Noisy friarbird Philemon corniculatus, photographed by Fir0002.

Belongs within: Meliphagidae.

The genus Philemon includes the friarbirds, medium-sized to large honeyeaters found from eastern Indonesia to Australia and New Caledonia. Members of this genus have dull plumage, and varying amounts of bare skin on the head. A knob-like structure is commonly present on top of the bill close to its base.

Characters (from Schodde & Mason 1999): Plumage mostly grey-brown; areas of bare blackish skin present on face and head; casque frequently present on bill; nares fused posteriorly; filamentous or scaly feathering present on throat; tail square; immatures with yellowish throat and white or yellow barring present on lower back and sides of breast.

<==Philemon Vieillot 1816 (see below for synonymy) B94
    |--+--P. citreogularis (Gould 1837) JT12, WS48 (see below for synonymy)
    |  |    |--P. c. citreogularis M03
    |  |    `--P. c. sordidus M03
    |  `--P. meyeri JT12
    `--+--P. eichhorni ANM14
       `--+--P. cockerelli ANM14
          `--+--P. buceroides JT12
             |    |--P. b. buceroides M03
             |    |--P. b. ammitophila M03
             |    |--P. b. gordoni M03
             |    `--P. b. yorki M03
             `--+--P. argenticeps (Gould 1839) JT12, WS48 (see below for synonymy)
                |    |--P. a. argenticeps M03
                |    `--P. a. kempi M03
                `--P. corniculatus (Latham 1790) JT12, CC10 [=Merops corniculatus CC10]
                     |--P. c. corniculatus M03
                     `--P. c. monachus M03

Philemon incertae sedis:
  P. albitorques JT12
  P. brassi JT12
  P. diemenensis JT12
  P. fuscicapillus JT12
  P. inornatus JT12
  P. kisserensis JT12
  P. lessoni [=Tropidorhynchus lessoni] S13
  P. moluccensis JT12
  P. novaeguineae JT12
  P. subcorniculatus JT12

Philemon Vieillot 1816 [incl. Philedon Cuvier 1817, Tropidorhynchus Vigors & Horsfield 1827; Philedonidae, Tropidorhynchidae] B94

Philemon argenticeps (Gould 1839) JT12, WS48 [=Tropidorhynchus argenticeps WS48; incl. P. argenticeps broomei Mathews 1912 WS48]

Philemon citreogularis (Gould 1837) JT12, WS48 [=Tropidorhynchus citreogularis WS48; incl. P. occidentalis Ramsay 1888 WS48]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[ANM14] Andersen, M. J., A. Naikatani & R. G. Moyle. 2014. A molecular phylogeny of Pacific honeyeaters (Aves: Meliphagidae) reveals extensive paraphyly and an isolated Polynesian radiation. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 71: 308–315.

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

[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.

[JT12] Jetz, W., G. H. Thomas, J. B. Joy, K. Hartmann & A. Ø. Mooers. 2012. The global diversity of birds in space and time. Nature 491: 444–448.

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

[S13] Sarasin, F. 1913. Die Vögel Neu-Caledoniens und der Loyalty-Inseln. In: Sarasin, F., & J. Roux (eds) Nova Caledonia: Forschungen in Neu-Caledonian und auf den Loyalty-Inseln. A. Zoologie vol. 1 pt 1 pp. 1–78, pls 1–3. C. W. Kreidels Verlag: Wiesbaden.

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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