Port Jackson, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Traditionally treated as including P. teysmanni, P. fulvotincta, P. orioloides, P. feminina, P. vitiensis, P. mentalis and P. par, thereby constituting some 59 valid subspecies; in past, also included P. melanura, and as many as 73 races recognized#R. This complex of taxa has been notoriously difficult to reduce into coherent taxonomic units owing to mosaic and inconstant plumage patterns. Recent trend has been to accept moderately well-defined groups identified by detailed morphological analysis#R (outlined in HBW) as species#R#R supplemented by biogeographical considerations and splits deriving from potentially revolutionary but incomplete and partially contradictory molecular studies#R#R. Published rearrangements are, however, no less arbitrary and no more robust than traditional treatment, and this is true also of the arrangement offered here, which results from a partial review of morphological evidence and a consideration of modern treatments and findings in the literature. Species limits are here very tentatively based on a general sharing of characters, with usually no attempt to apply the Tobias criteria owing to incomplete character constancy. Comprehensive work is needed in order to provide vocal, ecological, behavioural and molecular evidence to support or revise these proposals. Present species defined entirely on basis of the constant characters of a white chin and throat and black breastband in all taxa except the large-billed, yellow-throated fuscoflava, which merits particular attention, and the “hen-feathered” xanthoprocta, which appears to be close to contempta. Races vanikorensis, intacta, chlorura, cucullata and littayei recently assigned to P. caledonica by some authors#R#R, but this is unsupported by morphological or indeed molecular#R evidence (see P. caledonica). Races sharpei and dammeriana, although little different in plumage, indicated by molecular work#R to be anomalously positioned, as is fuscoflava; the same molecular study has been invoked to give balim species status#R#R. NW Australian populations of fuliginosa found to be more closely related to P. melanura, and proposed for species rank under the reinstated name occidentalis#R; reinstatement of name accepted here, but taxon provisionally retained as race of present species pending further clarification. Molecular study#R indicates validity of race arthuri, which was previously synonymized with calliope but is longer-billed and yellower-naped. Other proposed races include alfurorum (Seram), included in macrorhyncha, and queenslandica (Big Tableland, in NE Queensland) and ashbyi (S Queensland, extreme N New South Wales), included in nominate. Name chlorura awarded precedence over cucullata by First Reviser#R#R. Thirty-one subspecies recognized.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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