Family Turacos (Musophagidae)

Least Concern

Knysna Turaco (Tauraco corythaix)


French: Touraco louri German: Helmturako Spanish: Turaco de Knysna
Other common names: Knysna Lourie

Spelectos corythaix


, 1827,

Cape of Good Hope, South Africa


Phylogenetic study suggests that this species may be part of a clade that contains also T. schalowi, T. hartlaubi, T. schuettii, T. livingstonii, T. fischeri and T. persa#R. Formerly lumped with T. schalowi and T. livingstonii, but vocalizations and chromosome-banding suggest they are separate species. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. c. phoebus Neumann, 1907 – NE South Africa (E Limpopo and Mpumalanga) and NW Swaziland.
  • T. c. corythaix (Wagler, 1827) – E & S South Africa from W KwaZulu-Natal S to S Western Cape.
  • Descriptive notes

    45–47 cm; male 280–380 g, female 262–350 g. Adult has rounded, erectile, “helmet-like” crest green, tipped white; head, neck, breast and mantle... read more


    Main call a series of 10–25 raucous grating notes, initially faint with short notes, then louder... read more


    Coastal and inland evergreen forest, from sea-level to 1800 m.

    Food and feeding

    Although primarily a fruit-eater, particularly favouring Rothmannia capensis, Rapanea melanophloeos, Apodytes... read more


    Breeds Nov–Jan and Jun–Jul in S & E Cape Province, Aug–Nov in Natal. Nest a shallow platform of sticks, much like... read more


    Mainly sedentary throughout its range.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. A fairly common resident over much of its range, but the ever-shrinking extent of coastal forests in Cape Province and adjacent areas will... read more

    Recommended citation

    Turner, D.A. & Boesman, P. (2020). Knysna Turaco (Tauraco corythaix). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 3 April 2020).