Slaty robin

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Blue-grey robin
Blue-grey Robin, Ambua Lodge, PNG (5939530851).jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Petroicidae
Genus: Peneothello
Species: P. cyanus
Binomial name
Peneothello cyanus
(Salvadori, 1874)
  • Myiolestes cyanus
    Salvadori, 1874
  • Poecilodryas cyana
    (Salvadori, 1874)
  • Poecilodryas cyanea
  • Poecilodryas cyanopsis
    Sharpe, 1901
  • Poecilodryas cyanus salvadorii
    Rothschild & Hartert, 1900 (non Madarász, 1900: preoccupied)
  • Poecilodryas subcyanea
    de Vis, 1897

The slaty robin (Peneothello cyanus), also known as the blue-grey robin, is a species of bird in the family Petroicidae, present in the New Guinea Highlands and sparsely in the island's northern areas. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forests.

Described by Italian naturalist Tommaso Salvadori in 1874, the slaty robin is a member of the Australasian robin family Petroicidae, or Eopsaltridae.[2] Sibley and Ahlquist's DNA-DNA hybridisation studies placed this group in a Corvida parvorder comprising many tropical and Australian passerines including pardalotes, fairy-wrens, honeyeaters and crows.[3] However, subsequent molecular research (and current consensus) places the robins as a very early offshoot of the Passerida (or "advanced" songbirds), within the songbird lineage.[4]

Measuring 14 to 15 cm (5.5 to 5.9 in), the slaty robin has fairly uniform blue-grey plumage, which is slightly lighter underneath and slightly darker on the cheeks and face. The tail and flight feathers are grey-black. The bill and feet are black, and the eyes are dark brown.[5]

The slaty robin is found in the highlands of New Guinea from altitudes of 900 to 2,750 m (2,950 to 9,020 ft). Within the rainforest it is found in pairs in the understory or on the ground. It is insectivorous, and hunts by gleaning. It eats ants, beetles, and thyonnid wasps.[5]

The nest is a deep cup made of rootlets and lined with moss, and is generally placed in a tree fork around 6 m (20 ft) above the ground. One or two pale-greenish or olive eggs splotched with olive or brown are laid, and measure 23.5 mm x 17–19 mm.[5]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Peneothello cyanus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ * Boles, Walter E. (1988). The Robins and Flycatchers of Australia. Sydney: Angus & Robertson. p. 35. ISBN 0-207-15400-7. 
  3. ^ Sibley CG, Ahlquist JE (1990). Phylogeny and Classification of Birds: A Study in Molecular Evolution. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. pp. 603, 610–27. ISBN 0-300-04085-7. 
  4. ^ Barker, F. Keith; Cibois, Alice; Schikler, Peter A.; Feinstein, Julie & Cracraft, Joel (2004). "Phylogeny and diversification of the largest avian radiation" (PDF). PNAS. 101 (30): 11040–45. PMC 503738Freely accessible. PMID 15263073. doi:10.1073/pnas.0401892101. Retrieved 2008-08-14. 
  5. ^ a b c Coates, Brian J. (1990). The Birds of Papua New Guinea. II. Queensland: Dove Publications. p. 199. ISBN 978-0-9590257-1-2. OCLC 153651608.