The Rainbow Lorikeet, or Rainbow Lory, is the next species we will talk about here at Parrot Facts.
The colorful bird is pleasent to the eye mostly anywhere in the world, except in some regions of its native Australia, where it is even treated as a pest. Orchard owners hunt Rainbow Lorikeet groups because they strip trees of fresh fruit, and they are also unwelcome in urban areas because of their droppings and noise.
Anyway, this happens because of abundant populations of the species, and so the rainbow lorikeet conservation status is of least concern. Despite this, some subspecies are not so common and even threatened, like the Rosenberg’s Rainbow Lorikeet (trichoglossus haematodus rosenbergii).
All subspecies of the Rainbow Lorikeet have very bright and colorful plumage, and although some share most of the color distribution, other subspecies have distinct colors, with some authors even treating them as a separate species entirely (see below).
Rainbow Lorikeet video
Rainbow Lorikeet facts
Binomial name: Trichoglossus haematodus
Species: T. haematodus
Subspecies: the number of rainbow lorikeet subspecies varies from author to author. These are the ones which do not cause much discussion…
- haematodus (Linnaeus, 1771)
- moluccanus (Gmelin, 1788)
- massena (Bonaparte, 1854)
- nigrogularis (Gray, 1858)
- deplanchii (Verreaux & Des Murs, 1860)
- flavicans (Cabanis & Reichenow, 1876)
- nesophilus (Neumann, 1929)
Others can also be included as a subspecies of the rainbow lorikeet, although some may not be treated as a separate subspecies, while others can be treated as a species on their own.
- weberi (Buttikofer, 1894) – may be treated as a separate species
- capistratus (Bechstein, 1811) – may be treated as a separate species
- fortis (Hartert, 1898), flavotectus (Hellmayr, 1914) – may be treated as subspecies of the capistratus species
- brooki (Ogilvie-Grant, 1907), caeruleiceps (Albertis & Salvadori, 1879) – usually treated as a subspecies of the nigrogularis, or even undistincted from that subspecies
- micropteryx (Shodde, 1922) – usually treated as a subspecies of the massena
- forsteni (Bonaparte, 1850) – may be treated as a separate species
- djampeanus (Hartert, 1897), mitchellii (Gray, 1859), stresemanni (Meise, 1929) – may be treated as subspecies of the forsteni species
- rubritorquis (Vigors & Horsfield, 1827) – may be treated as a separate species
- eyrei (Mathews, 1912), septentrionalis (Robinson, 1900) – may be treated as subspecies of the moluccanus species
- intermedius (Rothschild & Hartert, 1901) – not always distinct from the rainbow lorikeet nominal subspecies t.h.haematodus
- rosenbergii (Schlegel, 1871) – may be treated as a separate species
Conservation status: least concern
Diet: mainly fruit, pollen and nectar
Natural habitat: rainforest, woodlands, coastal bush
Sexual dimorphism: none. Rainbow Lorikeet parrots can only be sexed through a DNA analysis
Size: 25 to 30cm in size, around 17cm of wingspan
Average lifespan: 20 to 25 years