Family Honeyeaters (Meliphagidae)

Least Concern

Plain Honeyeater (Pycnopygius ixoides)


French: Méliphage ocré German: Bülbülhonigfresser Spanish: Mielero bulbul

Ptilotis ? ixoides


, 1878,

Sorong, Vogelkop Peninsula, New Guinea


Distributional limits and validity of races poorly understood, and listed ranges may be somewhat tentative. Race cinereifrons perhaps better included in nominate#R. Proposed race simplex (middle Sepik region) generally considered inseparable from proximus. Five subspecies provisionally recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. i. ixoides (Salvadori, 1878) – NW New Guinea E to head of Geelvink Bay and, in S, to about Mimika R and including Weyland Mts.
  • P. i. proximus (Madarász, 1900) – N New Guinea from Mamberamo R E to Astrolabe Bay.
  • P. i. unicus Mayr, 1931 – NE New Guinea (Huon Peninsula and slopes of Herzog Mts).
  • P. i. cinereifrons Salomonsen, 1966 – S New Guinea from Mimika R E to upper reaches of Fly R (absent from S Trans-Fly), and apparently also to Port Moresby district.
  • P. i. finschi (Rothschild & E. J. O. Hartert, 1903) – SE New Guinea on N watershed of ranges from Kumusi R E to Milne Bay and on S watershed E of Port Moresby (usually absent from S coast).
  • Descriptive notes

    18 cm; male 28–33 g and female 22–31 g (nominate), unsexed 26–34 g (proximus). A medium-sized nondescript honeyeater with rather small head, and... read more


    Typically quiet or silent. Calls include “petrt” or “peetrt”, similar to... read more


    Forest, including hill forest, also forest edge and tall secondary growth; mainly in old secondary... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet small fruits (including of Pipturus) and nectar, and almost certainly small arthropods; described as primarily frugivorous.... read more


    No information.  


    Probably largely resident throughout range.  

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Generally rare, uncommon or sparse to locally common, but said to be easily overlooked. Described as abundant at Baiyer River Sanctuary and in Maprik... read more

    Recommended citation

    Higgins, P., Christidis, L. & Ford, H. (2020). Plain Honeyeater (Pycnopygius ixoides). 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).