Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans) - Wiki
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
[Photo] Crimson Rosella, Platycercus elegans, O'Reilly's, Australia. Date July 2007. Author Glen Fergus http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Glen_Fergus
The Crimson Rosella, Platycercus elegans, is a parrot native to eastern and south eastern Australia which has been introduced to New Zealand and Norfolk Island. It is commonly found in, but not restricted to, mountain forests and gardens. The species as it now stands has subsumed two former separate species, The Yellow Rosella and the Adelaide Rosella. Interestingly, molecular studies show one of the three red-coloured races, var. nigrescens is genetically more distinct.
Though described by Johann Friedrich Gmelin in Systema Naturae as Psittacus elegans in 1788, the Crimson Rosella had been described and named by John Latham in 1781 as the Beautiful Lory, and then Pennantian Parrot. However he didn't give it a latin name until 1790, when he named it Psittacus pennanti. In 1854, it was placed in the genus Platycercus by Martin Lichtenstein in his Nomenclator Avium Musei Zoologici Berolinensis.
Today, the red-coloured races are generally known as the Crimson Rosella, with the alternate names Red Lowry, Pennant's Parakeet, Campbell Parakeet, (Blue) Mountain Parrot, (Blue) Mountain Lowry or just plain Lowry occasionally heard. Cayley reported that the first two alternate names were most common in the early part of the twentieth century. On Norfolk Island it is called simply Red Parrot.
The Yellow Rosella, also known by a variety of alternate common names including Murrumbidgee Lowry, Murray Rosella, Swamp Lory and Yellow-rumped Parakeet, was described as Platycercus flaveolus by John Gould, who gave it the last common name mentioned. It was reduced to subspecies status once hybridization was noted where ranges overlap, however some authorities maintain the hybridization is not widespread and hence preserve its specific status. This view is in the minority, however.
Platycercus elegans is a medium-sized Australian parrot at 36 cm long, much of which is tail. There are five subspecies, three of which are actually crimson. The red is replaced by yellow in the case of var. flaveolus and a mixture of red, orange and yellow in the Adelaide Rosella.
Adults and juveniles generally show strikingly different colouration in south-eastern populations, with predominantly greenish-olive body plumage on the juvenile, most persistent on the nape and breast. All races have blue cheeks and black-scalloped blue-marginned wings and predominantly blue tail with predominantly red coloration. The bill is pale grey and the iris dark brown.
P. elegans elegans, the nominate race of Victoria and eastern New South Wales. P. elegans nigrescens, occurring on Queensland's northeastern coast, and P. elegans melanoptera on Kangaroo Island. The main distinctions between these is size: nigrescens is the smallest of the three and melanoptera is the largest; both are slightly darker than the nominate race.
Interestingly, the juveniles of var. nigrescens lack the greenish immature plumage of the other subspecies of Crimson Rosella
The Yellow Rosella, which lives along the Murray River, was reclassified (1968) as a subspecies, P. elegans flaveolus, of the Crimson as the two were found to interbreed where their ranges overlap. The main difference between the two is that those parts of the Crimson which are red are on the Yellow bright yellow.
The Adelaide Rosella of Adelaide and the surrounding area, was also thought to be a separate species, but is presently believed to be a hybrid swarm, having originated through interbreeding of the Crimson and Yellow Rosellas. Both of these still interbreed with the Adelaide Rosella where its range crosses theirs, and it exhibits variation in its plumage from dark orange-red in the south of its distribution to a pale orange-yellow in the north. Variants that are very close to the Yellow race are designated subadelaidae.
|The text in this page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article shown in above URL. It is used under the GNU Free Documentation License. You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the GFDL.|