The Pearly Conure or Pearly Parakeet (Pyrrhura lepida) is a Brazilian endemic whose natural range are the subtropical and tropical moist lowland forests in Cumã Bay, Maranhão west to Belém and Rio Capim, Pará in Brazil.
The Pearly Conure forms a parapatric species pair with the Crimson-bellied Conure (P. perlata), with which the Pearly Conure is sometimes considered conspecific (of, or belonging to, the same species).
The Pearly Conure looks in many ways like the Crimson-bellied Conure, except the lower breast, abdomen and thighs of the Pearly Conure are mostly green, while the Crimson-bellied -- true to its name -- has a bright crimson lower breast and abdomen. The edging to the breast feathers is also narrower than that of the Crimson-bellied Conure.
The most distinguishing features of the Pearly Conure are the creamy whitish ear coverts (feathers covering the ears) and the scaly buff throat and breast. The Pearly Conure has blue-green cheeks, whitish eye-rings, a dark head, a green belly and blue primaries (= longest wing feathers). There is a bluish tinge on the sides of the body and a faint reddish-brown tinge to the abdomen. The lores (the regions between the eyes and bill on the side of a bird's head) are dark green. The long tail underside has a reddish-brown tinge.
Immature birds: The edging to the nape feathers is with narrower, and the bill and feet are paler.
- Sexing: Undeterminable by appearance. Males & females look alike. DNA or surgical sexing is recommended.
- Length: 9.3 - 10 inches or ~24 - 25 cm
- Weight: 2.4 - 2.8 oz. (70 - 79 grams)
- Average Lifespan: 20 years.
Call / Vocalization:
Calls made in flight are described as shrill.
Confused taxonomic history: present species until recently known as P. perlata, but following a review it was discovered that the type specimen, long believed to belong to this species, actually was a juvenile of the closely related Crimson-bellied Parakeet. Consequently, P. perlata was transferred to that species, while the next name in line for the Pearly Parakeet (P. lepida) became its valid scientific name.
Personality / Pet Potential:
The vividly colored Pearly Conure is a playful bird, and can easily be trained to do tricks and maybe even to speak a few words. Even though Pearly Conures are comparatively quieter than other conures, they are still noisier than say a cockatiel or budgie - as is the case with any conure.
Conures as Pets (Suitability, Personality, Pros & Cons, Care Requirements)
Breeding / Reproduction:
Pearly Conures are rare in aviculture and difficult to obtain and breed. They lay about three to six eggs, which they incubate for 23 to 26 days.
Below are the dimensions of nesting boxes usually used for these conures.
Species Research by Sibylle Johnson
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