Family Honeyeaters (Meliphagidae)

Least Concern

Arfak Honeyeater (Melipotes gymnops)


French: Méliphage à ventre tacheté German: Fleckenbauch-Honigfresser Spanish: Mielero de las Arfak
Other common names: Western Smoky Honeyeater

Melipotes gymnops

P. L. Sclater

, 1874,

Hatam, Arfak Mountains, Vogelkop, north-west New Guinea


Status and affinities of populations of this genus in Fakfak Mts (Onin Peninsula) unclear#R#R#R: three sightings in 1981 of birds that looked most similar to M. fumigatus; one seen in 1992 had ventral plumage more like that of present species but facial patch somewhat like that of M. ater (and thus also like that of the then undescribed M. carolae); two seen briefly in 2009 were thought to have facial wattles akin to those reported for 1992; much further research required, and this may have taxonomic implications elsewhere in genus, notably for M. f. kumawa. Monotypic.


Mountains of Vogelkop (Tamrau Mts, Arfak Mts) and Wandammen Mts, in NW New Guinea.

Descriptive notes

21·5–22 cm; male 58–61·5g, female 48–58 g. Head, neck, breast, upper belly and flanks are sooty black to grey-black, with large circumorbital... read more


Call “wee wee wee…”, while perched or in flight.  


Montane forest, forest edge and native agricultural gardens; 1200–2700 m, but said also to... read more

Food and feeding

Predominantly frugivorous, but insects also taken; seeds found in one stomach. Forages at all levels, mostly in canopy; also in shrubs and... read more


No information.


No information; almost certainly sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in West Papuan Highlands EBA. Poorly known; considered generally common or abundant.

Recommended citation

Higgins, P., Christidis, L. & Ford, H. (2019). Arfak Honeyeater (Melipotes gymnops). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 16 September 2019).