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 1827CC10 (see below for synonymy)
    |--+--A. chrysoptera (Latham 1801)JF06, WS48 (see below for synonymy)
    |  |    |--A. c. chrysopteraM03
    |  |    |--A. c. halmaturinaM03
    |  |    `--A. c. tasmanicaM03
    |  `--A. lunulata Gould 1838JF06, WS48 [=A. chrysoptera lunulataM03]
    `--+--A. phrygiaBKB15 [=Xanthomyza phrygiaJF06]
       `--+--A. carunculata (Shaw in White 1790)JF06, CC10 (see below for synonymy)
          |    |--A. c. carunculataWS48
          |    |--A. c. clelandiM03
          |    `--A. c. woodwardi Mathews 1912 [incl. Coleia carunculata perthi Mathews 1923]WS48
          `--A. paradoxa (Daubin 1800)JF06, B94 [=Corvus paradoxusCC10, *Creadion paradoxusCC10, *Dyottornis paradoxusCC10]

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

Anthochaera carunculata (Shaw in White 1790)JF06, CC10 [=Merops carunculatusCC10, Acanthochaera carunculataCC10, *Coleia carunculataCC10, *Colena carunculataCC10, Creadion carunculatus non Gmelin 1789CC10; incl. Anthochaera bulleri Finsch 1867CC10, Mimus carunculatus Buller 1865 non Merops carunculatus Shaw in White 1790CC10]

Anthochaera chrysoptera (Latham 1801)JF06, WS48 [=Merops chrysopterusWS48; incl. A. chrysoptera albani Mathews 1923WS48, Certhia mellivoraCC10, *A. mellivoraCC10]

*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.

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