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Diopsittaca nobilis

Diopsittaca nobilis (*)

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Cladus: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Cladus: Holozoa
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Megaclassis: Osteichthyes
Cladus: Sarcopterygii
Cladus: Rhipidistia
Cladus: Tetrapodomorpha
Cladus: Eotetrapodiformes
Cladus: Elpistostegalia
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Archosauromorpha
Cladus: Crurotarsi
Divisio: Archosauria
Cladus: Avemetatarsalia
Cladus: Ornithodira
Subtaxon: Dinosauromorpha
Cladus: Dinosauriformes
Cladus: Dracohors
Cladus: Dinosauria
Ordo: Saurischia
Cladus: Eusaurischia
Subordo: Theropoda
Cladus: Neotheropoda
Cladus: Averostra
Cladus: Tetanurae
Cladus: Avetheropoda
Cladus: Coelurosauria
Cladus: Tyrannoraptora
Cladus: Maniraptoromorpha
Cladus: Maniraptoriformes
Cladus: Maniraptora
Cladus: Pennaraptora
Cladus: Paraves
Cladus: Eumaniraptora
Cladus: Avialae
Infraclassis: Aves
Cladus: Euavialae
Cladus: Avebrevicauda
Cladus: Pygostylia
Cladus: Ornithothoraces
Cladus: Ornithuromorpha
Cladus: Carinatae
Parvclassis: Neornithes
Cohors: Neognathae
Cladus: Neoaves
Cladus: Telluraves
Cladus: Australaves
Ordo: Psittaciformes

Familia: Psittacidae
Subfamilia: Arinae
Tribus: Arini
Genus: Diopsittaca
Species: Diopsittaca nobilis
Subspecies: D. n. cumanensis – D. n. longipennis – D. n. nobilis

Diopsittaca nobilis (Linnaeus, 1758)


Psittacus nobilis (protonym)
Ara nobilis (Linnaeus, 1758)


Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Editio Decima, Reformata. Tomus I. Holmiæ (Stockholm): impensis direct. Laurentii Salvii. 824 pp. DOI: 10.5962/bhl.title.542 BHL p. 97 BHL Reference page.

Vernacular names
English: Red-shouldered Macaw
español: Guacamayo noble
suomi: Pikkuara
français: Ara noble
português: Maracanã-pequena

The red-shouldered macaw (Diopsittaca nobilis) is a small green South American parrot, a member of a large group of Neotropical parrots called macaws. The species is named for the red coverts on its wings. It is the smallest macaw, being 30–35 cm (12–14 in) in length - similar in size to the Aratinga parakeets. It is native to the tropical lowlands, savannah, and swamplands[2] of Brazil, the Guianas, Bolivia, Venezuela, and far south-eastern Peru. It has two distinct subspecies, the noble macaw and the Hahn's macaw, and a possible poorly distinct third subspecies that has longer wings, but is otherwise similar to the noble macaw. The Hahn's subspecies is named for German zoologist Carl-Wilhelm Hahn, who in 1834 began compiling Ornithologischer Atlas oder naturgetreue Abbildung und Beschreibung der aussereuropäischen Vögel (Engl: Ornithological Atlas or natural depiction and description of birds from outside Europe).[3]

Red-shouldered macaws are frequently bred in captivity for the pet trade, where they are sometimes described as mini-macaws.

Though wild populations of red-shouldered macaws have declined locally due to habitat loss, they are listed as Least Concern by IUCN. They are listed on Appendix II of CITES, trade restricted.


The red-shouldered macaw was formally described in 1758 by the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeusin the tenth edition of his Systema Naturae. He placed it with all the other parrots in the genus Psittacus and coined the binomial name Psittacus nobilis.[4] The red-shouldered macaw is now the only species placed in the genus Diopsittaca that was introduced in 1912 by the American ornithologist Robert Ridgway.[5][6] The genus name combines the Ancient Greek dios meaning "noble" with psittakē meaning "parrot". The specific epithet noblilis is Latin meaning "noble".[7] There are two distinct subspecies, D. n. nobilis (Hahn's macaw) and D. n. cumanensis (noble macaw), and some with longer wings might represent a poorly differentiated subspecies, D. n. longipennis, which intergrades with D. n. cumanensis in central Goiás, Brazil.[8][9] The species is sometimes subsumed into the genus Ara.[10]

Taxonomy proposed by BirdLife International splits the red-shouldered macaw into two species.

Northern red-shouldered macaw (Diopsittaca nobilis)[11]
Southern red-shouldered macaw (Diopsittaca cumanensis)[12]


The red-shouldered macaw, at 30 cm (12 in) long and 165 g (5.8 oz) weight, is the smallest of all the macaws. Like all macaws, it has a long narrow tail and a large head. It has bright green feathers on the body, with dark or slate blue feathers on the head just above the beak. The wings and tail have feathers that are bright green above and olive-green below. The leading edges of the wings, especially on the underside, are red. (These red feathers appear at puberty.) Their eyes are orange, and the skin around the eyes is white without feathers, just as in the larger macaws. This bare patch of facial skin is smaller in proportion to the head than the one seen in most larger macaws. The Hahn's macaw and noble macaw can be distinguished by the Hahn's having a black upper mandible and the Noble's having a lighter, horn-colored upper mandible.

Their natural vocalizations are more akin to screeches than they are to whistles.[13]

Red-shouldered macaws are very kind natured. Their personality is similar to the large macaws.
Diopsittaca nobilis - MHNT

The red-shouldered macaw nests in a hole in a tree. There are usually three or four white eggs in a clutch. The female incubates the eggs for about 24 to 26 days, and the chicks fledge from the nest about 54 days after hatching.[14]

Although a noisy bird that is not suitable for apartment living, the red-shouldered macaw can be an excellent pet. If properly socialized, it is typically a gentle, intelligent bird that bonds well with humans and gets on well with well-behaved children. In addition, it is an excellent talker that can be taught many tricks. It may be a more suitable pet parrot for those who lack the space in their homes for a larger macaw, although it requires daily exercise outside of its cage.[15] It is also recommended by the World Parrot Trust that this parrot should have access to an outside enclosure for at least part of the year. The red-shouldered macaw can live for 25-40 years in captivity.[16]


BirdLife International (2016). "Diopsittaca nobilis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T61958763A95183956. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T61958763A95183956.en. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
Online Book of Parrots – Genus Diopsittaca Archived 29 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine
"Blue Macaws".
Linnaeus, Carl (1758). Systema Naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis (in Latin). Vol. 1 (10th ed.). Holmiae (Stockholm): Laurentii Salvii. p. 97.
Ridgway, Robert (1912). "Diagnoses of some new genera of American birds". Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. 25: 97-102 [99].
Gill, Frank; Donsker, David; Rasmussen, Pamela, eds. (January 2022). "Parrots, cockatoos". IOC World Bird List Version 12.1. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 16 March 2022.
Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 136, 273. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
Forshaw (2006). plate 73.
"Zoological Nomenclature Resource: Psittaciformes (Version 10.022)". 29 August 2010.
"Taxonomic structure and notes: Family Psittacidae (Parrots)". Handbook of Birds of the World Alive. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
"Species factsheet: Diopsittaca nobilis". BirdLife International. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
"Species factsheet: Diopsittaca cumanensis". BirdLife International. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
"Red-shouldered Macaw".
Alderton, David (2003). The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Caged and Aviary Birds. London, England: Hermes House. p. 237. ISBN 1-84309-164-X.
Kalhagen, Alyson. "Hahn's Macaw (Red-Shouldered Macaw): Bird Species Profile". The Spruce Pets. Retrieved 22 December 2020.

"Red-shouldered Macaw (Diopsittaca nobilis) Parrot Encyclopedia". World Parrot Trust. Retrieved 22 December 2020.

Cited texts
Forshaw, Joseph M. (2006). Parrots of the World; an Identification Guide. Illustrated by Frank Knight. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-09251-6.

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