Both sexes have a general colour of bright green. The breast is flecked with yellow giving an appearance of scales. The bill is red. Total length is around 23cm.
This pretty lorikeet inhabits most types of country, including parks and gardens, where there are suitable food trees. It is fairly common, and can be a nuisance in orchards. It is nomadic, and often seen in company with rainbow lorikeets. It can be found from Cairns in north Queensland, southward through eastern Queensland to the north-eastern portion of New South Wales. Its normal southern limit is the Sydney area.
The scaly-breasted lorikeet feeds on a diet consisting mostly of nectar and pollen from flowering trees and shrubs plus different kinds of fruits and seeds.
The natural breeding season is from June to February, and the site chosen is a hole, often very high up, in a tree. Both birds prepare their nesting hollow, nibbling away the decayed wood until the cavity is of a suitable size. 2-3 white eggs are laid and incubated by the female for about 25 days.