Closely related to L. leucomelanos; the two were formerly placed together in genus Gennaeus, but genetic study found no evidence that Lophura as currently constituted is polyphyletic#R. Present species apparently hybridizes with L. leucomelanos at several localities E of R Irrawaddy (as well as on Victoria I, in SW Argentina, where both introduced very locally#R) and it is possible that interbreeding with L. diardi is occurring in C Thailand#R. A separate molecular study indicated that these are two distinct species and that taxa lineata and crawfurdii, which have been considered part of present species#R, are better placed with L. leucomelanos; in same study two clades were identified within present species (nycthemera, berliozi and some samples of an unknown subspecies; and lewisi, annamensis and jonesi)#R. Geographical variation within present species exhibits two basic clines: individuals S of Irrawaddy delta have an increasingly disrupted pattern of alternating black and white V-marks becoming less distinct farther S, and individuals NE of delta become increasingly white to the N (though some traces of black always remain)#R. Many races considered to be of questionable validity, based on plumage patterns of male upperparts; seven races (rufipes, occidentalis, ripponi, jonesi, beaulieui, nycthemera and fokiensis), at least, form a cline and may not be subspecifically distinct from one another#R. Fifteen subspecies currently recognized.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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