKB15
                         |  `--Pucrasia Gray 1841BKB15, B94 [Pucrasiini]
                         |       |--P. macrolophaBKB15
                         |       `--P. xanthospilaS66
                            |  `--TetraoninaeBKB15
                                  `--+--+--‘Polyplectron’ katsumataeBKB15 [=P. bicalcaratum katsumataeRN72]
                                     |  `--PhasianusBKB15
                                        |    |--C. amherstiaeBKB15
                                        |    `--C. pictus (Linnaeus 1758) [=Phasianus pictus, Thaumalea picta]CC10
                                           |  `--Catreus wallichiiBKB15
                                                |--+--C. crossoptilonBKB15
                                                |  `--C. drouyniBKB15
                                                `--+--C. harmaniBKB15
                                                   `--+--C. auritumBKB15
                                                      `--C. mantchuricumBKB15
Phasianidae incertae sedis:
  Ophrysia superciliosaFP64, JT12
  Miogallus Lambrecht 1933 [incl. Miophasianus Brodkorb 1952]M02
    `--M. altus (Milne-Edwards 1869) (see below for synonymy)M02
  Anissolornis excavatus Amegino 1891A94
  Anurophasis monorthonyxJT12
  Melanoperdix nigerJT12
  Gennaeus Wagler 1832 [incl. Nycthemerus Swainson 1837; Nycthemerini]B94
    `--G. swinhoiiA61
  Lerwa Hodgson 1837 [Lerwini]B94
    `--L. lerwaJT12
    |--E. adansonii [=Coturnix adansonii]RN72
    `--E. australisN87
  Schaubortyx Brodkorb 1964M09, M02
    `--*S. keltica (Eastman 1905)M02, M09 [=Taoperdix kelticaM02]
  Argillipes Harrison & Walker 1977U93, M02
    |--*A. aurorum Harrison & Walker 1977M02
    |--A. magnus Harrison & Walker 1979M02
    `--A. paralectoris Harrison & Walker 1977 [incl. Paraortygoides radagasti Dyke & Gulas 2002]M05
    |--E. ignitusD42
    `--E. lineatusS89
Inorganic: Pavo cristatus minilorientalus Okamura 1987O87
Nomen nudum: Palaeortyx media Milne-Edwards 1871M02

Argusianus Rafinesque 1815BKB15, B94 [=Argusanus (l. c.)B94; incl. Argus Temminck 1813 non Bohadsch 1761B94; Argusaninae, Argusianinae, Argusianini]

Miogallus altus (Milne-Edwards 1869) [=Phasianus altus, *Miophasianus altus; incl. Ph. augustus Ammon 1918, Miop. augustus, Ph. desnoyersii Milne-Edwards 1869, Miop. desnoyersii, Gallus longaevus Ammon 1918, *Miogallus longaevus, Palaeortyx maxima Lydekker 1893, Miophasianus maximus, Ph. medius Milne-Edwards 1869, Miophasianus medius, Palaeoperdix medius, Tantalus milneedwardsii Shufeldt 1896, Ibis milneedwardsi, Pseudotantalus milneedwardsi, Ardea similis Fraas 1870, Botaurites similis, Proardea similis]M02

*Palaeortyx gallica Milne-Edwards 1869M02, M09 [=Coturnix gallicaM02, Taoperdix gallicaM02; incl. Rallus dasypus Milne-Edwards 1892M02, Quercyrallus dasypusM02, Palaeortyx depereti Ennouchi 1930M02, Plioperdix deperetiM02, Pa. grivensis Lydekker 1893M02, Pl. grivensisM02, Pa. joleaudi Ennouchi 1930M02, Pl. joleaudiM02, Coturnix miocenica Villalta 1963M02, Palaeortyx ocyptera Milne-Edwards 1892M02]

Pavo archiaci (Gaudry 1862) [=Phasianus archiaci; incl. Gallus aesculapii Gaudry 1862, Pavo aesculapi, Pavo aesculapi phasianoides Jánossy 1991]M02

Pavo bravardi (Gervais 1849) [=Gallus bravardi; incl. Phasianus etuliensis Bocheński & Kuročkin 1987, Pavo moldavicus Bocheński & Kuročkin 1987]M02

Pternistis aferB93 [=Francolinus aferBKB15; incl. Pternistis cranchiiL81, P. afer cunenensis Roberts 1932 non Scleroptila jugularis cunenensis Roberts 1932B93, F. afer palliditectus White 1958B93]

Pternistis leucoscepus (Gray 1867)S05 [=Francolinus leucoscepusBKB15, Perdix rubricollis Cretzschmar 1829 non Gmelin 1789S05]

Tetraogallus caucasicusJT12 [=Tetrao caucasicaG42; incl. Chourtka alpinaG42, Lophophorus nigelliG42, Tetraogallus nigelliG42]

Tragopan temminckii (Gray in Hardwicke 1831)BKB15, CC10 [=Satyra temminckiiCC10, Ceriornis temminckiiCC10]

*Type species of generic name indicated


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