Family Parrots (Psittacidae)

Least Concern

Large Fig-parrot (Psittaculirostris desmarestii)


French: Psittacule de Desmarest German: Grünnacken-Zwergpapagei Spanish: Lorito de Desmarest
Other common names: Desmarest's Fig-parrot

Psittacus Desmarestii


, 1826,

Manokwari, New Guinea


Forms a species-group with P. edwardsii and P. salvadorii (also including P. godmani and P. cervicalis). Hitherto treated as conspecific with P. godmani and P. cervicalis. Race intermedia often synonymized with nominate. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. d. blythii (Wallace, 1864) – Misool, in W Papuan Is.
  • P. d. occidentalis (Salvadori, 1875) – W Papuan Is (Batanta, Salawati) and W Vogelkop Peninsula, in NW New Guinea.
  • P. d. desmarestii (Desmarest, 1826) – E Vogelkop and Bomberai Peninsulas, E to E Geelvink Bay, NW New Guinea.
  • P. d. intermedia (van Oort, 1909) – Onin Peninsula, NW New Guinea.
  • Descriptive notes

    18–19 cm; 108–126 g. Small, stocky, large-headed parrot, with a short spiky tail, only likely to be confused with Cyclopsitta diophthalma,... read more


    Most distinctive is a thin, high-pitched downslur in flight, but also gives a sharp broken note,... read more


    Lowland and low hill forest, partly cleared areas, groves of casuarinas, occasionally open savanna... read more

    Food and feeding

    Seeds of figs and partial consumption of hard pericarp of fig noted; and use of a fig species in which the fruit grows in clusters from the... read more


    Female in breeding condition in Jul, male in Aug, and colony of nests being attended in Sept. Nest in cavity high in trunk or branch of... read more


    No information.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Conflicting reports exist of its general abundance, but it is generally uncommon and apparently local, and intolerant of serious habitat... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Large Fig-parrot (Psittaculirostris desmarestii). 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 23 February 2020).