L. × imperialis
|Lophura × imperialis|
The imperial pheasant (Lophura × imperialis) is a dark blue, medium-sized, up to 75 cm long pheasant with bare red facial skin, blue crest, crimson legs and glossy plumage. The female is brown with erectile short feather crest, blackish tail and primaries.
The imperial pheasant is found in the forests of Vietnam and Laos. Its appearance resembles another of Vietnam's enigmatic birds, the Vietnamese pheasant, but it is larger in size, has a longer tail, and an all dark blue crest and tail feathers. The latter species has a white crest and central tail feathers.
Previously known only from a pair taken alive to Europe by Jean Théodore Delacour in 1923, this species was rediscovered in 1990, when an immature male was trapped by a rattan collector. Another immature male was caught in February 2000.
- A. Hennache, P. Rasmussen, V. Lucchini, S. Rimondi, E. Randi. 'Hybrid origin of the imperial pheasant Lophura imperialis (Delacour and Jabouille, 1924) demonstrated by morphology, hybrid experiments, and DNA analyses'. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Volume 80, Number 4, December 2003, pp. 573-600. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8312.2003.00251.x.