Family Honeyeaters (Meliphagidae)

Least Concern

Spotted Honeyeater (Xanthotis polygrammus)


French: Méliphage moucheté German: Drosselhonigfresser Spanish: Mielero manchado

Ptilotis polygramma

G. R. Gray

, 1862,

Waigeo, West Papuan Islands


Race kuehni included in poikilosternos and candidior in lophotis by some recent authors#R. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • X. p. polygrammus (G. R. Gray, 1862) – Waigeo, in West Papuan Is.
  • X. p. kuehni E. J. O. Hartert, 1930 – Misool, in West Papuan Is.
  • X. p. poikilosternos A. B. Meyer, 1874 – Salawati (in West Papuan Is), and mountains of NW & W New Guinea (Vogelkop and E at least to Victor Emanuel Mts).
  • X. p. septentrionalis Mayr, 1931 – mountains of N New Guinea from Mamberamo R E, including Foja Mts, Cyclops Mts and mountains of Sepik R region, to Adelbert Mts.
  • X. p. lophotis Mayr, 1931 – mountains of Huon Peninsula and SE New Guinea.
  • X. p. candidior Mayr & Rand, 1935 – S New Guinea (S Trans-Fly region).
  • Descriptive notes

    15–17 cm; male 19·7–23·5 g and female 18–19·5 g (lophotis), 19 g and 25 g (poikilosternos), one male 20 g (kuehni... read more


    Fairly quiet, but small groups can be noisy. Vocalizations include brief upslurred disyllabic... read more


    Lowland, foothill and lower montane primary rainforest, foothill monsoon forest, secondary forest,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Primarily insectivorous; also takes nectar and fruit, including figs (Ficus). Forages mainly in canopy to lower middle storey (... read more


    Single record (without details) in Mar, and indirect evidence of breeding in Sept (one in breeding condition), Oct (three females with... read more


    Few data. Resident at Crater Mt and Brown R (E & SE New Guinea), probably with some local... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Generally common to uncommon. Estimated density in lowland rainforest near Port Moresby (SE New Guinea) 1 bird/10 ha. No estimates of global... read more

    Recommended citation

    Higgins, P., Christidis, L. & Ford, H. (2020). Spotted Honeyeater (Xanthotis polygrammus). 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).