Family Honeyeaters (Meliphagidae)

Critically Endangered

Regent Honeyeater (Anthochaera phrygia)


French: Méliphage régent German: Warzenhonigfresser Spanish: Mielero regente

Merops phrygius


, 1794,

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Long placed in monotypic Zanthomiza (often erroneously emended to Xanthomyza#R, despite claims to contrary#R), but found to be closely related to A. carunculata and A. paradoxa#R. Monotypic.


Extremely patchy distribution in SE Australia from extreme SE Queensland (small numbers in most years) S through New South Wales (mainly on tablelands of Great Divide and N & C inland slopes and plains) to NE Victoria; extinct in South Australia. Throughout range, occasionally reported E or S of Great Divide in coastal and subcoastal districts.

Descriptive notes

20·4–24 cm; male 41–45·5 g, female 33–45 g. Distinctive, medium-large honeyeater with fairly heavy, decurved bill. Male is mostly black, with... read more


Typically begins calling in morning some 10–15 minutes after most other species. In CE &... read more


Prefers dry sclerophyll box-ironbark Eucalyptus woodlands and forests on inland slopes,... read more

Food and feeding

Predominantly nectar, arthropods (mainly insects), and insect and plant exudates, such as manna, lerp and honeydew; occasionally fruit.... read more


Mainly Sept–Nov but recorded in all months except Apr; in Capertee Valley (CE New South Wales) breeding may begin as early as Jul and... read more


Movements complex, poorly understood, and apparently largely governed by flowering of ... read more

Status and conservation

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED. Total population was estimated at 500–1500 individuals, within range smaller than 300,000 km2, but probably <400 individuals remained in... read more

Recommended citation

Higgins, P., Christidis, L. & Ford, H. (2019). Regent Honeyeater (Anthochaera phrygia). 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 14 November 2019).