Scientific classification - Ithaginis spp.
The genus Ithaginis is a group of small birds (the size of a partridge) called bloody or blood pheasants; the genus is formed by a single species divided into 14 subspecies:
- Ihaginis cruentus cruentus, the bloody pheasant, properly said (according to some scholars, the original species should be considered)
- Ihaginis cruentus affinis - Sikkin's bloody pheasant
- Ihaginis cruentus annae - Sage's bloody pheasant
- Ihaginis cruentus beicki - Beick's bloody pheasant
- Ihaginis cruentus berezovskii - Berezovski's bloody pheasant
- Ihaginis cruentus clarkei - Clarke's bloody pheasant
- Ihaginis cruentus geoffroyi - Geoffroy's bloody pheasant
- Ihaginis cruentus holoptilus - Greenway's bloody pheasant
- Ihaginis cruentus kuseri - Kuser's bloody pheasant
- Ihaginis cruentus marionae - bloody Vernay pheasant
- Ihaginis cruentus michaelis - Bianchi's bloody pheasant
- Ihaginis cruentus rocki - Bloody Rock pheasant
- Ihaginis cruentus sinensis - Father David's bloody pheasant
- Ihaginis cruentos tibetanus - bloody pheasant from Tibet
Their population, although not very common, occupies a vast range and includes the mountains of China, Burma, Nepal and Tibet.
The members of the genus Ithaginis have a marked sexual dimorphism that affects only the plumage being the two sexes of similar size; in the various subspecies the males differ in the greater or lesser presence of red of the plumage, while the females are brownish red dyed and their similarity has often led to captivity in the allibridization of the various subspecies; they are mountain birds, therefore resistant to cold, their diet is mainly vegetarian which they supplement with fruit and insects.
Bloody Sikkin pheasant, male (photo http://orientalbirdimages.org)
Bloody pheasant from Tibet, male - Bloody pheasant from Berezovski, male (photo www.gbwf.org)