Malayan Peacock-Pheasant

(Polyplectron malacense)

Polyplectron malacense

Polyplectron malacense
Photo by John Corder

Other Names: Malaysian Peacock-Pheasant, Malay Peacock-Pheasant, Crested Peacock Pheasant

Subspecies: The Bornean Peacock-Pheasant (Polyplectron schleiermacheri) is sometimes considered a subspecies (Delacour 1977); later sources now list as a distinct species.

Range: Formerly found throughout the Malay peninsula from Thailand southward and believed to have been found on Sumatra. Now found only in central Malaysia.

Habitat: Lowland forests.

Brief Description: The male can be distingiushed from other polyplectron species in having an orange face, a longer (forward) crest and buff surrounding each ocelli on the mantle and wings. The hen lacks the crest; smaller than males, ocelli dark also with buff borders.

Status in Wild: Not yet endangered, but vulnerable due to small range and habitat loss.

Avicultural Data

Status in Aviculture: Rare

Clutch Size: Usually just one egg.

Incubation Period: 22-23 days

Visitor Submitted Notes: The following provided by John Corder.

The peacock pheasant is the Malaysian species (Polyplectron malacense). We have them on breeding loan from the Malaysian Department of Wildlife and National Parks. We have been fortunate to parent-rear these for each of the last three seasons - as far as we know, this has not been recorded previously outside Malaysia. We will be presenting a paper on their breeding behaviour at the World Pheasant Association International Symposium in Malaysia in September. This species is highly unusual in that they lay just one egg. It has become more usual to call this species the Malaysian Peacock Pheasant rather than the Malay PP as Jean Delacour called it.
Our experience in the UK has been that MPP would seem to be much harder to breed than Greys, Palawans, Germains or Bronze Tails. Because of their laying pattern, it is always going to be a long job to raise numbers in captivity, particularly since males have a habit of dying quite easily when in prime breeding condition. They need protection from frost and snow and ours always begin laying at the end of December or early January - a good time in Malaysia but not in the middle of our winter. The single egg is very large, often weighing between 42 and 44g.
We keep all our peacock pheasants in quite large aviaries - 250 / 300 sq.ft. They have fully insulated shelters with heating which comes on at 0 Centigrade (Mountains) and 2 C (Malaysians) The aviaries are heavily planted to provide plenty of cover. The Malaysian male maintains a display area, similar to the Great Argus, into which the female comes when she wishes to mate. They have an extremely complicated and ritualised display, which involves the female and male both displaying to each other, quite unlike any other peacock pheasants that we have seen.


Click on thumbnails for larger views.

1 2 3 4

Photo Credits
(l to r): 1-2, Dan Cowell; 3-4, Myles Lamont.

Additional Photos submitted by John Corder.

Polyplectron malacense

Polyplectron malacense

Polyplectron malacense

Bibliography and Further Reading


Links related to this species. Please note, links will open in a new window.

¦ Return to the Pheasant and Peafowl Page ¦ 1997-2012, Dan Cowell
avicultural forums pheasants & peafowl grouse francolins & partridge quail cracids
guineafowl & turkey megapodes hoagba ggbba links facebook Animal Wonders contact

eXTReMe Tracker