Trichoglossus haematodus – Coconut Lorikeet

Photo: By Benjamint444 (Own work) [GFDL 1.2 (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Coconut Lorikeet - Trichoglossus haematodus (Linnaeus, 1771) - is a very colorful medium-sized parrot widespread in a large geographical range.

They are very popular as pets or in aviculture due to their bright colors. However, before buying a lorikeet please notice that their special diet may cause some mess around the cage and require frequent cleaning!

Like other lorikeets they have a special brush like tongue with small hairs that are used to harvest pollen and nectar from flowers.

Coconut Lorikeet are monogamous and forms a tight bond with their mate - typical a lifelong bond.

Lifespan: 15-25 years

Taxonomy

  • Order: Psittaciformes
  • Family: Psittaculidae
  • Genus: Trichoglossus

Synonyms

  • Danish: Bjerglori
  • English: Coconut Lorikeet
  • French: Loriquet à tête bleue
  • German: Allfarblori
  • Portuguese: Lóris-arco-íris
  • Spanish: Lori Arcoiris, Lori de cocotero, Tricogloso de Pecho Rojo

IUCN Red List

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Version 2017-3. <www.iucnredlist.org>.
Downloaded on 25 March 2018.

Description

The head is black with blue and light blue streaks. The nape has a yellow band; lower part of nape is green. The back and upper side of wings are bright green; wide yellow band under the wing; orange underwing coverts. The chest is red with black edges on the feathers. The abdomen is dark green. Yellow spotted with green thighs to undertail coverts. Green tail. The beak and eyes are dark orange-red.

Males and females look similar. Juveniles has a dark beak and brown eyes.

Size: about 26 cm
Weight: 100-157 g

The Coconut Lorikeet can be confused with the Rainbow Lorikeet but it is distinguished by the yellow band on the neck, red chest instead of orange and dark green abdomen instead of blue. Previously they were both classified as Trichoglossus haematodus subspecies but have been split (see below) and the Rainbow Lorikeet is now classified as Trichoglossus moluccanus.

Habitat

The Coconut Lorikeet is native to Indonesia, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea,  Solomon Islands and Vanuatu but has also been introduced to Hong Kong and Singapore.

Subspecies

Trichoglossus haematodus used to include a large number of subspecies but have been split; now six subspecies are recognized:

  • Trichoglossus haematodus haematodus (Linnaeus, 1771) : Southern Moluccas, western Papuan islands, western and north-central New Guinea
  • Trichoglossus haematodus deplanchii (Verreaux, J & Des Murs, 1860) : New Caledonia and Loyalty Islands
  • Trichoglossus haematodus flavicans (Cabanis & Reichenow, 1876) : New Hanover and Admiralty Islands
  • Trichoglossus haematodus massena (Bonaparte, 1854) : Eastern New Guinea, Karkar Island, Bismarck Archipelago, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu
  • Trichoglossus haematodus nesophilus (Neumann, 1929) : Ninigo and Hermit Islands (Admiralty Islands)
  • Trichoglossus haematodus nigrogularis (Gray, GR, 1858) : Eastern Kai Islands, Aru Islands and southern New Guinea

Reclassified Subspecies

Previously the Trichoglossus haematodus species included a large number of subspecies but many of these have been reclassified:

  • T. h. brooki now included in Trichoglossus haematodus nigrogularis
  • T. h. caeruleiceps now included in Trichoglossus haematodus nigrogularis
  • T. h. capistratus was upgraded to new species: Trichoglossus capistratus capistratusMarigold Lorikeet
  • T. h. djampeanus was moved to Trichoglossus forsteni djampeanus 
  • T. h. flavotectus was moved to Trichoglossus capistratus flavotectus
  • T. h. forsteni was upgraded to new species: Trichoglossus forsteni forsteni - Sunset Lorikeet
  • T. h. fortis was moved to Trichoglossus capistratus fortis
  • T. h. intermedius now included in Trichoglossus haematodus haematodus
  • T. h. micropteryx now included in Trichoglossus haematodus massena
  • T. h. mitchellii was moved to Trichoglossus forsteni mitchellii
  • T. h. moluccanus was upgraded to new species: Trichoglossus moluccanus moluccanus - Rainbow Lorikeet
  • T. h. rosenbergii was upgraded to new species: Trichoglossus rosenbergii - Biak Lorikeet
  • T. h. rubritorquis was upgraded to new species: Trichoglossus rubritorquisRed-collared Lorikeet
  • T. h. stresemanni was moved to Trichoglossus forsteni stresemanni
  • T. h. weberi was upgraded to new species: Trichoglossus weberiLeaf Lorikeet

Diet

The diet consist of fruit and nectar; the lorikeets use their special brush like tongue to drink nectar from flowers.

Coconut Lorikeet are nomadic as they depend on flowering trees and shrubs.

Provide some nectar (either commercial or home made) as the main part of the daily diet; also give plenty of fruit and vegetables and add some spray millet and sprouted seeds.

Aviculture

The nest box should be about 50 x 35 cm

The clutch usually has 2-3 eggs that are incubated by the hen for about 23-25 days. Fledging age is 8-9 weeks.

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