• Welcome to Avian Avenue! To view our forum with less advertisments please register with us.
    Memberships are free and it will just take a moment. Click here

Lovebird subspecies?

Status
Not open for further replies.

makato

Strolling the yard
Joined
8/18/11
Messages
107
Location
Western USA
Real Name
Maria
I've been trying to learn more about all the different lovebirds out there, and I was hoping for some input from the lovie pros. Previously, I had been under the impression that masked, fischers, and so on were mutations, but they are not mutations, they are different subspecies, correct? What are the differences? Is there a size difference between these other subspecies and the more commonly known peachface and all of its mutations? And I am assuming they cannot interbreed? Or can they? Any help in piecing together the puzzle would be great!
 

wonderb

Biking along the boulevard
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
2/5/12
Messages
5,752
I'm not an expert, but I can help! Peach Faced, Fischer's, Black Masked, etc. are all different species, not subspecies. Yes, they can interbreed and then they will produce hybrids, not mutations. PFs are the largest and also have the most mutations, but both Fischer's and Black Masked have quite a few as well. There are also other less common species such as Black Cheeked and Abyssinian lovebirds.
 

Featherpaws

Jogging around the block
Joined
1/6/11
Messages
980
all are species, not subspecies, they can breed together, but any crossed with peach faced will make infertile babies, and its generally frowned upon.


there are other rarer mutations out there too, the abbyssinian lovebird is the largest of all the lovebirds. but of the common three, peachies are the largest


each species originally was in one colour but any "colour" of the species, say blue masked, is a mutation, not a species.
 

Monica

Cruising the avenue
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
5/18/10
Messages
11,065
Location
Hell, NV
Real Name
Monica
There are 9 species of lovebirds, of which only 3 are common within captivity, and another 2 that you may occasionally see as either pets or breeders. Peachface lovebirds should be in their own genera (possibly with another lovebird species?) since any hybrids between them and the "eye-ring" species are sterile/infertile (as mentioned), but that's just my opinion! ;)

Lovebird - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Some of the lovebird species do have subspecies.


Anyway, besides a size difference, there's also a color difference between the species - ranging from overall body color to beak color as well as the facial skin around the eyes... kind of like the different species of conures. You have green cheeks, black caps, blue crowns, suns, jendays, etc.
 

love4birds

Rollerblading along the road
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
Joined
11/20/09
Messages
3,054
Location
Alberta, Canada
Real Name
Megan
As has been posted there are 9 different species of lovebirds, not subspecies.

If you look at the scientific name you have Genus species subspecies.

For instance, a Peach Faced lovebird is Agapornis roseicollis. There are two subspecies: A. r. roseicollis and A. r. catumbella. A Black Cheeked lovebird, on the other hand, is Agapornis nigrigenis and there are no subspecies.

There are size differences, the Abyssinian being the largest, and some of the eyerings being the smallest (my Atlas of Parrots says the Black Collared, Nyasa, and Black Cheeked tie for the smallest at 5" long).

My Black Cheeks weigh on average 32-34 grams while my Peach Faces are 52-54 grams. You can kind of see the size difference here (Peach Faces in the middle, Black Cheeks on either side):
042-2.jpg

Here, Kermit (left) is a wild type green Peach Face, Leyla (middle) is a white face violet Peach Face mutation, and Nin (right) is a dutch blue Peach Face mutation:
20889.jpg
 

wonderb

Biking along the boulevard
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
2/5/12
Messages
5,752
the abbyssinian lovebird is the largest of all the lovebirds. but of the common three, peachies are the largest


There are size differences, the Abyssinian being the largest, and some of the eyerings being the smallest (my Atlas of Parrots says the Black Collared, Nyasa, and Black Cheeked tie for the smallest at 5" long).
What I have read states that PF are the largest, with Abyssinians right behind. Perhaps the difference is whether you are judging based on weight vs. length? Not that it really matters I suppose. :p
 

love4birds

Rollerblading along the road
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
Joined
11/20/09
Messages
3,054
Location
Alberta, Canada
Real Name
Megan
In length and overall bulk the Abbys are definitely bigger:) The juveniles I've met were about the size of my full grown Peach Faces. The adults are visibly larger. Weight wise though, I haven't a clue! I just did a quick search on weights of Abyssinians and it seems they range from 40-60 grams, versus the Peach Face average of 45-55 grams. I don't know the weights of the Abbys I've met. Perhaps they are a lighter bodied bird even with their physical size?
 

love4birds

Rollerblading along the road
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
Joined
11/20/09
Messages
3,054
Location
Alberta, Canada
Real Name
Megan
But then there's also the Longfeather Peachies that are even bigger LOL!
 

mask

Walking the driveway
Joined
3/1/10
Messages
169
Location
Europe
Real Name
mask
Some of my masked weigh easily more than 50 grams and are bigger than the wildform peachfaced. Like big momma here :)

 

Featherpaws

Jogging around the block
Joined
1/6/11
Messages
980
my peach faced Munch is 64 grams, and she is by no means overweight either



 

makato

Strolling the yard
Joined
8/18/11
Messages
107
Location
Western USA
Real Name
Maria
Thank you so, so much for all the info everyone!! I have Peach-Faced and I'm getting a couple of Fischers, but I couldn't figure out if that meant a different mutation or an altogether different bird. I know that probably sounds silly to those of you who are so knowledgable, but Lovies are new to me. Until about a week ago, I honestly had NO idea there were different species or even subspecies of Lovebirds. I'm much more familiar with conures and breed GCCs. I know their colorings inside and out (there are a TON more colors of lovies than GCCs, hard to keep track of, lol). But then I walked into a bird store about eight months ago and the CUTEST little lovebird up and hopped onto my hand when I was reaching for a toy near him. Well, and the rest was history and now I want more. :D So now I'll know what to expect when the Fischers are smaller than the PF.
 

Monica

Cruising the avenue
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
5/18/10
Messages
11,065
Location
Hell, NV
Real Name
Monica
Ok, so you're learning about the different species and subspecies of lovebirds. What about the different subspecies of green cheeks? ;)
 

Featherpaws

Jogging around the block
Joined
1/6/11
Messages
980
hey i found this for some interesting reading for you. you can check out each species, but this peachy page goes through some sizing questions and subspecies

Peachfaced Lovebirds
 

makato

Strolling the yard
Joined
8/18/11
Messages
107
Location
Western USA
Real Name
Maria
Ok, so you're learning about the different species and subspecies of lovebirds. What about the different subspecies of green cheeks? ;)
There's not a subspecies of GCCs, but there are different mutations. There's normal, cinnamon, yellow-sided, and turquoise which can all occur naturally, albeit the colors other than normal occur less commonly and randomly in nature. But in captive breeding, they are pretty easy to reproduce. Cinnamon and yellow-sided create pineapple, and then if you have a pair that both carries turquoise and also cinnamon, you could end up with a cinnamon turquoise. A pair that carries turquoise and pineapple and/or yellow-sided and cinnamon, then you could end up with a pineapple turquoise. Turquoise parents with yellow-sided in the genes and you can have yellow-sided turquoise. And those are all the most common colors, though the latter three are not as common as the primary mutations. More rare is the American Dilute (VERY expensive) and all the fun colors you can get mixing those with the other colors. Yellow-sided dilute, mint, suncheeks, mooncheeks, etc, etc. But those are recent mutations and VERY rare! :)

So yeah, I know my green cheeks pretty well. Lovebirds are a newer species to me.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top