Hybrid rosellas ...

To: 'Canberrabirds' <>
Subject: Hybrid rosellas ...
From: Philip Veerman <>
Date: Thu, 24 Oct 2019 00:58:20 +0000

In David’s note, presumably the other parent is a normal Crimson Rosella, not a normal Eastern Rosella. I think most of these hybrids we find, associate with Crimson Rosellas more than Eastern Rosellas.


Someone posted an odd rosella a few weeks ago that I suggested I think would have been a second generation (CR) hybrid. This matches David’s note.


This is based on that I do not share the understanding that hybrid rosellas are infertile. Certainly there are extensive hybrid colonies among lorikeets, so hybrids there are clearly fertile. Why are rosellas different from lorikeets? Rosellas appear less likely to form these hybrid colonies.


Depending on semantics, that issue can alter the question as to where do you draw the line as to what is a species.


Whether or not hybrids of similar species are fertile or not, ranges from yes to no through the possible range of diminished fertility. It is convenient to say that hybrids are not fertile (like a mule) and that is proof to separate the species. But not everything is convenient. There are many possible reproductive isolating mechanisms. Main feature is whether the unmatched different parent chromosomes are sufficiently similar to line up and then separate correctly during meiosis. It does not need to always happen with the same result. Quite possibly the situation in birds is more complex with more possible outcomes, than in mammals because birds typically have a much higher number of chromosomes than mammals.




From: Martin Butterfield [
Sent: Thursday, 24 October, 2019 9:52 AM
To: David McDonald (personal)
Cc: Canberrabirds
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Hybrid rosellas ...


I recall Dick Schodde commenting, when showing COG members around the NWC - some years ago - that he had collected a pair of hybrids that were fertile. 




On Thu, 24 Oct 2019 at 09:41, David McDonald (personal) <> wrote:

Greetings. One of my neighbours has a hybrid Crimson/Eastern Rosella. He has seen it feeding an immature crimson.

My understanding is that hybrid rosellas are infertile. Grateful for any correction to this understanding, or other suggestions as to what may be going on here.

Best wishes - David


David McDonald
1004 Norton Road
Wamboin NSW 2620
M: 0416 231 890 (national)
M: +61 416 231 890 (international)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the Canberra Ornithologists Group mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the list contact David McDonald, list manager, phone (02) 6231 8904 or email . If you can not contact David McDonald e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU