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A photo of a Blyth's Tragopan (Tragopan blythii), male
Blyth's Tragopan, Male

Blyth's Tragopan

Tragopan blythii

Blyth's tragopan (Tragopan blythii) or the grey-bellied tragopan, is a pheasant that is a vulnerable species. The common name commemorates Edward Blyth (1810–1873), English zoologist and Curator of the Museum of the Asiatic Society of Bengal.

Blyth's tragopan pheasant is the largest of the genus Tragopan. Like most pheasants, the male is brightly colored. It is recognized by its rusty red head, yellow facial skin, and that it is spotted with small white dots on its back called ocelli. A black band extends from the base of the bill to the crown coupled with another black band extending behind the eyes. Like the rest of the tragopans, males have two pale blue horns that become erect during mating. Its lappet, a decorated flap, hangs from the throat and is brightly colored. This lappet can be expanded and exposed during mating season as well. Females are not as brightly colored as the male tragopan, for they do not need the extravagant appearance to attract a male counterpart. Overall, they are dark brown with a mixture of black, buff and white mottling. Their simple and dull look is a protection mechanism from other animals, known as camouflage. It also allows the females to protect their young that are in the early stages of life.

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11 Apr 2024 - 7:23pm
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