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Primolius couloni -captive-8a-3cp.jpg
Blue-headed macaw, Primolius couloni
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Psittacidae
Tribe: Arini
Genus: Primolius
Bonaparte, 1857
Type species
Ara auricollis[1]
Cassin, 1853

Primolius is a genus of macaws comprising three species,[4] which are native to South America. They are mainly green parrots with complex colouring including blues, reds and yellows. They have long tails, a large curved beak, and bare facial skin typical of macaws in general. They are less than 50 cm long, much smaller than the macaws of the Ara genus. Macaws less than about 50 cm long, including the genus Primolius, are sometimes called "mini-macaws".


The genus has three monotypic species:[4]

Genus Primolius, Bonaparte 1857:


Common and binomial names[4] Image Description Range
Blue-headed macaw
or Coulon's macaw
(Primolius couloni)
Blue-headed Macaw RWD2.jpg 41 cm (16 in) long, mostly green with head, flight feathers and primary coverts blue. The uppertail has a maroon base, a narrow green center and a blue tip. The undertail and underwing are greenish-yellow/ The bill is pale greyish-horn with a black base. Unlike most other macaws, the facial skin and lores are dark greyish.[5] South America
Blue-winged macaw
or Illiger's macaw
(Primolius maracana)
Primolius maracana -Palmitos Park -Gran Canaria-8a.jpg 40 cm (16 in) long, mostly green, the upperside of some of the wing feathers are blue, and the underside of the wings are yellowish, the tail-tip, crown and cheeks are bluish, and the tail-base and a belly-patch are red. The iris is amber. The bare facial-skin is yellowish, which may be white in captivity, the beak is all black[6] South America
Golden-collared macaw
or yellow-collared macaw
(Primolius auricollis)
Primolius auricollis -Panaewa Rainforest Zoo, Hawaii, USA -two-8b-2c.jpg 38 cm (15 in) long, mostly green, yellow band on the back of the neck, tail feathers have are red at the base fading to greens and blues, dark brown or black forehead, pink legs, the beak is dark grey with a paler grey tip South America

See also


  1. ^ Salvadori, T. (1891). Catalogue of the Psittaci, or Parrots, in the Collection of the British Museum. Catalogue of the Birds in the British Museum. 20. London: Taylor and Francis. p. 151.
  2. ^ Penhallurick, John (2001). "Primolius Bonaparte, 1857 has priority over Propyrrhura Ribeiro, 1920". Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club. 121 (1): 38–39.
  3. ^ Ribeiro, Alipio de Miranda (1920). "Revisão dos Psittacideos brasileiros". Revista do Museu Paulista. 12 (2): 18–19.
  4. ^ a b c "Zoological Nomenclature Resource: Psittaciformes (Version 9.004)". 2008-07-05.
  5. ^ "Species factsheet: Primolius couloni". BirdLife International (2008). Retrieved 24 July 2008.
  6. ^ "Species factsheet: Primolius maracana". BirdLife International (2008). Retrieved 24 July 2008.
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