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Lowland peltops Peltops blainvillii
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Artamidae
Genus: Peltops
Wagler, 1829

Lowland peltops
Mountain peltops

Peltops is a genus of bird in the family Artamidae. The genus contains two species endemic to the island of New Guinea. The genus was once placed with the monarch flycatchers, but molecular and morphometric studies place it closer to the butcherbirds,[1] possibly as a sister taxon to this group.[2] The genus is named for the Greek pelte meaning small shield and ops meaning face.[3] The species have also had the common name of shieldbill.

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Both species occupy rainforest on New Guinea, but are separated by altitude. The lowland peltops ranges across the island from sea level to 600 m (2,000 ft), whereas the mountain peltops ranges from 600 to 3,000 m (2,000–9,800 ft). Within the forest they are particularly common at forest openings and edges, tree falls, river edges, and other disturbed areas including human modified openings like roads and gardens. In undisturbed virgin forest they may use massive trees emerging from and above the canopy.[4]


Peltops are smaller than the butcherbirds, and have a less massive (but still large) bill than them. The mountain peltops is the larger species, at 20 cm (7.9 in), whereas the lowland peltops is slightly smaller at 18 to 19 cm (7.1–7.5 in). The hooked bill is the same size in both species, making it proportionally larger in the lowland peltops.[4]


Peltops contains the following species:


  1. ^ Sibley, CG; JE Ahlquist (1984). "The relationships of the Papuan genus Peltops". Emu. 84 (3): 181–183. doi:10.1071/MU9840181. 
  2. ^ Manegold, A (2008). "Composition and phylogenetic affinities of vangas (Vangidae, Oscines, Passeriformes) based on morphological characters". Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research. 46 (3): 267–277. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0469.2008.00458.x. 
  3. ^ Jobling, James A. (1991). A Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 176. ISBN 0-19-854634-3. 
  4. ^ a b Russell, Eleanor; Rowley, Ian (2009). "Family Cracticidae (Butcherbirds)". In del Hoyo, Josep; Elliott, Andrew; Christie, David. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 14: Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. pp. 308–342. ISBN 978-84-96553-50-7.