Family Honeyeaters (Meliphagidae)

Least Concern

Western Spinebill (Acanthorhynchus superciliosus)


French: Méliphage festonné German: Buntkopf-Honigfresser Spanish: Picoespina occidental

Acanthorhynchus superciliosus


, 1837,

Van Diemen’s Land; error = district of Perth, Western Australia


Sister-species of A. tenuirostris#R. Monotypic.


SW Western Australia mainly in coastal and subcoastal regions, from Eneabba S to Pingelly and Fitzgerald R, thence E to Israelite Bay and Cape Arid National Park.

Descriptive notes

12·5–15·5 cm; male 9–11·5g, female 8–11 g. Small honeyeater with long slender, decurved bill and moderately long tail. Male is largely... read more


Song, throughout day when nesting, described as fluted, metallic whistles and twitterings, or... read more


Mainly habitats dominated by or supporting Banksia but also with other Proteaceae, e.g.... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly nectar, also small invertebrates (insects). Forages at all levels from ground to canopy (to 30 m or more above ground), mainly in... read more


Mainly spring-summer, eggs early Aug to late Oct and mid-Dec, nestlings mid-Aug to late Nov and fledglings mid-Sept to early Dec;... read more


Mainly resident, with some local movements; scattered records N of main range. Some seasonal... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Reasonably common. No estimates of global population; density 0·004 birds/ha at one site. Has suffered from clearing of native vegetation for... read more

Recommended citation

Higgins, P., Christidis, L. & Ford, H. (2020). Western Spinebill (Acanthorhynchus superciliosus). 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 20 February 2020).