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Anthochaera chrysoptera

Anthochaera chrysoptera (*)

Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Aves
Subclassis: Carinatae
Infraclassis: Neornithes
Parvclassis: Neognathae
Ordo: Passeriformes
Subordo: Passeri
Parvordo: Corvida
Superfamilia: Meliphagoidea
Familia: Meliphagidae
Genus: Anthochaera
Species: Anthochaera chrysoptera
Subspecies: A. c. chrysoptera - A. c. halmaturina - A. c. tasmanica


Anthochaera chrysoptera (Latham, 1802)

Vernacular names
English: Little Wattlebird, Brush Wattlebird
Français: méliphage à gouttelettes


Supplementum indicis ornithologici p.xxxiii

The Little Wattlebird (Anthochaera chrysoptera), also known as the Brush Wattlebird, is a honeyeater, a passerine bird in the family Meliphagidae. It is found in coastal and sub-coastal south-eastern Australia.


The species was originally described by ornithologist John Latham in 1802. Its specific name is derived from the Ancient Greek chryso "golden", and pteron "wing(ed)".[2] The Western Wattlebird (A. lunulata) was considered a subspecies until recently.


The Little Wattlebird is a medium to large honeyeater, but the smallest wattlebird.[3] The appearance is similar to the Yellow Wattlebird and the Red Wattlebird.[4] The Little Wattlebird lacks the wattles[5] which characterise the wattlebirds.

Juveniles are duller with less streaking and have a browner eye.[3]

Distribution and habitat

The Little Wattlebird is found in Banksia/Eucalypt woodlands, heathlands, tea-tree scrub, sandplain-heaths, lantana thickets, wild tobacco, parks and gardens.[4]



Calls include a strident cookay-cok, a raucous fetch the gun, a mellow guttural yekkop, yekkop and many squeaky, musical lilting notes. The alarm call is a kwock or shnairt!.[4]


Breeding takes place from June to December.[4] The female wattlebird generally constructs the nest[3], a loose, untidy cup of twigs lined with shredded bark and placed from 1 to 10m high in the fork of a banksia, tea-tree or eucalypt sapling.[4] 1-2 eggs are laid and may be spotted red-brown, purplish red or salmon-pink in colour.[4] The female incubates the eggs alone.[3] Both sexes care for young chicks.[3]

Feeding on a flowering Corymbia ficifolia

Little wattlebirds feed on nectar obtained with a long, brush-tipped tongue, adapted for probing deep into flowers.[3] They also feed on insects, berries and some seeds.[3] Most feeding is done perched but some insects are caught in mid-air. Birds may feed alone or in groups.[3]


1. ^ BirdLife International (2005). Anthochaera chrysoptera. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 5 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
2. ^ Liddell, Henry George and Robert Scott (1980). A Greek-English Lexicon (Abridged Edition). United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-910207-4.
3. ^ a b c d e f g h Birds in Backyards - Little Wattlebird
4. ^ a b c d e f Pizzey, Graham; Knight, Frank (1997). Field Guide to the Birds of Australia. Sydney, Australia: HarperCollinsPublishers. p. 111. ISBN 0 207 18013 X.
5. ^ Backyard Birdwatch - Red Wattlebird

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Source: Wikipedia., Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License