Family Honeyeaters (Meliphagidae)

Least Concern

Ashy Myzomela (Myzomela cineracea)


French: Myzomèle cendré German: Schlichthonigfresser Spanish: Mielero cenizo

Myzomela cineracea

P. L. Sclater

, 1879,

New Britain


Often treated as conspecific with M. eques, but differs in its blackish-grey vs dark grey-brown plumage, with paler vs uniformly dark belly (3); lack of ruby-red central throat (some birds show a vague flush of dull red around the chin, but never on the throat) (3); partially grey vs extensively white inner edges to secondaries, producing much less marked contrast in underwing pattern (2); blacker lores (ns[1]); marginally larger size but distinctly longer bill (effect size 3.38, score 2). Birds from Umboi previously separated as race rooki, but differences minimal (slightly larger, male perhaps slightly paler above). Monotypic.


Umboi and New Britain, in Bismarck Archipelago.

Descriptive notes

14·5–16 cm; male average 15·6 g, female 12·2 g. Male is dark brown to dark greyish-brown above, slightly darker, black-brown, on tail, and with... read more


Calls infrequent, quiet and unobtrusive. Regular series of single or double notes often at dawn,... read more


Most lowland habitats that provide cover, including primary rainforest, forest edge, secondary... read more

Food and feeding

Diet includes nectar and insects. Forages from canopy to understorey, mainly in canopy and substages, in flowering trees, coconut palms and... read more


Season appears to be second half of dry season and middle of wet season; eggs late Jul, early Oct and early Jan to late Feb. Nest a thin-... read more


No information; probably resident, with local movements.  

Status and conservation

Not assessed. Probably not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in New Britain and New Ireland EBA. Widespread in lowlands and foothills; considered... read more

Recommended citation

Higgins, P., Christidis, L. & Ford, H. (2020). Ashy Myzomela (Myzomela cineracea). 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 26 January 2020).