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Greater Vasa Subspecies

Ueda96

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Some of the text information presented here was gleaned from Kawaldie's site: https://sites.google.com/site/kawaldie/
I also had a conversation with her to make sure I had a firm grasp of which subspecies were which.

Coracopsis Vasa Vasa / Greater Eastern Vasa

Size: 20 inches in length
Wingspan: 22-25 inches
Eyering color: grey/black
Beak color: pale to dark depending on time of year
Body color: dark
The underside of the wings and tail of this subspecies are mostly black, with a bit of grey
This subspecies is from Eastern Madagascar

Coracopsis Vasa Drouhardi / Greater Western Vasa
Size: 18 inches in length
Wingspan: 20-23 inches
Eyering color: white/bluish/yellow
Beak color: pale to dark depending on time of year
Body color: lighter than v. vasa
The underside of the wings and tail of this subspecies are very grey/silver
This subspecies is from Western Madagascar

Coracopsis Vasa Comorenis / Comoro Vasa
Size: 18 inches in length
Wingspan: 20-21 inches
Eyering color: white/yellow
Body color: lighter than v. drouhardi
The underside of the wings and tail of this subspecies are mostly brown, with a bit of grey
This subspecies is from the Comoro Islands


The v. drouhardi is the most common in the pet trade and seems to be the most prevalent subspecies in the U.S. and Canada. The v. comoro is the least common in the pet trade, but seems to be prevalent in Japan. The v. vasa is in the middle as far as commonality in the pet trade and there may be a few (but just a few) all over.


There is a considerable amount of confusion when it comes to the three subspecies of greater vasa and the v. comorenis is even mistaken for a lesser vasa a lot of the time.

The trick to telling the difference between these subspecies is: eyerings.
V. vasa has grey/black eyerings. The color does not change and this is the only vasa subspecies with eyerings this color.
V. drouhardi has an extended eyering. (a "tail" on the outer side)
V. comorenis has a circular eyering.


And to end this post, here is an example of all three subspecies of vasa:
_vasa subspecies.jpg

Left to right:
V. vasa - V. drouhardi - V. comorenis



Edit: Lesser vasas are not really mentioned in this post because they are a different species.
 
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Ueda96

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I'm hoping this post merits a sticky, so future vasa owners know what they have. :3
(and hopefully we can then stop mixing vasa subspecies in breeding pairs, too)
 

Sadieladie1994

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Pet is very much like v. drouhardi. •She has the eye ring that has the "tail". •The underside of wings are a light grey which is quite beautiful. •She is about 18 inches in length. •She was not ready for me to measure her wings •:D•• •I can get her wing spread but no more hands available to measure the wing span.
 

Kimba

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Great job at explaining this all tint :D Might I add that,(Because it's not already hard enough) It is thought that the nominate species V.v and the primary sub V.d have been bred together in captivity, and it is the possible reason for such variation with respects to breeding seasonal changes… i need to update my info on my site badly! For example, Eve's loses head feathers with yellow skin changes, others do not. Some have slightly different breeding seasons, and some mature faster the others by quit a lot.(years) While some of this I think is dietary, or hormonal related to flock size, the feather differences and eye ring color changes would make more sense if it was due to breeding both types of vasa's together. This seems to have likely been the case, when you start looking at various vasa pics. Some have very large heads, others are very petit and lean with big heads, others are really chunky and large like a zon, this amount of variation doesn't seem likely in the bird world without mixing the different vasa's. Eve to me looks exactly like a g.weastern with no variation. Sadly I have no idea who bred him
 
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Kirk

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Atlanta
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Our Edgar appears to be V. drouhardi. His eye rings will darken a bit but are looking light at the moment. His beak will also have a darker mottling at times. The underside of wing and tail will have the silver/light charcoal. Upper side of tail will show faint darker bands when spread. He looks stocky and sturdy especially when he fluffs a bit but can elongate and stretch his neck when he wishes.
 

Zazutoo

Sitting on the front steps
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7/23/16
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Great job at explaining this all tint :D Might I add that,(Because it's not already hard enough) It is thought that the nominate species V.v and the primary sub V.d have been bred together in captivity, and it is the possible reason for such variation with respects to breeding seasonal changes… i need to update my info on my site badly! For example, Eve's loses head feathers with yellow skin changes, others do not. Some have slightly different breeding seasons, and some mature faster the others by quit a lot.(years) While some of this I think is dietary, or hormonal related to flock size, the feather differences and eye ring color changes would make more sense if it was due to breeding both types of vasa's together. This seems to have likely been the case, when you start looking at various vasa pics. Some have very large heads, others are very petit and lean with big heads, others are really chunky and large like a zon, this amount of variation doesn't seem likely in the bird world without mixing the different vasa's. Eve to me looks exactly like a g.weastern with no variation. Sadly I have no idea who bred him
I'm wondering if this isn't the case with my Pepper. Once he had a chance to settle in and a much needed bath, he looks like a cross better a greater western and a comoro. It doesn't really matter to me because he's 100% lovable.
 
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