With the Argus-Pheasants we begin a series of Pheasants which are characterised by a straight, narrow, graduated tail, generally of great length.
In both sexes of the Argus-Pheasant, the sides of the head, the throat and the front and sides of the neck are naked or covered with only a few scattered bristles. The crest is extremely short; the tail is composed of twelve feathers ; there is no spur on the leg ; and all the quills of the wing, except the first ten, are greatly lengthened and very wide, especially in the male.
In the male bird, the tail is about four feet in length, and the middle tail-feathers are more than twice the length of any of the others. The lengthened feathers of the wing are beautifully marked with large ocelli.
In the female the tail is rather more than one foot in length, and there are no ocelli on the lengthened feathers of the wing. The occipital hairy crest is rather more developed than in the male.
Two species of Argus-Pheasants are known. One only occurs within our limits, the second being found in Borneo. An allied species of Argus is recorded from Tonquin.