Psitteuteles iris Temminck, 1835

iris lorikeet                   

Subspecies and Distribution:

Three subspecies tentatively recognized.

Psitteuteles iris iris (Temminck, 1835) – W Timor.

Psitteuteles iris rubripileum (Salvadori, 1891) – E Timor.  Validity of this race questionable, the claimed differences from nominate may be due to age or individual variation.

Psitteuteles iris wetterensis (Hellmayr, 1912) – Wetar.

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. CITES II.

It has a moderately small population, and it is likely to be in decline owing to trapping and habitat loss.


Psitteuteles iris iris

iris lorikeet


  • length: 18 cm (7 inch)
  • weight: 65-75 gr.


Forehead and part of the crown scarlet-red shading to blue-edged purple on hindcrown,

Broad patch behind eye purplish-mauve.

Salmon-pink under/around the beak.

Upperparts green.

Greenish-yellow nuchal band.

Lowerparts greenish-yellow. With in the breast green barrings.

Thighs abdomen and underwing coverts more yellowish.

Underside of the tail yellow-green.

Orange beak and feet.

Sexual dimorphism:

Some very small details in adult birds, but best is to DNA sexing or endoscopic.

Male got a little bigger mauve earcoverts which extend further downwards, and the barrings are more prominent in the chest.

However this is not always the case! so better testing with DNA.


available but not too common.


1 mutation was bred in the UK but died because of eggbound. Possibly pied exist aswell, but not proven yet.

Psitteuteles iris rubripileum

Not sure if this subspecie really exist , also because they live on the same island, and can be mixed together.


The spot on the earcoverts are more violet-blue.

And should have more red on the head , extending to the hind part (this is not always the case so probably not a subspecies but a variation within a species), where in some birds it was tinged with green.

Skins in museum

Skin in museum

Psitteuteles iris wetterensis

Wetar iris lorikeet


Slightly larger the nominate.

Darker, less yellowish green on the sides of the head.

Red on the head variable but strongly interspersed with violet-blue.


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