Family Honeyeaters (Meliphagidae)

Least Concern

Moluccan Myzomela (Myzomela simplex)


French: Myzomèle des Moluques German: Molukken-Rußhonigfresser Spanish: Mielero moluqueño

Myzomela simplex

G. R. Gray

, 1861,



Hitherto treated as conspecific with M. obscura, along with M. rubrotincta and M. rubrobrunnea. Differs from M. obscura in reddish vs whitish wing fringes (2); lack of vague blackish throat-stripe (2); shade darker tail (1); notably smaller size (effect size for male tails −3.24, score 2). Differs from rubrotincta in its much paler, all-grey underparts (3); lack of red on upperparts save on wing fringes (3); and discernibly smaller size (mean male bill length 17.9 mm vs 19.6, but sample size for latter 4; allow 2). Differs from M. rubrobrunnea in its plain grey vs dark greyish-brown crown (clear-cut from nape) (3); lack of red in body plumage (4); and slightly smaller size (sample size for latter 2; ns). Two subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. s. mortyana E. J. O. Hartert, 1903 – Morotai, off N Halmahera.
  • M. s. simplex G. R. Gray, 1861 – Halmahera, Ternate, Tidore, Kasiruta, Bacan and Damar (N Moluccas).
  • Descriptive notes

    13–15 cm. Adult is generally dull drab-brown with a variable pink wash on breast that is mostly indiscernible in the field; flight and tail feathers fringed red (hard to see... read more


    Song of nominate is composed of tinkling repetitions of “tsit-tsut, tsit-tsut” notes, while that of... read more


    Mainly in primary forest and tall secondary forest, including edges. Recorded from sea-level to at... read more

    Food and feeding

    Virtually no information, but diet and foraging behaviour probably not dissimilar to those of formerly conspecific M. obscura.... read more


    Apparently nothing known.


    Presumably resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Restricted-range species: confined to the Northern Maluku EBA. Moderately common throughout range. On Halmahera, the people of... read more

    Recommended citation

    del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Moluccan Myzomela (Myzomela simplex). 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).