White-winged robin

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White-winged robin
White-winged Robin (2914587778).jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Petroicidae
Genus: Peneothello
Species: P. sigillata
Binomial name
Peneothello sigillata
(De Vis, 1890)

Peneothello sigillatus

The white-winged robin (Peneothello sigillata) is a species of bird in the family Petroicidae.

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The white-winged robin is found in New Guinea. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forests. It is found in the highlands of New Guinea at elevations of 2,400 to 3,900 metres (7,900 to 12,800 ft) and is replaced by the slaty robin at lower elevations.


Measuring 14 to 15 centimetres (5.5 to 5.9 in), the adult white-winged robin has black plumage, with largely white wings. The male and female are identical. The bill and feet are black, and the eyes are dark brown. Juveniles have a variable streaked brown plumage.[2]


Within the forest the robin is found in pairs or small troops of several birds in the understory or on the ground. It is insectivorous, but does also eat some seeds.[2] The somewhat bulky cup-shaped nest is constructed in a tree fork.[2]


Described by English naturalist Charles Walter De Vis in 1890, the white-winged robin is a member of the Australasian robin family Petroicidae, or Eopsaltridae.[3] 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.[4] 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.[5]


Within the species, three subspecies are recognised – the nominate which is found on the main mountain range along New Guinea from the Bismarck Range eastwards, subspecies hagenensis from Mount Hagen west into Irian Jaya, and subspecies saruwagedi of the Huon Peninsula.[2]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2009). "Peneothello sigillatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 4 August 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d Coates, Brian J. (1990). The Birds of Papua New Guinea. Volume II. Queensland: Dove Publications. pp. 197–98. ISBN 978-0-9590257-1-2. OCLC 153651608. 
  3. ^ * Boles, Walter E. (1988). The Robins and Flycatchers of Australia. Sydney: Angus & Robertson. p. 35. ISBN 0-207-15400-7. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ 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. doi:10.1073/pnas.0401892101. PMC 503738Freely accessible. PMID 15263073. Retrieved 2008-08-14.