Rainbow Lorikeet

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.

rainbow lorikeet parrot facts - trichoglossus haematodus moluccanus
Swainson’s Rainbow Lorikeet – Trichoglossus haematodus moluccanus

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

Scientific classification:
Superfamily: Psittacoidea
Family: Psittaculidae
Subfamily: Loriinae
Tribe: Loriini
Genus: Trichoglossus
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


Rainbow Lorikeet pics

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