Large paradisaeid with elongated feathers of nape and lower neck finely pointed, those above eyes forming conspicuous erectile occipital ear-tufts; fairly long tail slightly graduated, Male nominate race has head, neck and nape blue-black with green-blue iridescence, slight violet-purple sheen on rear crown; smooth-plumaged and iridescent blue mantle, back, rump, uppertail-coverts and uppertail with slightest yellow-green wash and heavy violet-purple sheen; rectrices with tiny hair-like central points at tips; intense iridescent deep violet-purple upperwing with indistinct blue sheen and edging on wing-coverts and leniais; blackish-brown primaries with narrow iridescent blue outer edges; iridescent oily green-blue upper breast, remaining underparts with purplish sheen, vent and undenail-coverts duller and less iridescent; iris red. fine inner ring of dark brown; bill and legs blackish to black; mouth blackish. Female is slightly smaller than male, somewhat duller on underparts, with head and neck hackles on average reduced in length, iris more orange. Juvenile is blackish with slight steely blue-green gloss, but no purple on back, wings or tail, elongate feathers scarcely indicated; immature dull blackish, particularly on head, with only slight bluish-green iridescence on upperparts and breast but duller on wines and belly (younger birds with iridescent sheen on underparts), iris greyish-brown to brownislwed to reddish-oranae (redder with increasing age); brighter Iridescent plumage and longer ear-tuft feathers gradually acquired with age. Race jamesii throat and breast dark metallic blue, washed greenish, locking purple of nominate, and with longer occipital tufts; aruensis is less green than nominate, differs from previous in being darker and bluer, less green, upperparts (particularly back) suffused purple, lanceolate head feathering more cobalt-blue, occipital tufts much shorter (similar in length to nominate); neumanni is like similar-sized nominate, but lower back. rump, tail and upperwing dark blackish-blue, washed iridescent violet-purple (rather than greenish), breast and belly dark metallic blue, occipital tufts on average shorter than all races except adeiberti (tufts of which comparable in length); adelberti differs from nominate in having short occipital tufts and greenish (not blue or purple) upperwing and tail; purpureoviolaceus is like nominate but larger, with back, breast and belly iridescent violet-purplish, and occipital tufts far longer; diamondi is similar to previous, but distinct in having back, upperwing and tail with strong violet-purple sheen, breast and belly dark metallic blue with little or no violet-purple, and lanceolate head feathering bluish-green (as opposed to greenish-blue) washed violet-purple, occipital tufts slightly longer (thus longer than in all other races); hunsteini is larger than all preceding races, with longer occipital tufts that are less blue and more green, and back, rump and uppertail dark bluish-purple (less green);gouldii is like nominate, but iridescence more green (less purple), particularly so on upperwing and tail, occipital-tuft feathers more narrowly pointed and much longer, also relative tail length much longer.