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Lophorina minor by Bowdler Sharpe.jpg
Lesser superb bird-of-paradise (Lophorina minor)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Paradisaeidae
Genus: Lophorina
Vieillot, 1816

Lophorina is a genus of birds in the family Paradisaeidae. After genetic analysis, officials have agreed to include the riflebirds (formerly assigned to the genus Ptiloris) in the present genus.

All members sport a jet-black to black body found only in males, while their female counterparts sport brown upperparts (shade depends on the species) with barred underparts; they have a relatively long to shortish, slender, crow-like bill, and various ornaments. Superb, Vogelkop superb (or crescent-caped), and the disputed lesser superb birds-of-paradise, or lophorinas, have a distinctive cape found on the nape that they push forward, an iridescent blue-green crown, and an iridescent blue-greenish breast shield that appears to be "smiling" (L. superba) and "frowning" (L. niedda) that the males use to court females. When in full display, the birds look like an otherworldly cartoon character with a fully black face, blue eyes, and blue mouth as they hop and dance around a potential mate.

The riflebirds, however, sport an iridescent-blue throat shield, which is more or less visible in some species, and mostly all-black bodies. L. victoriae and L. paradisea have metallic greenish-blue, scale-like feathers on the belly to the undertail coverts, which they fluff up during their courtship displays. L. magnifica and L. intercedens have elongated filamental flank feathers that are extremely soft. Riflebirds' displays consist of the males expanding their rounded wings up over their heads to appear disk shaped, flapping the wings to make a woosh sound, and jerking their head side to side along with its throat shield, engulfing the female in his performance, often getting very close to her face.


The generic name "Lophorina" consists of the words lophos, meaning crest or tuft, and rhinos, meaning nose. The word literally means "tuft nose", which refers to the tufts present on the superb species above and behind each nostril.


The genus contains seven species:[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2018). "Crows, mudnesters, birds-of-paradise". World Bird List Version 8.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  2. ^ "Growling Riflebird (Lophorina intercedens)". www.hbw.com. Retrieved 2019-10-08.