Whistlers (Pachycephalidae)

Black-tailed Whistler (Pachycephala melanura) - HBW 12, p. 427

French: Siffleur à queue noire German: Mangrovedickkopf Spanish: Silbador Colinegro
Other common names: Mangrove Golden Whistler, Black-tailed Thickhead; Robust Whistler (spinicaudus)

Taxonomy: Pachycephala melanura Gould, 1843, Derby, Western Australia.
A member of a species group that includes also P. orpheus, P. nudigula, P. meyeri, P. soror, P. lorentzi, P. schlegelii, P. implicata, P. pectoralis, P. caledonica, P. jacquinoti, P. flavifrons and P. aurea. Previously treated as a race of P. pectoralis, but the two meet or overlap in range without interbreeding in NE Australia and most of Bismarck Archipelago; on other hand, apparent hybrid populations exist on islands E & S of Bougainville and probably on islands off E New Guinea. Race whitneyi.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Pachycephala melanura Gould, 1843, Derby, Western Australia.
A member of a species group that includes also P. orpheus, P. nudigula, P. meyeri, P. soror, P. lorentzi, P. schlegelii, P. implicata, P. pectoralis, P. caledonica, P. jacquinoti, P. flavifrons and P. aurea. Previously treated as a race of P. pectoralis, but the two meet or overlap in range without interbreeding in NE Australia and most of Bismarck Archipelago; on other hand, apparent hybrid populations exist on islands E & S of Bougainville and probably on islands off E New Guinea. Race whitneyi may be closer to P. pectoralis or a hybrid. Races intergrade in Australia: proposed races hilli (NW Western Australia) and violetae (NW Northern Territory) are intergrades between nominate and robusta. Described taxon bynoei (W Western Australia) is a synonym of robusta. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • melanura Gould, 1843 - coasts of N & NW Western Australia (Kimberley and Pilbara).
  • robusta Masters, 1876 - N Western Australia (from about Cambridge Gulf) E across coastal Northern Territory (including islands of Bathurst, Melville and Groote Eylandt) to N & NE Queensland (W & E sides of Cape York Peninsula, S on E coast to around Shoalwater Bay).
  • spinicaudus ( Pucheran, 1853) - S New Guinea (from Merauke E along coast to Hall Sound) and islands in Torres Strait.

     See all 5 subspecies
  • melanura Gould, 1843 - coasts of N & NW Western Australia (Kimberley and Pilbara).
  • robusta Masters, 1876 - N Western Australia (from about Cambridge Gulf) E across coastal Northern Territory (including islands of Bathurst, Melville and Groote Eylandt) to N & NE Queensland (W & E sides of Cape York Peninsula, S on E coast to around Shoalwater Bay).
  • spinicaudus ( Pucheran, 1853) - S New Guinea (from Merauke E along coast to Hall Sound) and islands in Torres Strait.
  • dahli Reichenow, 1897 - Bismarck Archipelago (Long I, Witu Is, Blanche Bay, islands in Bungula Bay, Duke of York Is, Talele, Uatom, Palikuru Is, Nusa, Malie, Nissan I) and SE New Guinea coast E from Hall Sound, including Fergusson I and other islands off tip.
  • whitneyi E. J. O. Hartert, 1929 - Whitney, Momalufu and Akiri (W of Shortland I), in extreme NW Solomon Is.
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