Pavo is a genus of two species in the pheasant family. The two species, along with the Congo peafowl, are known as peafowl.

Temporal range: Late Miocene to present
Indian peacock (Pavo cristatus) displaying
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Galliformes
Family: Phasianidae
Tribe: Pavonini
Genus: Pavo
Linnaeus, 1758
Type species
Pavo cristatus (Indian peafowl)
Linnaeus, 1758
A white peafowl


Pavo is also Spanish for turkey. The genus Pavo was introduced in 1758 by the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus in the tenth edition of his Systema Naturae.[1] The genus name is the Latin word for a peacock.[2] The type species is the Indian peafowl (Pavo cristatus).[3]


The genus contains two species.[4]

Male Female Name Common name Distribution
    Pavo cristatus Indian peafowl South Asia; introduced elsewhere
    Pavo muticus Green peafowl Southeast Asia

Fossil recordEdit

In the Pliocene on the Balkan Peninsula, Bravard's peafowl coexisted with ptarmigans (Lagopus sp.)[6] Peafowl were widespread on the Balkan Peninsula and in Southeastern Europe until the end of the Pliocene.[7]


  1. ^ Linnaeus, Carl (1758). Systema Naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis (in Latin). Vol. 1 (10th ed.). Holmiae (Stockholm): Laurentii Salvii. p. 156.
  2. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 294. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  3. ^ Peters, James Lee, ed. (1934). Check-List of Birds of the World. Vol. 2. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. p. 133.
  4. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David; Rasmussen, Pamela, eds. (July 2021). "Pheasants, partridges, francolins". IOC World Bird List Version 11.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  5. ^ a b Mourer-Chauviré, Cécile (1989). "A peafowl from the Pliocene of Perpignan, France" (PDF). Palaeontology. 32 (2): 439 – via The Palaeontological Association.
  6. ^ Boev, Zlatorar (1998). "Peafowls (g. Pavo Linnaeus, 1758) and Ptarmigans (g. Lagopus Brisson, 1760): an [sic] unique coexistance in North Bulgaria over 3 m. y. ago". - Biogeographia, Nuova Serie, Siena, 19 – 1997: 219-222. doi:10.21426/B6110058
  7. ^ Boev, Z. 2002. Fossil record and disappearance of peafowl (Pavo Linnaeus) from the Balkan Peninsula and Europe (Aves: Phasianidae). – Historia naturalis bulgarica, 14: 109-115.

External linksEdit