Family Berryhunter (Rhagologidae)

Least Concern

Mottled Berryhunter (Rhagologus leucostigma)


French: Rhagologue maillé German: Beerenvogel Spanish: Silbador moteado
Other common names: Mottled Whistler, False Whistler

Pachycephala leucostigma


, 1876,

Arfak Mountains, New Guinea


Race novus sometimes synonymized with nominate#R. Male obscurus lacks most of the mottling of males in other races, giving it a different appearance, but a cline in distinctiveness of markings on males runs from W to E in New Guinea#R, and on limited evidence there are no differences in voice. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • R. l. leucostigma (Salvadori, 1876) – Vogelkop (Tamrau Mts, Arfak Mts), in NW New Guinea.
  • R. l. novus Rand, 1940 – Weyland Mts and Nassau Range (Utakwa R), in W New Guinea.
  • R. l. obscurus Rand, 1940 – mountains of C & SE New Guinea (E from Idenburg R and, on S slope, from Mt Goliath) and of Huon Peninsula.
  • Descriptive notes

    15–16·5 cm; 24–29 g. Male nominate race has forehead and crown grey, feathers broadly edged olive, forehead with whitish spots, remainder of crown with pale shaft... read more


    Song a loud series of varied notes, similar to that of a Turdus thrush.


    Lower montane forest, occasionally secondary growth; 820–2550 m, mainly above 1500 m,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Little information. Berries (to at least 9 mm in diameter), sometimes insects. Found usually in lower and middle storeys, sometimes in... read more


    Male with enlarged testes in Jul. Nest a cup of tendrils with some moss, external diameter c. 13–14 cm, external depth c. 10–11... read more


    Presumably sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Poorly known. Apparently usually uncommon, but inconspicuous and easily missed; may be fairly common locally.

    Recommended citation

    Boles, W. (2020). Mottled Berryhunter (Rhagologus leucostigma). 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 24 January 2020).