T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Duck (Mandarin) Aix galericulata

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Aix
Species: A. galericulata
Binomial name: Aix galericulata
Common name: Mandarin duck

Aix galericulata is a perching duck species found throughout China, Japan, Korea, India, Hong Kong and Russia. Due to these ducks forming life-long pairs they are viewed as a symbol of marital fidelity in Asia. Sometimes a pair is given to a couple as a wedding gift.

Aix galericulata is a rare breed kept in captivity in New Zealand. It is a medium-sized duck, at >49 cm long with a >75 cm wingspan. The average weight is between 400 and 700g. 
The adult male is brightly coloured It has a red bill, large white crescent above the eye and the cheeks feature reddish feathers which resemble whiskers. Across the top of the head is a crest of greenish black turning to brown and black as it runs down the back of the head. The male's breast is purple with two vertical white bars and the flanks ruddy, and he has two orange "sails" at the back. The males feet are coloured orange with grey webbing between the toes.
The female has a white eye-ring and stripe running back from the eye. They 
are grey across most of their body with blotches of white on the underside.  Their beak is pink with a pale tip to its bill. Females also have a much smaller crest than the male.
Aix galericulata are omnivores. The feed on land or by dabbling eating plants, seeds, snails, insects, frogs, small fish, water plants and molluscs and small fish. In captivity, they have been recorded living for up to 10 years. White mutations exist in captivity.

A male
 

A female

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/