Double Banded Argus

Mystery Bird of Southeast Asia.

Scientific name: Argusianus bipunctatus, proposed by T. W. Wood in 1871. Placed in the same genus as the Great argus of Indonesia.

Physical description: Has two reddish-brown bands with white dots on its primary feather, instead of one band.

Distribution: Java in Indonesia or Tioman Island, Johor State, Malaysia.

Significant sighting: Pheasant of uncertain origin, known from a single feather in the British Museum of Natural History. Possible explanations:

(1) Surviving fossil pheasant of some type.

(2) An aberrant form of the Great argus (Argusianus argus) which lives in peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra and Borneo in Indonesia.

Sources: T. W. Wood, "Argus bipunctatus, sp. n., Described from a Single Feather," Annals and Magazine ofNatural History, ser. 4, 8 (1871): 67-68; G. W. H. Davison, "Notes on the Extinct Argusianus bipunctatus," Bulletin of the British Ornithologists Club 103, no. 3 (1983): 86-88; Errol Fuller, Extinct Birds (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2001), p. 111.

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