Family Honeyeaters (Meliphagidae)

Least Concern

White-naped Honeyeater (Melithreptus lunatus)


French: Méliphage à lunule German: Mondstreif-Honigfresser Spanish: Mielero nuquiblanco oriental
Other common names: Eastern White-naped Honeyeater

Certhia lunata


, 1802,

Nouvelle Hollande = region of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Until recently treated as conspecific with M. chloropsis (which see). May show clinal variation in size, being slightly larger in S of range. Monotypic.


E & SE Australia from N Queensland (wet tropics) S, extending W to inland slopes of Great Divide and adjacent inland plains, to Victoria and to SE South Australia (including Kangaroo I).

Descriptive notes

10·5–15·5 cm; male 11·5–25 g and female 11·5–15 g. Adult has black cap covering top and sides of head and hindneck, arc of bare... read more


Sometimes noisy, and during breeding season continual noisy aerial chases. Most common call a half-... read more


Mainly open eucalypt forests and woodlands, especially dry sclerophyll forest or woodland, with... read more

Food and feeding

Arthropods (mainly insects, some spiders) and nectar (including of Eucalyptus, Banksia, Grevillea); occasionally... read more


Recorded in all months, but season mainly late winter to early summer, Aug–Jan (eggs Jul–Jan); usually double-brooded.... read more


Partly migratory and partly sedentary. Over much of range resident, with local movements (often... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common. No estimates of total population but recorded densities of up to c. 5 birds/ha and, exceptionally, 12·1 birds/ha. In... read more

Recommended citation

Higgins, P., Christidis, L., Ford, H. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). White-naped Honeyeater (Melithreptus lunatus). 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 28 February 2020).