Family Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse (Phasianidae)

Near Threatened

Copper Pheasant (Syrmaticus soemmerringii)


French: Faisan scintillant German: Kupferfasan Spanish: Faisán cobrizo
Other common names: Soemmerring’s Pheasant (soemmerringii), Ijima Copper Pheasant (ijimae)

Phasianus soemmerringii


, 1830,

north Kyushu, Japan


Has been placed in monotypic genus Graphephasianus. Hybridization with Phasianus versicolor occasionally recorded in the wild, the offspring being infertile. Intergrades between different races reported; intermedius and subrufus may be synonymous with race scintillans. Races otherwise distinctive, and further study, especially in contact areas, recommended. Proposed race septentrionalis (from N Honshu) is included in scintillans, and inabaensis (SW Honshu) in intermedius. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. s. scintillans (Gould, 1866) – Scintillant Pheasant – N & C Honshu (Japan).
  • S. s. intermedius (Nagamichi Kuroda, 1919) – SW Honshu and Shikoku.
  • S. s. subrufus (Nagamichi Kuroda, 1919) – SE & SW Honshu and SW Shikoku.
  • S. s. soemmerringii (Temminck, 1830) – Copper Pheasant – N & C Kyushu.
  • S. s. ijimae (Dresser, 1902) – White-rumped Pheasant – SE Kyushu.
  • Descriptive notes

    Male 87·5–136 cm (tail 48–98 cm); female of race scintillans 51–55 cm (tail 14–21 cm); one male 900 g, one female 1300 g. Overlaps... read more


    Apparently not very vocal, the call being a hoarse and indistinct “ko..ko..ko”. Males also wing-... read more


    Occurs in coniferous forest, especially of Cryptomeria and cypress, and in mixed forest... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet consists of acorns and seeds of Castanopsis, Machilus, Cleyera, Castanea and other forest trees;... read more


    Little reliable information. Season from Mar in S, and Apr–May in N. Mating system not definitely known, with both monogamy and... read more


    No information other than that in N Honshu species is reported to descend to lower altitudes in... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. No information available on status other than that at one time species was very common, and nearly 1,000,000... read more

    Recommended citation

    McGowan, P.J.K. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Copper Pheasant (Syrmaticus soemmerringii). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 16 December 2019).