Red-breasted parakeet

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Red-breasted parakeet
Psittacula alexandri -Changi Village-6.jpg
Female (left) and male (right)
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Psittaculidae
Genus: Psittacula
P. alexandri
Binomial name
Psittacula alexandri
Psittacula alexandri distribution by subspecies.png
Psittacula alexandri distribution by subspecies

Psittacus alexandri Linnaeus, 1758

The red-breasted parakeet (Psittacula alexandri) is a parrot native to Southeast Asia. It is among the more widespread species of the genus and is the species which has the most geographical variations. It is easily identified by the large red patch on its breast. An alternative name is the moustached parakeet depending on subspecies. Most of the subspecies are confined to minuscule islands or a cluster of islands in Indonesia. One subspecies occurs in the Andaman islands, and one subspecies occurs in continental Southeast Asia and partly extending to northeastern parts of South Asia along the foothills of the Himalayas. Some of the island races may be threatened by the wild bird trade. The nominate race, which occurs in Java, is close to extinction.

Feral populations of this species have now established themselves in cities like Mumbai and Singapore. Small numbers occur in other cities such as Chennai and Bangalore in India.


Female, Bangladesh

The red-breasted parakeet was formally described in 1758 by the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus in the tenth edition of his Systema Naturae. He placed it with all the other parrots in the genus Psittacus and coined the binomial name Psittacus alexandri.[2] The type locality is the island of Java.[3] The red-breasted parakeet is now placed in the genus Psittacula that was introduced in 1800 by the French naturalist Georges Cuvier.[4][5] The genus name is a diminutive of the Latin word psittacus for a "parrot". The specific epithet alexandri is from Alexander the Great whose soldiers introduced parakeets to Greece.[6]

Eight subspecies are recognised:[5]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2017). "Psittacula alexandri". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2017: e.T22685505A111371703. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-1.RLTS.T22685505A111371703.en. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  2. ^ Linnaeus, Carl (1758). Systema Naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis (in Latin). Vol. 1 (10th ed.). Holmiae (Stockholm): Laurentii Salvii. p. xxx.
  3. ^ Peters, James Lee, ed. (1937). Check-List of Birds of the World. Vol. 3. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. p. 244.
  4. ^ Cuvier, Georges (1800). Leçons d'Anatomie Comparée (in French). Vol. 1. Paris: Baudouin. Table near end.
  5. ^ a b Gill, Frank; Donsker, David; Rasmussen, Pamela, eds. (January 2022). "Parrots, cockatoos". IOC World Bird List Version 12.1. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 21 March 2022.
  6. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 321, 41. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.

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