Black-eared catbird

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Black-eared catbird
Ailuroedus melanotis -Australia-6a.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Ptilonorhynchidae
Genus: Ailuroedus
Species: A. melanotis
Binomial name
Ailuroedus melanotis
GR Gray, 1858

See text

The black-eared catbird (Ailuroedus melanotis) is a species of bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchidae) which can be found northern Queensland and New Guinea, including its surrounding islands. They are named after their cat-like wails and black ear spot. It is described by its Latin name: ailur-cat, oidos-singing, melas-black and otus-ear.[2]

Until 2016, A. melanotis was given the English common name of spotted catbird, this name has now been reassigned to A. maculosus. Martin Irestedt and colleagues examined the black-eared, spotted- and green catbird species complex genetically and found there were seven distinct lineages: the green catbird (A. crassirostris) of eastern Australia and the spotted catbird (A. maculosus) of eastern Queensland being the earliest offshoots, followed by the Huon catbird (A. astigmaticus) and black-capped catbird (A. melanocephalus) of eastern New Guinea, the Arfak catbird (A. arfakianus) of the Bird's Head (Vogelkop) Peninsula, the northern catbird (A. jobiensis) of central-northern New Guinea, and black-eared catbird (A.melanotis) of southwestern New Guinea, Aru Islands and far North Queensland.[3] These latter six species were all formerly subspecies before being split from A. melanotis.


Three subspecies are recognized:[4]

  • A. m. facialisMayr, 1936: found on southern slopes of montane west-central New Guinea
  • A. m. melanotisGray, 1858: found on lowland south-central New Guinea and Aru Islands
  • A. m. joanaeMathews, 1941: found on eastern Cape York Peninsula (northeastern Australia)


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Ailuroedus melanotis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ Lederer, R. and Burr, C. 2014. Latin for Birdwatchers. – Allen & Unwin.
  3. ^ Irestedt, Martin; Batalha-Filho, Henrique; Roselaar, Cees S.; Christidis, Les; Ericson, Per G. P. "Contrasting phylogeographic signatures in two Australo-Papuan bowerbird species complexes (Aves: Ailuroedus)". Zoologica Scripta. doi:10.1111/zsc.12163.
  4. ^ IOC v.6.3