Polyplectron germaini (*)
Polyplectron germaini Elliot, 1866
The Germain's Peacock-pheasant, Polyplectron germaini is a medium-sized, approximately 60 cm long, brownish dark pheasant with finely spotted buff, short crest, bare red facial skin, brown iris and purplish-blue ocelli on upperbody plumage and half of its tail of twenty feathers. Both sexes are similar. The female has eighteen tail feathers and is smaller than male.
The Germain's Peacock-pheasant is endemic to southern Indochina. It is found in semi-evergreen dry forests of southern Vietnam and eastern Cambodia. The female usually lays two creamy-white eggs.
The phylogeny of this species is somewhat enigmatic. mtDNA cytochrome b and D-loop as well as the nuclear ovomucoid intron G data confirms that it belongs to a clade together with the Grey Peacock-pheasant, but also the "brown" southernly species Bronze-tailed Peacock-pheasant and Mountain Peacock-pheasant. Biogeography suggests that it may indeed be the most ancient form in its clade, speciating parapatrically or peripatrically in Cochinchina (Kimball et al. 2001). This probably took place in the Late Pliocene, roughly 4-3 mya.
The name commemorates the French colonial army's veterinary surgeon Louis Rodolphe Germain.
Due to ongoing habitat loss and limited range, the Germain's Peacock-pheasant is evaluated as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is listed on Appendix II of CITES.
* BirdLife International (2005). Polyplectron germaini. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 1 November 2006. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is near threatened
1. ^ Note that the molecular clock calibration method used by Kimball et al. (2001) is now known to be inappropriate, yielding far too low estimates in galliform birds.
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