Family Honeyeaters (Meliphagidae)

Least Concern

Yellow-gaped Honeyeater (Microptilotis flavirictus)


French: Méliphage souriant German: Gelbkinn-Honigfresser Spanish: Mielero sonriente

Ptilotis flavirictus


, 1880,

Fly River, south New Guinea


Races appear moderately distinct, but intergrade on S slopes of Snow Mts; study of vocalizations needed. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. f. crockettorum (Mayr & Meyer de Schauensee, 1939) – Grey-legged Honeyeater – W & N New Guinea from Vogelkop E to Sepik R and Herzog Mts and, in S, to Utakwa R (Nassau Mts), Snow Mts and probably farther E towards Fly R.
  • M. f. flavirictus (Salvadori, 1880) – Yellow-gaped Honeyeater – S watershed of Central Range from middle and lower Fly R E to S slopes of SE New Guinea.
  • Descriptive notes

    15 cm; one male 20 g, one unsexed 17 g (nominate), one male 22 g (crockettorum). Nominate race is rather pale greyish-olive above, side of head greyer, and with dark... read more


    Single-note nasal “kwek”; series of short, bubbling and descending “chip”... read more


    Primary forest and edge, including foothill forest and monsoon rainforest; nominate race also in... read more

    Food and feeding

    Arthropods (mainly insects), and almost certainly fruit and nectar. Forages in canopy, often in flowering or fruiting trees (e.g. among... read more


    No information.


    Resident at Crater Mt and probably throughout range; some local movements.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. No estimates of total population but apparently generally rather rare, or at least easily overlooked. Considered possibly the rarest of the New... read more

    Recommended citation

    Higgins, P., Christidis, L. & Ford, H. (2020). Yellow-gaped Honeyeater (Microptilotis flavirictus). 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).