Family Honeyeaters (Meliphagidae)

Least Concern

Long-billed Honeyeater (Melilestes megarhynchus)


French: Méliphage à long bec German: Langschnabel-Honigfresser Spanish: Mielero piquilargo

Ptilotis megarhynchus

G. R. Gray

, 1858,

Aru Islands


Population of Yapen I and N New Guinea (Geelvink Bay E to Astrolabe Bay) previously recognized as race stresemanni, but now merged with vagans, from which no reliable distinguishing features known#R; birds on Batanta I appear intermediate between vagans and nominate. Proposed race brunneus (Arfak Mts) included in nominate. Two subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. m. vagans (Bernstein, 1864) – West Papuan Is (Waigeo and Batanta), Yapen I and N New Guinea from Geelvink Bay E to Astrolabe Bay.
  • M. m. megarhynchus (G. R. Gray, 1858) – West Papuan Is (Salawati and Misool), NW, S & E New Guinea (Vogelkop E to Weyland Mts and to Astrolabe Bay, Huon Peninsula and Milne Bay); Aru Is.
  • Descriptive notes

    20–23 cm; male 43–49·5 g and female 36·3–47·5 g (nominate), male 47–57 g and female 36–48 g (stresemanni). Drab... read more


    Usual call a repeated whistled trisyllabic “whit whit whit” or “whit tt whit... read more


    Dense vegetation in primary rainforest (but not monsoon forest), forest edge, tall riparian forest... read more

    Food and feeding

    Small arthropods (insects and spiders), small lizards (Scincidae), nectar, occasionally fruit (usually small, including raspberries);... read more


    Season appears bimodal, from middle dry season to early wet season and, again, towards end of wet season (no breeding at height of wet... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Generally common, although lack of conspicuousness gives impression of rarity; considered abundant at Crater Mountain Wildlife Management Area;... read more

    Recommended citation

    Higgins, P., Christidis, L. & Ford, H. (2019). Long-billed Honeyeater (Melilestes megarhynchus). 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 15 December 2019).