Phasianus=, the Phasian bird in Aristophanes; from the River Phasis, in Colchis, whence it is said to have been first brought by the Argonautic expedition.
True Pheasants, Tail longer than wing in both sexes, eighteen feathers, long and wedge-shaped. Wing exceptional, as first flight-feather is considerably longer than tenth. No crest. Males have lengthened ear-tufts, facial skin naked red, and a spur on each tarsus. Range from Eastern Europe to Japan. Not repre sented in Himalayas, but two species are found in Manipur and Burma. Crowns green, or red-brown, or white. With no white neck-ring, or with traces of one, or with white neck-ring. The ringed forms may be regarded as the northern, and those without a neck-ring as the southern type. Lower back, rump, and upper tail-coverts maroon glossed green on slate-grey, with nest-coloured patches on each side (P. versicolor excepted). All maroon-rumped species are found W. of about 90° E. long., while those with grey rumps are only found E. of this line. Most of the Pheasants in England are hybrids between P. colchicus with maroon rump and no neck-ring and P. torquatus with grey rump and white neck-ring. The various species may be distinguished as under—
A. With crown green. Lower back, rump, and upper tail-coverts slate-grey, with rust-coloured patches on each side.
(i.) With no white neck-ring, or only traces of one.