Family Cuckooshrikes (Campephagidae)

Least Concern

Melanesian Cicadabird (Edolisoma remotum)


French: Échenilleur des Bismarck German: Bismarckraupenfänger Spanish: Oruguero remoto

Edoliisoma [sic] remotum


, 1878,

New Hanover


Until recently considered conspecific with E. tenuirostre (now broken into nine species), but differs from mainland New Guinea taxon E. t. muellerii in its (in female) rich rufous vs buffy-whitish underparts (3); rufous-tinged vs dead grey-tinged upperparts (2); and broad rufous vs narrow buffy-grey wing fringes (2). Races admiralitatis, matthiae, heinrothi, rooki and nisorium are barred below, while ultimum, saturatius and erythropygium are unbarred, in a “leap-frog” pattern across the range. Form admiralitatis reported as being genetically distinctive, rendering species as arranged here polyphyletic#R; it differs, however, from races heinrothi and rooki only in its rather smaller size and more rufous-toned female, so confirmation of the molecular finding and research into vocalizations seem necessary before further action is taken. Nine subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • E. r. admiralitatis Rothschild & E. J. O. Hartert, 1914 – Admiralty Cicadabird – Admiralty Is.
  • E. r. matthiae Sibley, 1946 – N Bismarck Archipelago (Storm I, St Matthias Is).
  • E. r. remotum Sharpe, 1878 – Melanesian Cicadabird – Bismarck Archipelago (New Ireland, New Hanover, Feni Is).
  • E. r. ultimum (Mayr, 1955) – Tabar, Lihir and Tanga Is (off New Ireland).
  • E. r. heinrothi Stresemann, 1922 – New Britain.
  • E. r. rooki Rothschild & E. J. O. Hartert, 1914 – Umboi I (W of New Britain).
  • E. r. saturatius Rothschild & E. J. O. Hartert, 1902 – N & C Solomon Is (Buka I, Bougainville I, Choiseul, New Georgia Group, Santa Isabel).
  • E. r. nisorium Mayr, 1950 – SC Solomons (Russell Is).
  • E. r. erythropygium Sharpe, 1888 – S Solomons (Guadalcanal, Malaita).
  • Descriptive notes

    25 cm; 55–62 g. Adult male is dark blue-grey with indistinct blackish facial mask, pale-fringed black wings, which can form a silvery panel on secondaries, and black tail... read more


    Varies geographically, between subspecies: song is a loud, ringing series of 10–70 downslurred,... read more


    Forest, including secondary areas, and forest edge, from sea-level to 1410 m.

    Food and feeding

    Diet basically unknown, but is presumably largely insect-based. Found singly or in pairs in canopy and midstorey of forest, gleaning prey... read more


    Apparently nothing known, other than that a fledgling was recorded in Nov in Admiralty Is (Manus), indicating breeding in Oct.



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Population is currently considered to be stable and species has a comparatively large range (estimated at 659,000 km²). Uncommon to... read more

    Recommended citation

    del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Melanesian Cicadabird (Edolisoma remotum). 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 17 February 2020).