Painted Berrypeckers (Paramythiidae)

Crested Berrypecker (Paramythia montium) - HBW 13, p. 348

French: Paramythie huppée German: Schopfbeerenfresser Spanish: Picabayas Crestado
Other common names: Mountain Berrypecker; Olivaceous Berrypecker (“olivacea group”)

Taxonomy: Paramythia montium De Vis, 1892, Mount Suckling, south-eastern New Guinea.
Affinities of this genus and Oreocharis have long been uncertain; traditionally placed in flowerpecker family (Dicaeidae), and suggested by some authors as being aberrant bulbuls (Pycnonotidae); recently, both genera included with berrypeckers and longbills in family Melanocharitidae. Both, however, are well differentiated from these other families in external morphology and in aspects of nidification, and molecular-genetic analyses also support treatment as a separate family. Races form two groups, "olivacea group" (with alpina) in W and "nominate group" (with brevica.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Paramythia montium De Vis, 1892, Mount Suckling, south-eastern New Guinea.
Affinities of this genus and Oreocharis have long been uncertain; traditionally placed in flowerpecker family (Dicaeidae), and suggested by some authors as being aberrant bulbuls (Pycnonotidae); recently, both genera included with berrypeckers and longbills in family Melanocharitidae. Both, however, are well differentiated from these other families in external morphology and in aspects of nidification, and molecular-genetic analyses also support treatment as a separate family. Races form two groups, "olivacea group" (with alpina) in W and "nominate group" (with brevicauda) in E; these sometimes considered two separate species, and evidence of intergradation between the two groups is lacking, but specimens from area between Snow Mts and Star Mts of WC New Guinea required for further study. Subspecific separation of populations in Weyland Mts and Snow Mts region of W New Guinea has been considered inadvisable, and recognition of altitudinal race alpina therefore made with reservation; further analysis of specimens needed. Proposed race occidentis (from Hellwig Mts, on S slopes of Snow Mts) regarded as a synonym of olivacea. Four subspecies tentatively recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • olivacea van Oort, 1910 - W New Guinea (Weyland Mts and Snow Mts).
  • alpina Salomonsen, 1961 - area surrounding Mt Wilhelmina (= Mt Trikora) and Mt Carstenz (= Mt Jaya), on upper slopes of Snow Mts (Nassau Range), in W New Guinea.
  • montium De Vis, 1892 - mountains of C, E & SE New Guinea (E from Star Mts).
  • brevicauda Mayr & Gilliard, 1954 - mountains of Huon Peninsula, in NE New Guinea.

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