Oreopsittacus arfaki A. B. Meyer, 1874

Plum-faced or Whiskered lorikeet     

Subspecies and distribution:

Oreopsittacus arfaki arfaki (A. B. Meyer, 1874) – NW New Guinea (mountains of Vogelkop Peninsula).

Oreopsittacus arfaki major (Ogilvie-Grant, 1914) – WC New Guinea (Snow Mountains).

Oreopsittacus arfaki grandis (Ogilvie-Grant, 1895) – EC, NE & SE New Guinea (Central Highlands to mountains of Huon Peninsula and Owen Stanley Range).


Not globally threatened. CITES II. Fairly common but difficult to observe.

The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Oreopsittacus arfaki arfaki


  • length: 15 cm (6 inch)
  • weight: 16-22 gr.

A unique detail is that they have 14 tail feathers. (All other parrots have only 12 tail feathers).

A line of white feathers from the lores to the outer part of the cheek.

Lores and cheeks mauve.

Abdomen is dull red, also the lower parts of the flanks.

Underwing coverts and the sides of the breast are brighter red.

A yellow band across the underside of the secondairies.

Tail above is green tipped with rose - red, the underside is rose red marked with dark gray transverse bands near the base.

The upperparts are green.

The beak is black, with a long curved upper mandible.

Iris is dark brown.

Legs and skin surrounding the eye are dark grey.

Sexual dimorphism:

Male: red crown and forehead.

Female: no red crown and forehead but green.

Oreopsittacus arfaki major


  • Length: 17 cm (6.6 inch)
  • weight: 20-23 gr.

Differs from the nominate by it scarlet-tipped tail, (nominat is rose-red tipped).


almost dissapeared.


I have seen 2 mutations from this species, a faded mutation, not very special colored but got pale feet and darkreddish eyes, the black in the feathers was grey, but almost no other difference, the German breeder (G. Becker) even didn't believe me when I told him, he got at least 5 fadeds in his collection.

Another possible mutation is the pied, not sure it really was pied and reproduced but got some yellow feathers in the head.

Oreopsittacus arfaki grandis


  • length: 17 cm (6,6 inch)
  • weight: 20-23 gr.

Differs from the nominate by the entire green abdomen and lower flanks.

Thanks Jon for letting me use these photos. Click here to see his photos on Flickr.


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