There are twenty-two recognized subspecies of Trichoglossus haematodus, more subspecies than in any other parrot species. Ranging in color and size from the small green and yellow Weber's Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus weberi), to the larger, more robust, and brightly colored Swainson's Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus molluccanus), the Trichoglossus haematodus subspecies are commonly referred to as "Rainbow Lorikeets".
The nominate subspecies, the Green-naped Lorikeet, is found in the rainforests and coastal lowlands on the islands in Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. As a species, Trichoglossus haematodus is fairly common throughout most of its range and the nominate subspecies in no exception. It has been described as "perhaps the most abundant of New Guinea Parrots..." It is common and widespread and occurs in large flocks. Like almost all other lory species, it is listed on CITES Appendix II.
The Green-naped Lorikeet is about 10 inches in length (26cm) and weighs about 130-140 grams. The head is blue. The throat is blackish blue. The breast is bright red with heavy blue barring. The nuchal band is yellow with a spot of red in some birds. The belly is dark green as is the area right behind the yellow nuchal band and the back and wings. The inner thighs are yellow. The beak is orange-red and the feet are gray.
In the wild, the Trichoglossus haematodus group feeds on a wide variety of foods. They are known to eat the pollen and nectar from over a dozen trees, including Eucalyptus, Grevillea, Schefflera and bottlebrush: the fruits of Ficus, papaya and mangoes; seeds of Cassia and Casuarina and insect pupae.
The Green-naped Lorikeet is the most common of all the Tricholglossus haematodus subspecies in captivity and perhaps the most common and readily available of all the lories. Hand-reared Green-naped Lorikeets can make very good pets. Some individuals can have a tendency to be a little nippy once reaching sexual maturity and owners should be aware of lorikeet body language to avoid being bitten. Some of our babies have become talented mimickers and have made great pets even into sexual maturity.
Collar, N.J. (1997). Family Psittacidae (Parrots). Pp. 280-477 in: del Hoyo, J., Elliot, A. & Sargatal, J. eds. (1997). Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol 4. Sandgrouse to Cuckoos. Lynx Edicions: Barcelona
Low, R. (1998). Hancock House Encyclopedia of the Lories. Hancock House: Blaine, WA