The next revision of the BARC Australian Checklist will include Coconut
Lorikeet as an additional species (split from Rainbow Lorikeet) following the
taxonomy of the IOC checklist. Schodde & Mason (1997) confirmed that the
subspecies caeruliceps is the form that occurs in the northern Torres Strait
Islands of Saibai and possibly Boigu, and the IOC treats this as a subspecies
of Coconut Lorikeet. So this is sufficient for BARC to add the species to the
The next addition is planned for January 2014. The split will modifiy
the Australian list as follows:
482.50 Trichoglossus haematodus Coconut Lorikeet
483.00 Trichoglossus moluccanus Rainbow Lorikeet
anyone, can of course modify their own spread sheet list now and count it, if
Thanks to Frank O'Connor for raising this issue on Birding-Aus. Rohan Clarke
independently brought it to the attention of BARC in July.
Coconut Lorikeet should have been on the BARC list form the onset, but it was
an omission by me.
The full reasoning is a bit complex, but here is a summary.
Firstly, bear in mind that BARC simply follows the IOC in the matters of
Taxonomy and names, so all we really do is adjudicate on which species
recognised by the IOC are confirmed to occur in Australia.
Schodde & Mason based their statement about caeruliceps occurring in Australia
on collections made by the Archbold Expedition of the American Natural History
Museum in 1936-37 (Rand 1942). More recently, birders have confirmed this, as
Mike Carter pointed out. HANZAB was ambiguous and evidently wrong or overly
conservative (but read the section on Geographical Variation, not just the list
of subspecies in the Masthead).
The IOC checklist split the traditional Rainbow Lorikeet (in the broad sense)
T. haematodus (sensu lato) into three species, Rainbow Lorikeet T. mollucanus,
Red-collared Lorikeet T. rubritorquis and Coconut Lorikeet T. haematodus . That
the common name goes of the broader (old) species with one of the new species
and the scientific name goes with another, is always confusing, but this often
happens and is no issue. All three occur in Australia. Coconut Lorikeet is
represented in Australia by subspecies caeruliceps. The Cape York subspecies
septentrionalis remains in Rainbow Lorikeet T. mollucanus.
Schodde, R. & Mason, I.J. (1997). Zoological Catalogue of Australia 37.2, Aves
(Columbidae to Coraciidae). CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne.
Rand, A.L. (1942). Results of the Archbold Expeditions. No. 42. Birds of the
191936-1937 New Guinea Expedition. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural
History 79: 289-366.
I hope that his provides clarification
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