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Superb Bird-of-paradise
14 24 026 Lophorina superba superba m
Male
Information
Range New Guinea
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Passeriformes
Family Paradisaeidae
Genus Lophorina
Species Lophorina superba
Conservation Status
LCSpecies
Least Concern

The Superb bird-of-paradise (Lophorina superba), is a species of bird-of-paradise. It is the only member in the genus Lophorina.

Description

Lophorina superba is a small, approximately 26 cm long, passerine bird. The male is black with an iridescent green crown, blue-green breast shield and a long velvety black erectile cape covering his back. The female is a reddish-brown bird with brownish barred buff below. The young is similar to the female.

Courtship Display

Superb-Bird-of-Paradise

The species has an unusually low population of females, and competition amongst males for mates is intensely fierce. This has led the species to have one of the most bizarre and elaborate courtship displays in the avian world. After carefully and meticulously preparing a "dance floor" (even scrubbing the dirt or branch smooth with leaves), the male first attracts a female with a loud call. After the curious female approaches, his folded black feather cape and blue-green breast shield springs upward and spreads widely and symmetrically around its head, instantly transforming the frontal view of the bird into a spectacular ellipse-shaped creature that rhythmically snaps its tail feathers against each other, similar to how snapping fingers work, whilst hopping in frantic circles around the female. The average female rejects 15-20 potential suitors before consenting to mate.

Distribution and Habitat

The superb bird-of-paradise is distributed throughout rainforests of New Guinea.

Subspecies

Image
Name
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Lophorina superba connectens
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Lophorina superba feminina
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Lophorina superba latipennis
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Lophorina superba minor
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Lophorina superba niedda
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Lophorina superba pseudoparotia
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Lophorina superba sphinx
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Lophorina superba superba
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Conservation Status

Although heavily hunted for its plumes, the superb bird-of-paradise is one of the most common and widespread birds of paradise in New Guinea forests. The superb bird-of-paradise is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is listed on Appendix II of CITES.

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