The Deville’s Conure or Parakeet (Pyrrhura lucianii) – also known as the Prince Lucian’s Conure – has typically been considered a subspecies of the Painted Conure (Pyrrhura picta). Joseph (2002) recommended that the Deville’s Conure should be recognized as a monotypic species (= one single species). The American Ornithologists’ Union voted to recognize Deville’s Conure (P. lucianii) as a species.
Distribution / Range
The Deville’s Conure is endemic to North-western Brazil and neighboring areas in South-eastern Ecuador and northeast Peru along upper Amazon River as well as Rio Purus and upper Rio Madeira and its tributaries south to La Paz, Bolivia, and southeast Peru. Their range overlaps with that of the Rose-fronted or Roseifrons Conure (Pyrrhura roseifrons) in southeast Peru. It is assumed that this species is fairly common within its range, however, this cannot be confirmed as this remote region is rarely visited by researchers.
They are social parrots that are typically seen in pairs during the breeding season or groups of 5 to 12 birds when they are not in breeding mode. Occasionally larger flocks can be seen at favored feeding sites or clay banks. Within their range, they can frequently be seen with Golden-winged Parakeets (Brotogeris chrysopterus) and Pearly Conure (Pyrrhura perlata).
They move around a lot and prefer dense and tall trees. Their loud contact calls makes them conspicuous, otherwise they are difficult to detect in the foliage as they are well camouflaged by their plumage. Pairs typically remain close to each other.
They frequently visit local ponds and rivers to drink and bathe, as well as to feed on mineral-rich soil of clay-banks and barreiros. They are cautious, but not particularly shy. They usually return to their roosting areas between 5.30 and 5.50 p.m in the late afternoon.
Calls / Vocalizations
Their calls during flight sound like a brief eek. Their contact call loud peeah and when perching harsh kleek-kleek can be heard.
They average 22 cm or 8.5 inches in length (including their long tails) and the wings are 113 – 130 mm or 4.5 – 5 inches long.
The plumage is mainly green, except for a dark red belly, rump and tail-tip (tail all dark red from below), a faint blue marking to the nape (back of the neck); pale grey scaling to the chest, and a whitish or dull buff patch on the auriculars and bluish remiges (flight feathers – typically only visible in flight). The cheeks and crown are dark dusky-maroon (almost blackish). The lower breast is green, each feather V-shaped and narrowly edged whitish to dull yellow. They have bare, whitish periophthalmic (eye) rings. The legs are dark greyish.
Similar species id: Looks similar to the Painted Conure (Pyrrhura picta), but it lacks any bright red or blue to the head.
These beautiful little parrots are very rare, but their pet potential is excellent if they have been hand-raised and are well-socialized. Newly imported birds are generally shy and nervous and often remain reserved.
This is an inquisitive and active parakeet that enjoys flying and requires plenty of exercise and a spacious cage. It is generally not too noisy unless excited (as is generally the case with Pyrrhura conures).
Once acclimatized, these parrots are fairly hardy. They enjoy bathing and should be provided with a shallow water dish daily and also love to chew on fresh branches.
This conure is inclined to feather plucking if its physical or emotional needs are not met.
Conures as Pets (Suitability, Personality, Pros and Cons, Care Requirements)
Diet / Feeding
Their natural diet consists of various fruits (including berries), flowers, seeds, vegetable matter as well as insects and their larvae. They also feed on mineral-rich soil of clay-banks and barreiros in rain forest. Occasionally they are feeding on algae on surface of ponds.
Captive diet: Provide plenty of fruits, vegetables and greenfood; as well as a regular supply of branches with flowers and buds. A quality dry food/ seed mix that includes safflower, oats, some sunflower, hemp, buckwheat, millet, canary grass seed and rowanberries. Sprouted seeds and millet spray should also be fed. Vitamins and mineral supplements, as necessary.
Breeding / Reproduction
The breeding season in Panama and Colombia occurs from March to June, in Surinam from February to April and from July to December in Brazil and Bolivia. They typically nest in hollow tree branches / cavities – often at considerable height.
Captive breeding is occasionally achieved, but not always easily. Some pairs show little to no interest in breeding; however, others breed readily. It’s best to isolate pairs during the breeding season to minimize the risk of interrupting any breeding activities or to prevent aggression towards other aviary occupants. Breeding usually commences in spring. The average clutch consists of 3 to 5 eggs measuring 25.5 x 19.1 mm (1.00 x 0.75 ins), which are incubated for about 23 days. The young fledge 50 days after hatching, but continue to be fed by their parents for some time afterwards. Up to two breedings per year are possible.
Colony system in a large aviary is possible with same species or other Pyrrhura Conures. They enjoy bathing and chewing on fresh branches.
These active conures need a roomy flight with the following minimum dimensions: 3 x 1 x 2 m (9 x 3 x 6 ft) and an adjoining shelter: 1 x 1 x 2 m (3 x 3 x 6 ft) . They should be protected from temperatures below 5°C (41°F). A roosting box (20 x 20 x 70 cm or 8 x 8 x 28 ins) or preferably tree stump or at least 1.5 sq. meters (16 sq. ft) per pair should be available all year around.
Taxonomy / Other Names
Genus: Scientific: Pyrrhura … English: Red-tailed Conures … Dutch: Roodstaartparkieten … German: Rotschwanzsittiche … French: Perruche à queue rouge
Species: Scientific: Pyrrhura lucianii formerly Pyrrhura picta lucianii … English: Prince Lucian’s Conure … Dutch: Prins Lucians Parkiet … German: Prinz Luzians Rotschwanzsittich … French: Perruche peinte Deville … CITES II Endangered
Species Research by Sibylle Johnson
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