The scaly-breasted lorikeet was first described by German zoologist Heinrich Kuhl in 1820. Other names this bird is known by include the gold and green lorikeet, greenie, green lorikeet, green and yellow lorikeet, green keet, green parrot, green leek, and green leaf. It is often colloquially referred to as a "scaly". Its specific epithet is derived from the Ancient Greek root chloro- "green", and Latin lepidotus "scaly".
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