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Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Aves
Subclassis: Carinatae
Infraclassis: Neornithes
Parvclassis: Neognathae
Ordo: Psittaciformes
Familia: Psittacidae
Subfamilia: Loriinae
Genus: Chalcopsitta - Eos - Pseudeos - Trichoglossus - Psitteuteles - Lorius - Phigys - Vini - Glossopsitta - Charmosyna - Oreopsittacus - Neopsittacus

Vernacular names
Deutsch: Lories
Ελληνικά: Παπαγάλος Αυστραλασίας
English: Lorikeet
Español: Loriinae
Français: Loriinae
עברית: לוריים
日本語: ヒインコ亜科
Русский: Лориевые
Svenska: Lorier

Lories and lorikeets are small to medium-sized arboreal parrots characterized by their specialized brush-tipped tongues for feeding on nectar and soft fruits. The species form a monophyletic group within the parrot family Psittacidae. Traditionally, they were considered one of the two subfamilies in that family (Loriinae), the other being the subfamily Psittacinae, but new insights show that it is placed in the middle of various other groups. To date, this issue has not been resolved scientifically. They are widely distributed throughout the Australasian region, including south-eastern Asia, Polynesia, Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste and Australia, and the majority have very brightly colored plumage.


Lories and lorikeets have specialized brush-tipped tongues for feeding on nectar and soft fruits. They can feed from the flowers of about 5,000 species of plants and use their specialised tongues to take the nectar. The tip of their tongues have tufts of papillae (extremely fine hairs), which collect nectar and pollen.

Lorikeets have tapered wings and pointed tails that allow them to fly easily and display great agility. They also have strong feet and legs. They tend to be hyperactive and clownish in personality both in captivity and the wild.


Traditionally, lories and lorikeets are either classified as the subfamily, Loriinae, or as a family on their own, Loriidae.[1] Neither traditional views is confirmed by molecular studies. Those studies show that the lories and lorikeets form a single group, closely related to the fig parrots (Cyclopsitta and Psittaculirostris) and the budgerigar.[2][3][4][5][6]

Within the lories and lorikeets, two main groups are recognized. The first group consist of the genus Charmosyna[2][3] and the closely related Pacific Ocean genera Phigys and Vini.[2] All remaining genera, except Oreopsittacus are in the second group.[2][3] The position of Oreopsittacus is unknown, although one study suggests it could be a third group next to the other two.[6]


The usage of the terms "lory" and "lorikeet" is subjective, like the usage of "parrot" and "parakeet". Species with longer tapering tails are generally referred to as "lorikeets", while species with short blunt tails are generally referred to as "lories".[7]


The Ultramarine Lorikeet is endangered. It is now one of the 50 rarest birds in the world. The Blue Lorikeet is classified as vulnerable. The introduction of European rats to the small island habitats of these birds is a major cause of their endangerment.[8] Various conservation efforts have been made to relocate some of these birds to locations free of predation and habitat destruction.


The multi-colored Rainbow Lorikeet was one of the species of parrots appearing in the first edition of The Parrots of the World and also in John Gould's lithographs of the Birds of Australia. Then and now, lories and lorikeets are described as some of the most beautiful species of parrot.


In the wild, lorikeets feed on nectar and pollen from plants and flowers. A companion lorikeet however requires a special diet, which makes them less than ideal for a beginner bird owner. A companion bird's diet should consist of a nectar replacement diet, which are available commercially or can be made by the owner. There are two main types of nectar replacement, namely wet mix and dry mix. These mixes come in powder form, the former requires to be mixed with water to create a porridge-like consistency, the latter is to be fed as is. If feeding dry mix, plenty of fresh drinking water needs to be made available for the bird. If the bird is fed on wet mix, their requirements for drinking will be reduced, as the feed contains a large amount of water, however fresh drinking water should still be made available.

Companion lorikeets also need their diet supplemented with fresh fruit and vegetables on a daily basis. A variety of different coloured fruit and vegetables should be made available. A favourite of lorikeets appears to be spinach or silverbeet leaves, and will provide calcium for the bird. Due to the shape of their beak and tongue, rarely will a lorikeet use a cuttlefish for calcium intake. Other kinds of fruits and vegetables frequently enjoyed by lorikeets include apples, pears, corn on the cob, berries, grapes (only to be fed in small amounts as the high iron content in grapes can cause liver damage), pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and citrus fruits once a week. Honey is also a favourite of lorikeets, and can be used as a treat or a reward when training a bird.

Do not feed a lorikeet (or any other bird) avocado, onion, chocolate, caffeine or alcohol. These foods contain chemicals which are lethal to birds.

Due to the largely liquid diet of lorikeets, their droppings are also of a very liquid nature, making them one of the messier companion birds to keep.

Species and genus list

Classification of parrots in the subfamily, Loriinae:

* Genus Chalcopsitta
o Black Lory, Chalcopsitta atra
o Brown Lory, Chalcopsitta duivenbodei (also called Duyvenbode's Lory)
o Yellow-streaked Lory, Chalcopsitta sintillata
o Cardinal Lory, Chalcopsitta cardinalis
* Genus Eos
o Black-winged Lory, Eos cyanogenia
o Violet-necked Lory, Eos squamata
o Blue-streaked Lory, Eos reticulata
o Red-and-blue Lory, Eos histrio
o Red Lory, Eos bornea
o Blue-eared Lory, Eos semilarvata

Cyclopsitta and Psittaculirostris and Budgerigar

Phylogeny of the genera of lories and lorikeets with their closest relatives, the fig parrots (Cyclopsitta and Psittaculirostris) and Budgerigar, based on the available literature[2][3][4][5][6]

* Genus Pseudeos
o Dusky Lory, Pseudeos fuscata
* Genus Trichoglossus
o Ornate Lorikeet, Trichoglossus ornatus (also called Ornate Lory)
o Pohnpei Lorikeet, Trichoglossus rubiginosus (also called Ponape Lory)
o Mindanao Lorikeet, Trichoglossus johnstoniae (also called Johnstone's Lorikeet)
o Yellow-and-green Lorikeet, Trichoglossus flavoviridis
o Rainbow Lorikeet, Trichoglossus haematodus (many subspecies, some of which are sometimes classified as species)
o Scaly-breasted Lorikeet, Trichoglossus chlorolepidotus
o Olive-headed Lorikeet, Trichoglossus euteles (also called Perfect Lorikeet)
* Genus Psitteuteles (sometimes classified in the Genus Trichoglossus)
o Varied Lorikeet, Psitteuteles versicolor
o Iris Lorikeet, Psitteuteles iris
o Goldie's Lorikeet, Psitteuteles goldiei
* Genus Lorius
o Purple-bellied Lory, Lorius hypoinochrous
o Black-capped Lory, Lorius lory (synonym Stresemann's Lory, Lorius amabilis[9])
o White-naped Lory, Lorius albidinuchus
o Yellow-bibbed Lory, Lorius chlorocercus
o Purple-naped Lory, Lorius domicellus (synonym Blue-thighed Lory, Lorius tibialis[10])
o Chattering Lory, Lorius garrulus
* Genus Phigys
o Collared Lory, Phigys solitarius
* Genus Vini
o Blue-crowned Lorikeet, Vini australis
o Rimatara Lorikeet, Vini kuhlii (also called Kuhl's Lorikeet)
o Henderson Lorikeet, Vini stepheni (also called Stephen's Lory)
o Blue Lorikeet, Vini peruviana (also called Tahitian Lory)
o Ultramarine Lorikeet, Vini ultramarina (also called Ultramarine Lory)
o †Sinoto's Lorikeet, Vini sinotoi (extinct)
o †Conquered Lorikeet, Vini vidivici (extinct)
* Genus Glossopsitta
o Musk Lorikeet, Glossopsitta concinna
o Little Lorikeet, Glossopsitta pusilla
o Purple-crowned Lorikeet, Glossopsitta porphyrocephala
* Genus Charmosyna
o Palm Lorikeet, Charmosyna palmarum
o Red-chinned Lorikeet, Charmosyna rubrigularis
o Meek's Lorikeet, Charmosyna meeki
o Blue-fronted Lorikeet, Charmosyna toxopei
o Striated Lorikeet, Charmosyna multistriata
o Pygmy Lorikeet, Charmosyna wilhelminae (also called Wilhelmina's Lorikeet)
o Red-fronted Lorikeet, Charmosyna rubronotata (also called Red-spotted Lorikeet)
o Red-flanked Lorikeet, Charmosyna placentis
o †New Caledonian Lorikeet, Charmosyna diadema (extinct)
o Red-throated Lorikeet, Charmosyna amabilis
o Duchess Lorikeet, Charmosyna margarethae
o Fairy Lorikeet, Charmosyna pulchella
o Josephine's Lorikeet, Charmosyna josefinae (also called Josephine's Lory)
o Papuan Lorikeet, Charmosyna papou (also called Papuan Lory)
* Genus Oreopsittacus
o Plum-faced Lorikeet, Oreopsittacus arfaki (also called Whiskered Lorikeet)
* Genus Neopsittacus
o Yellow-billed Lorikeet, Neopsittacus musschenbroekii (also called Musschenbroek's Lorikeet)
o Orange-billed Lorikeet, Neopsittacus pullicauda (also called Emerald Lorikeet)


1. ^ Forshaw, Joseph M.; Cooper, William T. (1981) [1973, 1978]. Parrots of the World (corrected second ed.). David & Charles, Newton Abbot, London. ISBN 0-7153-7698-5.
2. ^ a b c d e Wright, T.F.; Schirtzinger E. E., Matsumoto T., Eberhard J. R., Graves G. R., Sanchez J. J., Capelli S., Muller H., Scharpegge J., Chambers G. K. & Fleischer R. C. (2008). "A Multilocus Molecular Phylogeny of the Parrots (Psittaciformes): Support for a Gondwanan Origin during the Cretaceous". Mol Biol Evol 25 (10): 2141–2156. doi:10.1093/molbev/msn160. PMID 18653733.
3. ^ a b c d Astuti, Dwi; Noriko Azuma, Hitoshi Suzuki, and Seigo Higashi. (2006). "Phylogenetic relationships within parrots (Psittacidae) inferred from mitochondrial cytochrome-b gene sequences.". Zoological Science 23 (2): 191–198. doi:10.2108/zsj.23.191. PMID 16603811.
4. ^ a b de Kloet, RS; de Kloet SR (2005). "The evolution of the spindlin gene in birds: Sequence analysis of an intron of the spindlin W and Z gene reveals four major divisions of the Psittaciformes". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 36 (3): 706–721. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2005.03.013. PMID 16099384.
5. ^ a b Tokita, M; Kiyoshi T and Armstrong KN (2007). "Evolution of craniofacial novelty in parrots through developmental modularity and heterochrony". Evolution & Development 9 (6): 590–601. doi:10.1111/j.1525-142X.2007.00199.x. PMID 17976055. http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/118546207/abstract.
6. ^ a b c Christidis, L., L.; R. Schodde, D. D. Shaw, and S. F. Maynes. (1991). "Christidis, L., R. Schodde, D. D. Shaw, and S. F. Maynes. 1991. Relationships among the Australo-Papuan parrots, lorikeets, and cockatoos (Aves, Psittaciformes) - protein evidence.". Condor 93: 302–317.
7. ^ Low, Rosemary (1998). Hancock House Encyclopedia of the Lories. Hancock House. pp. 85–87. ISBN 0-88839-413-6.
8. ^ Steadman D, (2006). Extinction and Biogeography in Tropical Pacific Birds, University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-77142-7
9. ^ [1]
10. ^ [2]

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Source: Wikipedia, Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License