[Photo No. B-28]
The Great Argus (Argusianus argus) (also known as Phoenix in some Asian areas) is a brown-plumaged pheasant with a small blue head and neck, rufous red upper breast, black hair-like feathers on crown and nape, and red legs. The male is among the largest of all pheasants, with up to 200cm in length. It has very long tail feathers.
The male’s most spectacular features are its huge, broad and greatly elongated secondary wing feathers decorated with large ocelli. The female is smaller and duller than male, with shorter tails and less ocelli. Young males attain adult plumage in their third year.
The Great Argus is distributed in the jungles of Borneo, Sumatra and Malay Peninsula in southeast Asia. It feeds on forest floor in early morning and evening. Unusual among Galliformes, the Great Argus has no oil gland and the hen lays only two eggs.
© Winston D. Munnings ’2010 (Laminated Print)
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