Family Honeyeaters (Meliphagidae)

Least Concern

Yellow-tufted Honeyeater (Lichenostomus melanops)


French: Méliphage cornu German: Gelbstirn-Honigfresser Spanish: Mielero orejigualdo

Turdus melanops


, 1801,

Nova Hollandia = region of Port Jackson, New South Wales, Australia


Distinctive race cassidix formerly considered a separate species, but shares characters with race gippslandicus, which is to some extent intermediate, although closer to cassidix; race meltoni may not be diagnostically separable from nominate#R. Four subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • L. m. meltoni (Mathews, 1912) – W watershed of Great Divide, narrowly extending to E watershed of SE Queensland, S to NE & CN Victoria, thence W to border region near South Australia, with outlying populations at high altitude in Snowy R watershed and Mt Kosciusko region (SE New South Wales).
  • L. m. melanops (Latham, 1801) – Yellow-tufted Honeyeater – New South Wales E of Great Divide.
  • L. m. gippslandicus (Wakefield, 1958) – E Victoria (W Gippsland) E to extreme SE New South Wales (Narooma and Eden).
  • L. m. cassidix (Gould, 1867) – Helmeted Honeyeater – Yellingbo area, in W Gippsland (CS Victoria).
  • Descriptive notes

    16·5–21 cm; male 16·6–30g and female 14·2–31 g (meltoni), male 23–32 g and female 22–24·5 g (nominate),... read more


    Complex and varied, and some listed calls possibly variant descriptions of others. Some calls harsh... read more


    Dry open sclerophyll forests and woodlands, typically dominated by eucalypts and with well-... read more

    Food and feeding

    Primarily arthropods (mainly insects, some spiders, occasionally gastropod snails) and insect products, such as lerp and honeydew, as well... read more


    Breeding recorded in all months, though rarely May–Jun, most clutches in Sept–Nov; at Yellingbo (race cassidix), early... read more


    Largely sedentary, with some local movements; altitudinal migration in S. Race cassidix... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Race cassidix, sometimes treated as separate species, listed as “endangered” nationally and “critically endangered”... read more

    Recommended citation

    Higgins, P., Christidis, L. & Ford, H. (2020). Yellow-tufted Honeyeater (Lichenostomus melanops). 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).