Matomo-Image-Tracker Psittaciformes - Aratinga - Sulphur Breasted Conure


Sulphur Breasted Conure - Aratinga Maculata - Least Concern

The sulphur-breasted conure (Aratinga maculata) is a species of parrot from Brazil and Suriname. It resembles the closely related sun conure


First described in 1776, A. maculata had long been dismissed as invalid. It was rediscovered as part of a study of specimens of the sun parakeet and related species. Specimens of the sulphur-breasted conure had previously been dismissed as immature sun parakeets or hybrids. Believing it represented an entirely unknown species, it was described as A. pintoi (in honour of the Brazilian ornithologist Olivério Pinto) in 2005. Only in 2009 was it shown that A. maculata and the "new" A. pintoi were the same.

Some believe the sulphur-breasted parakeet is better regarded as a subspecies of the sun parakeet.

Distribution and Appearance

Following the realization that the sulphur-breasted conure was a valid species, the first records of living birds were from east of Óbidos on the northern bank of the lower Amazon River in Pará, Brazil. Since then, it has been reported more widely at low densities in the Pará state north of the Amazon River, but still no records have been reported from neighboring parts of Amapá, where it probably also occurs. Additionally, three specimens kept at the National Museum of Natural History in the Netherlands have been identified as this species. They were taken from the Sipaliwini savanna in southern Suriname. Recent sightings from the same region have also been identified as sulphur-breasted parakeets. This suggests that it possibly comes into contact with the closely related and very similar sun parakeet. Unlike adult sun parakeets, sulphur-breasted conures have clear green suffusion to the mantle, wing-coverts and underparts, but this is shared with juvenile sun parakeets. Adults of both species have a dark greyish eye ring in the wild, but this commonly fades to whitish in captives, at least in the sun parakeet (this is the source of the mistaken idea that the color of the eye ring separates the two).

Stacks Image 36

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Page last updated: 1/1/2320

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