Family Honeyeaters (Meliphagidae)

Least Concern

Purple-gaped Honeyeater (Lichenostomus cratitius)


Taxonomy

French: Méliphage grimé German: Purpurzügel-Honigfresser Spanish: Mielero de boqueras
Taxonomy:

Ptilotis cratitius

Gould

, 1841,

interior of South Australia and Kangaroo I = Kangaroo Island, South Australia

.

Type locality formerly thought to be mainland South Australia (either “interior of South Australia” or “Upper Torrens” R), but shown to be Kangaroo I; as a result, mainland populations took oldest applicable name, occidentalis. Name halmaturinus (type from Kangaroo I) becomes junior synonym of nominate. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • L. c. occidentalis Cabanis, 1851 – mallee from S Western Australia (area from Wheatbelt E to Kalgoorlie, S to Albany and Cape Arid) E, discontinuously, to S South Australia and the SW Murray Mallee E to NW & NC Victoria.
  • L. c. cratitius (Gould, 1841) – Kangaroo I, off South Australia.
  • Descriptive notes

    16–19 cm; male 19·5–24·7g and female 15·5–22·5 g (occidentalis), four males 12·5–23·2 g and two... read more

    Voice

    Sometimes noisy; at Eyre Bird Observatory (Western Australia) most vocal Sept–Oct.... read more

    Habitat

    Mallee eucalypt associations, preferring mallee heathland, but also often in mallee woodland and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Invertebrates (mostly insects, including psyllids and coccids; some spiders) and nectar (frequently of Eucalyptus, Banksia... read more

    Breeding

    Mainly spring and autumn, apparently also unseasonally after rain; clutches recorded Aug–Nov, Jan and Mar–Apr. Nest built... read more

    Movements

    Resident, with local movements in response to food availability, particularly flowering eucalypts.... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon. No estimates of total population; recorded densities of 0·02 to c. 5 birds/ha. Numbers have declined following clearing, degradation... read more

    Recommended citation

    Higgins, P., Christidis, L. & Ford, H. (2018). Purple-gaped Honeyeater (Lichenostomus cratitius). 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 https://www.hbw.com/node/60298 on 19 October 2018).