Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory


Regional Maps

External Links

CAVS: 0279

Species Polytelis alexandrae Gould, 1863

Princess Parrot

  • Polytelis alexandrae Gould, J. 1863. On a collection of birds from central Australia. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1863: 232-233 [232] [as Polyteles alexandrae; in correspondence to the Secretary of the South Australian Institute dated June 15, 1863 (copy in South Australian Archives) and in the text to plate 62 in Gould, J. 1869. The Birds of Australia. Supplement. London : J. Gould 81 pls pp. [Pt 3, 1859], Gould makes it clear that he had available two of the three original specimens of this species, and that both were returned to the South Australian Institute (later Museum), (M. Fleming, pers. comm.) cf. Cleland, J.B. 1937. The history of ornithology in South Australia. Emu 36: 197–221; one of the three was then lodged in E.P. Ramsay's Dobroyde collection now incorporated in AM; those in the South Australian Institute have since been destroyed, for reasons given by Sutton, J. 1927. Amytornis goyderi, Eyrean (formerly Goyder's) Grass-wren, etc. South Australian Ornithologist 9: 116–131, but the specimen in AM survives, see Longmore, N.W. 1991. Type specimens of birds in the Australian Museum. Technichal Report of the Australian Museum n 4: 1–42; that it was part of the selection sent to Gould for description and not the specimen kept behind is likely from Ramsay's reference to the skin (then in the Dobroyde collection) as the 'type' in a letter to E.C.S. Stirling dated 19 June 1891 (South Australian Archives); both syntypes are figured on pl. 62 in Gould, J. 1869. The Birds of Australia. Supplement. London : J. Gould 81 pls pp. [Pt 3, 1859]].
    Type data:
    Syntype(s) AM 0.18585 (probable), Howell's Ponds, NT (as 16º54´7˜S.L.); SAMA (destroyed), Howell's Ponds, NT (as 16º54´7˜S.L.).
  • Spathopterus alexandrae rogersi Mathews, G.M. 1916. List of additions of new sub-species to, and changes in, my "List of the Birds of Australia". Austral Avian Records 3(3): 53-68 [Date published 4 Apr 1916] [57] [holotype (possibly ex aviary) inferred but not specified in protologue—for its identification and source, see Greenway, J.C. 1978. Type specimens of birds in the American Museum of Natural History. Pt 2. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 161: 1–306; it is figured on pl. 297 and described in detail on pp. 271–272 in Mathews, G.M. 1917. The Birds of Australia. London : Witherby & Co. Vol. 6 pt 3 pp. 217–296 pls 291–299 [17 Apr. 1917, volume dated as 1916–1917]].
    Type data:
     Holotype AMNH 621655 (G.M. Mathews' coll. no. unspecified), uncertain (as North-west Australia).




Northern Territory, South Australia, Western Australia

Extra Distribution Information

Sand-plain and dune deserts of central W Australia, north to N fringes of Great Sandy and Tanami Deserts, and, erratically, the southernmost fringes of the Fitzroy, Ord and Victoria River systems, WA/NT—east to SW fringe of the Barkly Tableland, W fringes of the Sandover and Simpson Deserts and S Lake Eyre basin, NT/SA—south to N edge of Nullarbor Plain—west to E edge of mulga-eucalypt line in south and Pilbara in N WA—centred in Great Sandy, Tanami, Gibson and Great Victoria deserts—records from central Lake Eyre region into far SW QLD are doubtful.

Note that conversion of the original AFD map of states, drainage basins and coastal and oceanic zones to IBRA and IMCRA regions may have produced errors. The new maps will be reviewed and corrected as updates occur. The maps may not indicate the entire distribution. See further details below.
IBRA and IMCRA regions (map not available)
drainage basins and coastal and oceanic zones (map not available)


NT, SA, WA: Burt Plain (BRT), Channel Country (CHC), Coolgardie (COO), Central Ranges (CR), Dampierland (DL), Davenport Murchison Ranges (DMR), Eyre Yorke Block (EYB), Finke (FIN), Gawler (GAW), Gibson Desert (GD), Great Sandy Desert (GSD), Great Victoria Desert (GVD), Hampton (HAM), Little Sandy Desert (LSD), MacDonnell Ranges (MAC), Mitchell Grass Downs (MGD), Murchison (MUR), Nullarbor (NUL), Simpson Strzelecki Dunefields (SSD), Sturt Plateau (STU), Tanami (TAN)

Original AFD Distribution Data

Australian Region

  • Australia
    • Northern Territory: Lake Eyre basin, W plateau
    • South Australia: W plateau
    • Western Australia: W plateau

Ecological Descriptors

Arboreal, desert, diurnal, florivore, folivore, frugivorous, granivore, gregarious, hummock grassland, low open woodland, nomadic, sand hill desert, sand plain desert, terrestrial, volant, woodland.

Extra Ecological Information

Seasonal breeder, slightly sexually dimorphic, feeds mainly on ground on seeds, shoots and probably fruit and blossom, flocks in small groups, flies directly with swift regular wing beats, nests on bed of wood dust in tree hollows, incubation by female, both sexes rear whitish-downed, dull orange-billed chicks, wanders very widely and erratically to seasonal food sources.


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
10-Nov-2020 20-Aug-2013 MODIFIED
12-Feb-2010 (import)