Family Berrypeckers and Longbills (Melanocharitidae)

Least Concern

Obscure Berrypecker (Melanocharis arfakiana)


French: Piquebaie obscur German: Arfakbeerenpicker Spanish: Picabayas oscuro

Dicaeum arfakianum


, 1900,

Arfak Mountains, New Guinea


Perhaps forms a species-pair with M. nigra. Monotypic.


E half of New Guinea: Tabubil area (in Western Province), Keki (in Adelbert Mts), Boana (near Lae), and near Port Moresby at Efogi (on the Kokoda Trail) and Varirata. Also Arfak Mts (NW New Guinea), but no records subsequent to its original discovery there.

Descriptive notes

11·5 cm; 11·5 g. Very small, quite short-tailed arboreal berrypecker with distinctively pale stubby bill. Upperparts are dull brownish to olive-greenish, with... read more


Very rapid swizzling “swizzly swizzly swizzly swit” series, sometimes shortened, given... read more


Hill forest, forest edge and secondary growth, also native gardens adjacent to forest; from 640 m... read more

Food and feeding

Few data on diet. Known to take small berries; one specimen had arthropod remains in stomach. Seen singly or in presumed pairs. Strongly... read more


Probable juveniles seen in Jul and Oct, mutual chasing by presumed paired individuals in May–Aug, and family party of four at Efogi... read more


Resident, perhaps moving locally in response to fruiting of trees. Found in same sites around... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Restricted-range species: present in West Papuan Highlands EBA and Central Papuan Mountains EBA. One of the least-known New Guinea... read more

Recommended citation

Gregory, P. & Sharpe, C.J. (2019). Obscure Berrypecker (Melanocharis arfakiana). 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 25 March 2019).