Meliphagidae (honeyeaters)

Phylogenetic placement: Passeri: Meliphagida: Meliphagoidea

Distribution: Philippines, Wallacea and Bali, Australia and New Guinea, New Zealand

Number of extant genera: 55 (56)

Number of extant species: ~194 (including Gymnomyza aubryana, incertae sedis)


Andersen MJ, Naikatini A, and Moyle RG (2014), A molecular phylogeny of Pacific honeyeaters (Aves: Meliphagidae) reveals extensive paraphyly and an isolated Polynesian radiation, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 71, 308-315. (abstract) 

Andersen MJ, McCullough JM, Friedman NR, Peterson AT, Moyle RG, Joseph L, and Nyári ÁS  (2019), Ultraconserved elements  resolve genus-level relationships in a major Australasian bird radiation (Aves: Meliphagidae), Emu 119, 218-232. (abstract)

Barker FK, Barrowclough GF, and Groth JG (2002) A phylogenetic hypothesis for passerine birds: taxonomic and biogeographic implications of an analysis of nuclear DNA sequence data, Proc. R. Soc. B 269, 295-308 (abstract)

Barker FK, Cibois A, Schikler P, Feinstein J, and Cracraft J (2004) Phylogeny and diversification of the largest avian radiation, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci U.S.A. 101, 11040-45. (pdf) 

Christidis L, and Norman JA (2010), Evolution of the Australasian songbird fauna, Emu 110, 21-31. (abstract) 

Driskell AC, and Christidis L (2004), Phylogeny and evolution of the Australo-Papuan honeyeaters (Passeriformes, Meliphagidae),  Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 31, 943-960. (abstract)

Ericson PGP, Christidis L, Irestedt M, and Norman JA (2002), Systematic affinities of the lyrebirds (Passeriformes: Menura), with a novel classification of the major groups of passerine birds, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 25, 53-62. (abstract)

Ericson PGP, Klopfstein S, Irestedt M, Nguyen JMT, and Nylander JAA (2014), Dating the diversification of the major lineages of Passeriformes (Aves), BMC Ecol. Evol. 14, e:8. (free pdf) 

Gardner JL, Trueman JWH, Ebert D, Joseph L, and Magrath RD (2010), Phylogeny and evolution of the Meliphagoidea, the largest radiation of Australasian songbirds, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 55, 1087-1102. (abstract)

Joseph L, Toon A, Nyári ÁS, Longmore NW, Rowe KMC, Haryoko T, Trueman J, and Gardner JL (2014), A new synthesis of the molecular systematics and biogeography of honeyeaters (Passeriformes: Meliphagidae) highlights biogeographical and ecological complexity of a spectacular avian radiation, Zool. Scr. 43, 235-248. (abstract)

Kuhl H, Frankl-Vilches C, Bakker A, Mayr G, Nikolaus G, Boerno ST, Klages S, Timmermann B, and Gahr M (2021), An unbiased molecular approach using 3'UTRs resolves the avian family-level tree of life, MolBiolEvol. 38, 108-127. (pdf)

Marki PZ, Jønsson KA, Irestedt M, Nguyen JMT, Rahbek C, and Fjeldså J (2017), Supermatrix phylogeny and biogeography of the Australasian Meliphagides radiation (Aves: Passeriformes), Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 107, 516-529. (abstract)

McCullough JM, Joseph L, Moyle RG, and Andersen MJ (2019), Ultraconserved elements put the final nail in the coffin of traditional use of the genus Meliphaga (Aves: Meliphagidae), Zool. Scr. 48, 411-418. (abstract)

Miller ET, and Wagner SK (2014), The vocalisations and species status of the White-lined and Kimberley Honeyeaters, Emu 114, 116-120 (abstract)

Nyàri ÁS, and Joseph L (2011), Systematic dismantlement of Lichenostomus improves the basis for understanding relationships within the honeyeaters (Meliphagidae) and the historical development of Australo‐Papuan bird communities, Emu 111, 202-211. (abstract)

Oliveros CH, Field DJ, Ksepka DT, Barker KF, Aleixo A, Andersen MJ, Alström P, Benz BW, Braun EL, Braun MJ, Bravo GA, Brumfield RT, Chesser RT,  Claramunt S, Cracraft J, Cuervo AM, Derryberry EP, Glenn TC, Harvey MG, Hosner PA, Joseph L, Kimball RT, Mack AL, Miskelly CM, Peterson AT, Robbins MB, Sheldon FH, Silveira LF, Smith BT, White ND, Moyle RG, and Faircloth BC (2019), Earth history and the passerine superradiation, PNAS 116, 7915-25. (pdf)

Sarker S, Athukorala A, Talukder S, and Phalen DN (2020), Phylogenetic analyses to uncover the evolutionary relationship of a newly sequenced mitochondrial genome from an Eastern spinebill (Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris), Mitochondrial DNA B 5, 3234-38. (pdf)

Yabaki M, Winkworth RC, McLenachan PA, Aalbersberg W, Winder L, Trewick SA, and Lockhart PJ (2016), Placing the Fijian Honeyeaters within the meliphagid radiation: implications for origins and conservation, Pac. Conserv. Biol. 22, 262-271. (abstract)

Stiller J, Feng S, Chowdhury AA, Rivas-González I, Duchêne DA, Fang Q, Deng Y, Kozlov A, Stamatakis A, Claramunt S, Nguyen JMT, Ho SYW, Faircloth BC, Haag J, Houde P, Cracraft J, Balaban M, Mai U, Chen G, Gao R, Zhou C, Xie Y, Huang Z, Cao Z, Yan Z, Ogilvie HA, Nakhleh L, Lindow B, Morel B, Fjeldså J, Hosner PA, da Fonseca RR, Petersen B, Tobias JA, Székely T, Kennedy JD, Reeve AH, Liker A, Stervander M, Antunes A, Tietze DT, Bertelsen M, Lei F, Rahbek C, Graves GR, Schierup MH, Warnow T, Braun EL, Gilbert MTP, Jarvis ED, Mirarab S, and Zhang G (2024), Complexity of avian evolution revealed by family-level genomes, Nature (preview pdf)