- Yellow-tufted Honeyeater
name = Yellow-tufted Honeyeater
status = LC | status_system = IUCN3.1
phylum = Chordata
classis = Aves
genus = "
species = "L. melanops"
binomial = "Lichenostomus melanops"
binomial_authority = Latham, 1802
The Yellow-tufted Honeyeater "(Lichenostomus melanops)" is a
passerinebird found in the south-east ranges of Australiafrom south-east Queenslandthrough eastern New South Walesand across Victoria into the tip of Southeastern South Australia. A predominantly black and yellow honeyeater, it is split into three subspecies.
It was initially described by ornithologist John Latham in 1802 and given several names, initially "Muscicapa auricomis" and later "Turdus melanops". [Latham, J. (1802). "Supplementum Indicis Ornithologici, sive Systematis Ornithologiae." London: G. Leigh, J. & S. Sotheby 74 pp.] The latter name was retained as a "
nomen protectum" and the former a " nomen oblitum" as the epithet "melanops" has been used consistently for over a century. It belongs to the honeyeaterfamily Meliphagidae. More recently, DNAanalysis has shown honeyeaters to be related to the Pardalotidae, and the Petroicidae(Australian robins) in a large corvid superfamily; some researchers considering all these families in a broadly defined Corvidae.
It is 17-23 cm long, with females usually smaller, and has a bright yellow forehead, crown and throat, a black mask and a yellow ear and forehead tuft. The back is olive-green and underparts more olive-yellow.cite book | author = Simpson K, Day N, Trusler P | title = Field Guide to the Birds of Australia | publisher = Viking O'Neil | date = 1993 | location = Ringwood, Victoria | pages = 392 | id = ISBN 0-670-90478-3]
Four races are distinguished:
*"L.m. cassidix": "(Endangered)" Known as the Helmeted Honeyeater, and initially described by
John Gouldas a separate species "Ptilotis cassidix" in 1867. [Gould, J. (1867). "The Birds of Australia. Supplement." London: J. Gould Pt 4 81 pls pp. [pl. 39] ] This race is restricted to a five km length of remnant bushland along two streams in the Yellingbo Nature Conservation Reserve, 50 km east of Melbournein Victoria. It is the brightest and largest (weight 28 - 32 g) subspecies. In 2003 there were 103 individuals in the wild with 20 breeding pairs known as well as a further 34 birds in captivity at the Healesville Sanctuary.cite web | author = Menkhorst P, Smales I, Quin B | title = Helmeted Honeyeater Recovery Plan 1999-2003 | publisher = Australian Government, Department of the Environment and Water Resources | date = 2003 | url = http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/recovery/helmeted-h-eater/index.html | accessdate = 2007-06-21]
*"L.m. meltoni": The inland subspecies is smaller and duller in plumage with a smaller tuft. It was described by G. M. Mathews in 1912. [Mathews, G.M. (1912). A Reference-List to the Birds of Australia. "Novit. Zool". 18: 171-455  ]
Distribution and habitat
The Helmeted Honeyeater subspecies is largely restricted to dense vegetation along riverbanks, dominated by the Mountain Swamp Gum "(
Eucalyptus camphora)" with a dense understorey of sedges and tussock grasses. [McMahon, A.R.G. and Franklin, D.C. 1993. The significance of Mountain Swamp Gum for Helmeted Honeyeater populations in the Yarra Valley. "Victorian Naturalist" 110: 230-237.]
Yellow-tufted Honeyeaters, as a species, are not listed as threatened on the Australian
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999or on any state-based legislation. However, at the subspecies level, the Helmeted Honeyeater ("L. m. cassidix") is considered to be a threatened species:
* This subspecies is listed as endangered on the Australian
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
* This subspecies is listed as threatened on the Victorian
Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act (1988). [ [http://www.dse.vic.gov.au/DSE/nrenpa.nsf/LinkView/EADA0F1874AF9CF24A2567C1001020A388BBA5581CF9D859CA256BB300271BDB Department of Sustainability and Environment, Victoria] ] Under this Act, an "Action Statement" for the recovery and future management of this species has been prepared. [ [http://www.dse.vic.gov.au/DSE/nrenpa.nsf/LinkView/617768308BCB666E4A25684E00192281E7A24BB36FF60A144A256DEA00244294 Department of Sustainability and Environment, Victoria] ]
* On the 2007 advisory list of threatened vertebrate fauna in Victoria, the Helmeted Honeyeater is listed as
critically endangered.cite book | author = Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment | title = Advisory List of Threatened VertebrateFauna in Victoria - 2007 | publisher = Department of Sustainability and Environment | date = 2007 | location = East Melbourne, Victoria | pages = 15 | url = | id = ISBN 978-1-74208-039-0 ]
Food includes lerps and other invertebrates, as well as nectar from eucalypts and other flowers.
Breeding takes place between July and January, with one or two broods each season. The nest is a cup-shaped structure of dried grasses, bits of bark and other plant material usually in a fork of a tree 3-4 m (10-12 ft) above the ground. Two or three eggs are laid, pinkish in colour blotched with pale reddish- or buff-brown. [cite book | last = Beruldsen | first = G | title = Australian Birds: Their Nests and Eggs | publisher = self | date = 2003 | location = Kenmore Hills, Qld | pages = 308-309 | doi = | id = ISBN 0-646-42798-9]
* Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
* [http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/species/index.html?action=SpcHTMDetails.asp&sid=5288&m=0 BirdLife Species Factsheet]
* [http://www.redlist.org/search/details.php?species=50764 IUCN Red List]
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