The white-naped lory is 26 cm (10 in) long. It is mostly red with black on top of head and white on back of neck. It has green wings, and a narrow yellow transverse line on each side of body below neck. It has dark-grey legs. It has an orange-red beak, dark-grey eyerings, and orange-yellow pupils.
Species (taxonomy note: * indicates taxa that may classified as a subspecies of the Rainbow lorikeet or a separate species)
(extinctions: † indicates a species confirmed to be extinct, ₴ indicates evidence only from sub-fossils)