Family Honeyeaters (Meliphagidae)

Least Concern

Black-throated Honeyeater (Caligavis subfrenata)


French: Méliphage à gorge noire German: Goldstreif-Honigfresser Spanish: Mielero gorjinegro

Ptilotis subfrenata


, 1876,

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


See C. obscura. Geographical variation partly clinal, plumage becoming darker from W to E; species sometimes treated as monotypic#R. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. s. subfrenata (Salvadori, 1876) – Arfak Mts, in NW New Guinea.
  • C. s. utakwensis (Ogilvie-Grant, 1915) – Weyland Mts and S slopes of Central Ranges (including Nassau Mts and Oranje Mts) E to Hindenburg Range, in WC New Guinea.
  • C. s. melanolaema (Reichenow, 1915) – N slopes of Central Ranges (including Nassau and Oranje Ranges) E to Victor Emanuel and Schrader Ranges.
  • C. s. salvadorii (E. J. O. Hartert, 1896) – mountains of E New Guinea (E from Wharton, Bismarck, Kubor and Saruwaged Ranges).
  • Descriptive notes

    20·5–22 cm; male 29–36 g and female 25–29 g (melanolaema), male 32–37 g and female 26–28 g (salvadorii). Nominate race... read more


    Song a pleasant, rich and loud, rapid bubbling series that rises and falls in pitch and gradually... read more


    Primary montane forest (mainly middle to upper montane forest), including moss forest, forest edge... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet includes nectar, small arthropods (insects) and fruit. Forages mainly in canopy, but will descend to substage up to c. 3 m above... read more


    Adults feeding fledglings in mid-Nov in Star Mts; adults carrying nesting material and females with enlarged gonads Apr, Jun–Sept and... read more


    No information; probably sedentary.  

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. No estimates of global abundance; considered generally common above 2000 m.  

    Recommended citation

    Higgins, P., Christidis, L. & Ford, H. (2020). Black-throated Honeyeater (Caligavis subfrenata). 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 27 January 2020).