This article is about honeyeaters. For New Zealand bird family, see Callaeidae.
Anthochaera chrysoptera
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Meliphagidae
Genus: Anthochaera
Vigors & Horsfield, 1827

see text

Wattlebirds (Anthochaera) are members of the honeyeater family, and native to Australia. Species of wattlebird include the little wattlebird, the red wattlebird, the western wattlebird, and the yellow wattlebird. Recent evidence suggests the regent honeyeater belongs in this genus.

Wattlebirds are characterized by their wattles. These are bare fleshy appendages, usually wrinkled and often brightly coloured, hanging from the cheeks, neck or throat, and presumably serving for display. The exceptions are the little wattlebird and the regent honeyeater, which lack wattles.

Some other birds also have wattles, although they are not known by the term "wattlebird". Examples include the turkey; some vultures; and several species of lapwing. The entire Callaeidae family of New Zealand, comprising the tieke (also known as the saddleback), the kokako, and the extinct huia, are also known as wattlebirds, but are unrelated to this genus.

The regent honeyeater (Anthochaera phrygia) was formerly placed in its own genus Xanthomyza but was moved to Anthochaera based on phylogenetic analysis using DNA sequence data.[1]

The genus Anthochaera was introduced in 1827 by the naturalists Nicholas Aylward Vigors and Thomas Horsfield.[2][3] The word Anthochaera is derived from the Greek anthos meaning flower or bloom and khairō meaning to enjoy.[4]

The genus Anthochaera contains the following species:[1]

See also


  1. 1 2 Gill, Frank; Donsker, David (eds.). "Honeyeaters". World Bird List Version 5.4. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 26 December 2015.
  2. Vigors & Horsfield 1827, pp. 320-321.
  3. Salomonsen 1967, pp. 444-445.
  4. Jobling 2010, p. 49.


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