The Malay peacock-pheasant has the same grizzled style of plumage, ornamented with eye-spots, as the better known grey species, but is brown, not grey, and darker in tint, the minute speckling which produces the grizzled effect being black on a ground of pale brown. In addition to this difference, which characterizes both sexes, the cock has a purple or green glossed crest and a red face, while in the hen the eye-spots are much better developed, especially on the tail, than in the hen of the common species, in which they are represented only by faintly glossed dark spots on most of the feathers.
Practically nothing seems to be known about this species in the wild state, except that it is found in the Peninsula south of Tenasserim, and is suspected of ranging as far north as that district. It is also found in Sumatra. As it was described as long ago as 1760, less than twenty years after the common species, and many skins and a few live specimens have reached Europe, it seems strange that it is still so little known, though of course a forest-haunting bird in a pre-eminently jungly country is not the sort to be easily studied anywhere, and is likely to remain long unfamiliar unless in a district well settled by Europeans, such as much of the range of the grey peacock-pheasant.