Family Honeyeaters (Meliphagidae)

Least Concern

Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater (Acanthagenys rufogularis)


French: Méliphage à bavette German: Braunkehl-Honigfresser Spanish: Mielero golicanelo

Acanthagenys rufogularis


, 1838,

New South Wales, Australia


Specimen supposedly from an island in Torres Strait described as race parkeri; however, locality appears doubtful and specimen probably mislabelled. Monotypic.


Australia mainly S of c. 19–20° S (only scattered records in far SW, in S Victoria and E of Great Divide).

Descriptive notes

22–27 cm; male 39–77 g, female 34–57 g. Plumage is mostly olive-grey above, finely mottled blackish on crown and hindneck and streaked blackish on mantle,... read more


Generally noisy, with often reedy and liquid vocalizations; heard throughout day, more in morning.... read more


Arid and semi-arid shrublands and woodlands, mainly those dominated by Acacia, especially... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly fruit, nectar and arthropods (mainly insects, some spiders); also seeds; occasionally small vertebrates (including lizards and... read more


Recorded in all months, eggs in Jun–Mar (75% in late Aug to mid-Nov); in E of range (Queensland S to South Australia and Victoria)... read more


Apparently mainly resident, or present throughout year, over much of range. Possibly partly... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Rather uncommon to locally common. Densities of up to 0·13 birds/ha in Big Desert (NW Victoria), and 0·07–1·15 birds/ha at... read more

Recommended citation

Higgins, P., Christidis, L. & Ford, H. (2020). Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater (Acanthagenys rufogularis). 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).