Red wattlebird Anthochaera carunculata, photographed by David Stowe.

Belongs within: Meliphagidae.

The wattlebirds Anthochaera are a genus of honeyeaters endemic to Australia. The eponymous wattles are present in the red wattlebird Anthochaera carunculata and yellow wattlebird A. paradoxa only; the remaining species lack wattles. Most species are predominantly a streaked grey or brown in coloration; the regent honeyeater A. phrygia of south-eastern Australia has a black head with a large bare patch of warty pink skin around the eye and yellow markings on the wings and tail (Morcombe 2003).

Characters (from Schodde & Mason 1999): Palatines curved and broadly flared, with rather thick stems; interpalatine processes squared off; maxillo-palatine processes prolonged, apically broadened elliptic flaps. Both nasal bar and wing of ectethmoid massively thickened, the latter developed into a huge foot along the jugal, both together almost occluding the latero-nasal aperture; ventral face of ectethmoids grooved to accomodate the mandibular angle. Temporal fossae narrow and elongate, flanked by round-tipped postorbital and zygomatic processes.

<==Anthochaera Vigors & Horsfield 1827 CC10 (see below for synonymy)
    |--+--A. chrysoptera (Latham 1801) JF06, WS48 (see below for synonymy)
    |  |    |--A. c. chrysoptera M03
    |  |    |--A. c. halmaturina M03
    |  |    `--A. c. tasmanica M03
    |  `--A. lunulata Gould 1838 JF06, WS48 [=A. chrysoptera lunulata M03]
    `--+--A. phrygia BKB15 [=Xanthomyza phrygia JF06]
       `--+--A. carunculata (Shaw in White 1790) JF06, CC10 (see below for synonymy)
          |    |--A. c. carunculata WS48
          |    |--A. c. clelandi M03
          |    `--A. c. woodwardi Mathews 1912 [incl. Coleia carunculata perthi Mathews 1923] WS48
          `--A. paradoxa (Daubin 1800) JF06, B94 (see below for synonymy)

Anthochaera Vigors & Horsfield 1827 CC10 [=Acanthochaera Giebel 1872 CC10; incl. Coleia Mathews 1912 non Broderip 1837 CC10, Colena Mathews 1931 CC10, Creadion Vieillot 1816 (nom. rej.) CC10, Creation (l. c.) B94, Dyottornis Mathews 1912 CC10]

Anthochaera carunculata (Shaw in White 1790) JF06, CC10 [=Merops carunculatus CC10, Acanthochaera carunculata CC10, *Coleia carunculata CC10, *Colena carunculata CC10, Creadion carunculatus non Gmelin 1789 CC10; incl. Anthochaera bulleri Finsch 1867 CC10, Mimus carunculatus Buller 1865 non Merops carunculatus Shaw in White 1790 CC10]

Anthochaera chrysoptera (Latham 1801) JF06, WS48 [=Merops chrysopterus WS48; incl. A. chrysoptera albani Mathews 1923 WS48, Certhia mellivora CC10, *A. mellivora CC10]

Anthochaera paradoxa (Daubin 1800) JF06, B94 [=Corvus paradoxus CC10, *Creadion paradoxus CC10, *Dyottornis paradoxus CC10]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B94] Bock, W. J. 1994. History and nomenclature of avian family-group names. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 222: 1–281.

[BKB15] Burleigh, J. G., R. T. Kimball & E. L. Braun. 2015. Building the avian tree of life using a large-scale, sparse supermatrix. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 84: 53–63.

[CC10] Checklist Committee (OSNZ). 2010. Checklist of the Birds of New Zealand, Norfolk and Macquarie Islands, and the Ross Dependency, Antarctica 4th ed. Ornithological Society of New Zealand and Te Papa Press: Wellington.

[JF06] Jønsson, K. A., & J. Fjeldså. 2006. A phylogenetic supertree of oscine passerine birds. Zoologica Scripta 35: 149–186.

[M03] Morcombe, M. 2003. Field Guide to Australian Birds 2nd ed. Steve Parish Publishing.

Schodde, R., & I. J. Mason. 1999. The Directory of Australian Birds: Passerines. CSIRO.

[WS48] Whittell, H. M., & D. L. Serventy. 1948. A systematic list of the birds of Western Australia. Public Library, Museum and Art Gallery of Western Australia, Special Publication 1: 1–126.

Last updated: 24 July 2019.

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