Family Parrots (Psittacidae)

Least Concern

Maroon-tailed Parakeet (Pyrrhura melanura)


French: Conure de Souancé German: Braunschwanzsittich Spanish: Cotorra colinegra
Other common names: Maroon-tailed Conure

Aratinga melanurus


, 1824,

Tabatinga, Rio Solimões, Brazil


May be closely related to P. orcesi. Hitherto considered conspecific with P. pacifica. Race chapmani distinctive, but variability in berlepschi and souancei may overlap, requiring the two to be merged. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. m. chapmani J. Bond & Meyer de Schauensee, 1941 – upper Magdalena Valley at 1600–2800 m on E slope of C Andes of Colombia (S Tolima to Huila).
  • P. m. melanura (Spix, 1824) – upper Amazon Basin from S Venezuela S through NW Brazil (E to R Negro) to SE Colombia, E Ecuador and NE Peru.
  • P. m. souancei (J. P. Verreaux, 1858) – E base of Andes from S Macarena Mts (SC Colombia) to E Ecuador; perhaps NE Peru#R.
  • P. m. berlepschi Salvadori, 1891 – locally on E slope of Andes in SE Ecuador (Morona-Santiago) and N Peru (S to Huallaga Valley).
  • Descriptive notes

    24–25 cm; 83 g. Generally green; frontal band dark reddish brown; crown and nape brown edged green, bare orbital ring white; throat, sides of neck and breast dark green... read more


    Most common call is a series of loud, harsh notes, e.g. “screeet screeet screeet”, both in flight... read more


    Cloud forest, lowland wet forest in premontane zones, seasonally flooded (várzea)... read more

    Food and feeding

    Poorly documented. Fruits of Trema micrantha, Erythrina spp., cultivated mangoes and guavas, Miconia theaezans... read more


    Copulation seen in Jan, Colombia (chapmani); Apr–Jun, E Ecuador (melanura); Jan–Mar, with young seen from Apr... read more


    Seasonal movements have been speculated to account for gaps in records at some sites in Colombia.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Generally fairly common, and in places in S Colombia the most numerous parrot. Minimal habitat loss or trade pressure in Venezuela, and... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N., Kirwan, G.M., Boesman, P. & Bonan, A. (2019). Maroon-tailed Parakeet (Pyrrhura melanura). 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 13 December 2019).