Vigors & Horsfield, 1827
Wattlebirds (Anthochaera) is a genus of birds in the honeyeater family. The species are native to Australia and include the little wattlebird, the red wattlebird, the western wattlebird, and the yellow wattlebird. Recent evidence suggests the regent honeyeater belongs in this genus.
Of the five species in the genus only the yellow wattlebird and the red wattlebird have wattles. These are bare fleshy appendages, usually wrinkled and often brightly coloured, hanging from the cheeks, neck or throat, and presumably serving for display.
Some other birds also have wattles, although they are not known by the term "wattlebird". Examples include the turkey; some vultures; and several species of lapwing. The entire Callaeidae family of New Zealand, comprising the tieke (also known as the saddleback), the kokako, and the extinct huia, are also known as wattlebirds, but are unrelated to this genus.
The genus Anthochaera was introduced in 1827 by the naturalists Nicholas Aylward Vigors and Thomas Horsfield. The word Anthochaera is derived from the Greek anthos meaning flower or bloom and khairō meaning to enjoy.
The genus Anthochaera contains the following species:
- Red wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata)
- Little wattlebird (Anthochaera chrysoptera)
- Yellow wattlebird (Anthochaera paradoxa)
- Western wattlebird (Anthochaera lunulata)
- Regent honeyeater (Anthochaera phrygia)
|Cladogram showing the relationship between the wattlebirds.|
Anthochaera lunulata, western wattlebird
Anthochaera paradoxa, yellow wattlebird
Anthochaera chrysoptera, little wattlebird
Anthochaera carunculata, red wattlebird
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- Vigors, N.A.; Horsfield, T. (1827). "A description of the Australian birds in the collection of the Linnean Society; with an attempt at arranging them according to their natural affinities (Part 1)". Transactions of the Linnean Society of London. 15 (1): 170–331. The title page of the issue has the year 1826.