Phasianus


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Phasianus

 

a genus of birds of the family Phasianidae of the and the Japanese pheasant order Galliformes. The body measures as much as 85 cm in length and weighs as much as 1.7–2 kg; the female is smaller than the male. The male has bright plumage with a metallic sheen, while the female is a grayish sandy color. The genus includes two species: the true pheasant (Ph. colchicus) and the Japanese pheasant (Ph. vesicolor).

There are approximately 30 geographical varieties of true pheasant, which differ in coloration. These varieties are found from Ciscaucasia and the Volga delta across Middle and Central Asia to Primor’e Krai and southeastern China. The true pheasant lives in forests with undergrowth, in thickets along river valleys and lakes, and among shrubs growing along fields. It nests on the ground. The clutch contains eight to 18 eggs, which the female incubates 24 or 25 days; the female alone cares for the young. The diet includes seeds, small fruits, and shoots, as well as insects, mollusks, and worms. A valuable game bird, the true pheasant is raised on special farms in many countries, including the USSR, where it is raised mainly in the Ukraine.

The Japanese pheasant is distributed in Japan.