Characterization of all Chalcopsitta lories: Yellow-streaked Lory, Duyvenbodei Lory, Black Lory and Cardinal Lory. PART II

April 19th, 2016 | by LubosTomiska
Characterization of all Chalcopsitta lories: Yellow-streaked Lory, Duyvenbodei Lory, Black Lory and Cardinal Lory. PART II

Read also the first part:

Chalcopsitta lories – taxonomy, biology and breeding. PART I


Yellow-streaked Lory ( Chalcopsitta scintillata)

There are three subspecies of the Yellow-streaked Lory – Chalcopsitta scintillata scintillata, Chalcopsitta scintillata chloroptera and Chalcopsitta scintillata rubrifrons. Two former subspecies inhabit the southern part of New Guinea while the latter one is found on Aru Islands. In general, Yellow-streaked Lory lives in areas up to 800m asl. According to IUCN data it is classified as „Least Concern“.

The difference in coloration of chloroptera and two other subspecies is clear, the former has green underwing coverts while rubrifrons and scintillata have red underwing coverts. Besides that, rubrifrons should have orange streaks instead of yellow. However, normally in captive birds we see gradient between yellow and orange color which makes recognizing of subspecies difficult. At European market there are some breeders selling their birds as rubrifrons.  I believe that without knowing history of a particular individual we cannot be sure about its subspecies identity.


File:Chalcopsitta sintillata - Yellow-streaked Lory at Fuengirola Zoo.jpg

Yellow-streaked Lory (Chalcopsitta sintillata). Photo taken at Fuengirola Zoo in Spain. (c) Linda Kenney. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.


In some cases, breeders also want to make their birds more attractive because there is greater demand for rubrifrons than for scintillata. Many aviculturists consider red coloration on the head as subspecies specific trait. However, we should realize that intensity of red color on the head is also dependent on age of the bird. Generally, in birds red and orange pigments (in parrots they are called psittacofulvines) indicate state of health. It has been found that intensity of red coloration is linked with amount of antioxidants which are a necessary part of immunity.

In Europe, Yellow-streaked Lory is the most common species of Chalcopsitta genus.


Incubation Handraising Lories Lorikeets Macaws


Duyvenbodei Lory ( Chalcopsitta duyvenbodei)

Very often we can find it in literature described as „duivenbodei“. This mistake was made in 1937 in a bird atlas written by J. L. Peters. Species is named after a researcher C.W.K. van Duyvenbode. Duyvenbodei Lory includes two subspecies – Chalcopsitta duyvenbodei duyvenbodei and Chalcopsitta duyvenbodei syringanuchalis. The former one inhabits northwestern part of New Guinea, syringanuchalis northeastern part of the same island. It is found in lowlands up to 200m asl. This species is classified as „Least Concern“ in IUCN Red List.

Syringanuchalis differs from the nominate race in darker coloration of the head and back. However, some authors do not consider it as separated subspecies. Anyway, in captive birds there is some variability of yellow coloration without any doubt. In some young birds we can observe very intensive yellow coloration which disappears after the first molt.

In the last couple of years, Duyvenbodei Lories became one of the most popular lories. Because of that price went up and today we can buy this species for two times more than 10 years ago.



Black Lory ( Chalcopsitta atra )

We recognize three subspecies – Chalcopsitta atra atra, Chalcopsitta atra bernsteini and Chalcopsitta atra insignis. In general, the species inhabits western part of New Guinea. Nominate race is found in West Irian, bernsteini on Misool island and insignis on Onin peninsula and in Bomberai lowlands. According to IUCN data this species is classified as “Least Concern”.

The key characteristic which helps us to recognize the subspecies is extent of red coloration. The nominate race is completely black, bernsteini has red area around eyes and redish forehead. In insignis the red coloration might be very intensive, especially around the beak, on chest, wing bend and on thighs. We can distinguish these traits in adults reliably. For example in young birds of nominate race red patches on black feathers are visible very often.


Black Lory at Prague ZOO (c) Packa. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.


Some authors consider Chalcopsitta spectabilis to be separated species. However, existence of this species is based on description of a few specimens which ambiguously show characteristics of a hybrids between Chalcopsitta atra and Chalcopsitta scintillata. In modern literature this species is normally not accepted.

In Europe, there are all three subspecies of the Black Lory present. The most common is nominate race. Insignis is very rare, kept in a few pairs for example in Belgium and Germany. Bernsteini is also extremely rare, this subspecies might be kept in Belgium.


Cardinal Lory ( Chalcopsitta cardinalis = Pseudeos cardinalis)

There are no subspecies. It is found on Solomon Islands and Bougainville Island up to 800m asl. This species is classified as “Least Concern” despite intensive export of wild caught birds.

The price is similar to price of Black Lory or Duyvenbodei Lory. I consider this species to be the most active lory. They spend most of time with playing in the trees or on the ground. It’s also the most aggressive representative of Loriinae group. I know about several cases when female killed the male and amputated him the beak before. These birds are also not afraid of the breeder when the breeding season occurs.



Cardinal Lory (c) Nathan Rupert. This file is licensed under Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic.


Title photo: (c) Dick Daniels. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International, 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation.



Horyna, Tomáš; Lori kardinálský, Nová Exota 10/2007

Hubers, Jos; The Yellow-streaked Lory, Lori Journaal

Low, Rosemary; Duyvenbode´s (Chalcopsitta duyvenbodei) – a uniquely beautiful lory, Lori Journaal

Vašíček, Milan; Kakaduové a loriové, 2004

Warden, Margrethe; As Good As It Gets – Chalcopsitta Lories in U. S. Aviculture, Cardinal Lory (Chalcopsitta cardinalis), Yellow-streaked Lory (Chalcopsitta scintillata scintillata)


One Comment

  1. Pingback: Chalcopsitta lories breeding, biology (I)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Parrot News Blog | Parrots Daily News

Follow by Email8k