Family Parrots (Psittacidae)

Least Concern

Moluccan King-parrot (Alisterus amboinensis)


French: Perruche tricolore German: Amboinasittich Spanish: Papagayo moluqueño

Psittacus amboinensis


, 1766,



Forms a species-pair with A. chloropterus. Race hypophonius differs from all others in this species in its blackish-blue vs green wings and scapulars (at least 3), but in no other known way; study needed. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. a. hypophonius (S. Müller, 1843) – Halmahera, in N Moluccas.
  • A. a. versicolor Neumann, 1939 – Banggai Is (Peleng).
  • A. a. sulaensis (Reichenow, 1881) – Sula Is (Taliabu, Seho and Mangole).
  • A. a. buruensis (Salvadori, 1876) – Buru, in S Moluccas.
  • A. a. amboinensis (Linnaeus, 1766) – Boano, Ambon and Seram, in S Moluccas.
  • A. a. dorsalis (Quoy & Gaimard, 1830) – W Papuan Is and NW New Guinea.
  • Descriptive notes

    35 cm; 145–163 g. Head to nape and entire underparts red; upper mandible red, lower greyish; wings oil green; underwing-coverts, shoulder, lesser wing-coverts, mantle,... read more


    Most vocalizations involve repetitions of a single note, including a salvo-like “chak-chak-chak... read more


    Canopy and lower stages of dense primary and secondary forest from lowlands at 200–350 m to... read more

    Food and feeding

    Buds, seeds, grain, fruits, berries; recorded taking Lithocarpus acorns.


    Feb–Mar. Nest in hole in large tree. Eggs apparently two; in captivity, size 33·8–37·2 mm × 27·4... read more


    No information.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Overall a common species, but despite coloration unobtrusive and difficult to detect. Rare and threatened on Halmahera; confined to primary... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2018). Moluccan King-parrot (Alisterus amboinensis). 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 22 March 2018).