Charmosyna stellae A. B. Meyer, 1886

Stella's lorikeet                   

Subspecies and Distribution:

Charmosyna stellae stellae (A. B. Meyer, 1886) – mountains of SE New Guinea (Herzog mountains to Owen Stanley Range).

Charmosyna stellae goliathina (Rothschild & E. J. O. Hartert, 1911) – mountains of New Guinea from Weyland mountains E to Eastern Highlands.

Charmosyna stellae wahnesi (Rothschild, 1906) – NE New Guinea (mountains of Huon Peninsula).

Not globally threatened. CITES II. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

All 3 subspecies have a (Black) melanistic form. How this inherited click here.

Sexual dimorphism:

Red males have a red patch on the flanks and rump. Also the melanistic male have this red patch.

Red females have a yellow patch on the flanks and rump, but the melanistic females have a green patch.

Charmosyna stellae stellae

Stella's lorikeet


Length: 38-40 cm (15-15,8 inch) including the long tail.

See goliathina.

Differs from the goliathina by the orange and  yellow on the tale feathers. However not or almost no difference in the melanistic form, between the goliathina and stellae.

Is also a little smaller then the goliathina, but from the goliathina the size can vary, and the smaller ones are as big as the stellae. So size is not a good indicator.


Not in captivity. A few where imported  30 or 40 years ago. None are left.

Only the goliathina is now in captivity!

Charmosyna stellae goliathina

Mount Goliath Lorikeet or also called Stella's lorikeet


Length: 40 - 42 cm (15,8 -16,5 inch) Body length is 17-18 cm.

Weight: 85 - 115 gr.

Red phase.

Mainly red, with darkgreen wings.

Forehead and crown red.

The occiput got a patch of long shaft-streaked lilac-blue feathers.

The nape is black, in the shape of a black band from eye to eye.

The lower breast, abdomen and thighs are black, with a blue gloss.

A small patch of green feathers exist on both sides of the upper breast.

The lower abdomen, vent, and undertail coverts are red.

On the thighs are variable a few yellow streaks.

Underwing coverts are red.

The uppertail have 2 very long tail feathers, which is mainly green followed  by greenish-yellow and at the tip yellow.

On the rump are 2 patches (1 on each side) of red (male) or yellow (female). surrounding by a light green band.

uppertail coverts are violet-blue.

orange feet and cere.

Red bill

Grey skin surrounding the eye.

Black (melanistic) phase.

As red phase but the red upperparts are black with reddish or violetblue gloss. But vary sometimes it is nearly maroon.

The lower parts (lower abdomen, vent and undertail coverts) stay red.

The small green spots on the sides of the upper breast stay green, but I have seen a few birds where it turned to red.

Also in the males the red rump stay red, but in females the rump will be green.

As told with the C. s. stellae, the difference is in the colour of the tail, which is yellow at the end, no orange in the tail.

Sexual dimorphism:

As already told in the description.

Males: always have red flanks in both phases.

Females: in red phase got a yellow flank, and in the black phase a green flank.

See the pictures, which show it realy good.

Note: in immatures they can have red and yellow together, and I have personal expirience by selling 1 with almost complete yellow flank, which moulted out to red so it was a male. So certainly when you doubt is DNA sexing the best or waiting after the moult.


Common, both colour phases.

Only this subspecies is in captivety.


The black (melanistic ) phase which inherited sex-linked dominant. For more info on this click here.

In Belgium is a breeder who bred a fallow mutation (2019). Hopefully he can secure this mutation. For pictures see below. fallow inherited autosomal recessive

I have seen 1 red eyed mutation, but all the colours are normal, only pale feet , very white skin surrounding the eye and the bright red eye.

I also have seen some with yellow feathers, but they also moult out to normal.

Charmosyna stellae wahnesi

Wahne's lorikeet


Not much info can be found.

Differs from the other 2 subspecies because of the yellow band across the breast.

Only 1 old picture can be found on internet.




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