The Mulga Parrot (Psephotellus varius) are endemic to the inland arid regions of Australia. The name is derived from the mulga scrublands where they are often seen, as well as arid grasslands, although they can be found in all sorts of vegetation including eucalypts, as eucalypts provide their preferred nest hollows.
The scientific nomenclature, Psephotus varius, translates to ‘variegated mosaic bird’. First described by John Gould in 1857, the word Psephotus is from the Greek psephotos (inlaid with mosaic stones or jewels) and the Latin Varius, used among other words to describe ‘variegated’.
The adult male in particular are brightly coloured in appearance, with colours of turquoise-green, dark blue, yellow and red. As well as being slightly smaller, the female are primarily brownish-green with splashes of turquoise, blue, red and yellow. This sexual dimorphism (different appearance between the male and female) enables the easy identification between the sexes.
Mulga Parrots are monogamous, travelling in pairs, although they can occasionally be seen in small family groups. Breeding occurs in spring or after good rains, where they usually seek out tree hollows for the nest. The female incubates the small white eggs.
Whilst they are rarely seen in flocks, the Mulga Parrot will join together at food and water sources. They feed on grasses, fruits of low growing annuals and herbs and in areas where the seeds of salt bushes are available.
More commonly known as the Mulga Parrot. The species has also been referred to as the Mulga Parakeet, Many-coloured Parakeet, Many-colors Parrot, Varied Parrot.
- Scientific classification
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Aves
- Order: Psittaciformes
- Family: Psittaculidae
- Genus: Psephotellus
- Species: P. varius
- Binomial name: Psephotellus varius