Sittellas (Neosittidae)

Varied Sittella (Daphoenositta chrysoptera) - HBW 12, p. 640

French: Néositte variée German: Spiegelkleiber Spanish: Neosita Variable
Other common names: Black-capped Sittella (pileata); Orange-winged Sittella (chrysoptera); Striated Sittella (striata); White-headed Sittella (leucocephala); White-winged Sittella (leucoptera); Papuan/Mountain Sittella (New Guinea races); Pied Sittella (“albata”)

Taxonomy: Sitta chrysoptera Latham, 1801, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Formerly placed in a separate genus, Neositta. Australian races in past treated as five separate species, but each hybridizes and backcrosses with adjacent races; New Guinea races have been treated together as representing a further, distinct species (D. papuensis). Described form albata, known only from 19th-century specimens from NE Australia (E Queensland), considered an intergrade; other proposed races from Queensland include rothschildi (NE area, S to Cairns) and magnirostris (Inkerman area), both synonymized with nominate, as also is lathami (fr.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Sitta chrysoptera Latham, 1801, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Formerly placed in a separate genus, Neositta. Australian races in past treated as five separate species, but each hybridizes and backcrosses with adjacent races; New Guinea races have been treated together as representing a further, distinct species (D. papuensis). Described form albata, known only from 19th-century specimens from NE Australia (E Queensland), considered an intergrade; other proposed races from Queensland include rothschildi (NE area, S to Cairns) and magnirostris (Inkerman area), both synonymized with nominate, as also is lathami (from E Victoria); lumholtzi (Rockhampton area of E Queensland) is treated as a synonym of leucocephala. Eleven subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • papuensis ( Schlegel, 1871) - mountains of Vogelkop Peninsula, in W New Guinea.
  • alba ( Rand, 1940) - Foya Mts, N of R Idenburg, in N New Guinea.
  • intermedia ( Junge, 1952) - W end of Snow Mts (Wissel Lakes area), in WC New Guinea.

     See all 11 subspecies
  • papuensis ( Schlegel, 1871) - mountains of Vogelkop Peninsula, in W New Guinea.
  • alba ( Rand, 1940) - Foya Mts, N of R Idenburg, in N New Guinea.
  • intermedia ( Junge, 1952) - W end of Snow Mts (Wissel Lakes area), in WC New Guinea.
  • toxopeusi ( Rand, 1940) - Snow Mts, in WC New Guinea.
  • wahgiensis ( Gyldenstolpe, 1955) - Central Highlands (Mt Hagen-Wahgi Valley), in EC New Guinea.
  • albifrons ( E. P. Ramsay, 1883) - mountains of SE New Guinea.
  • leucoptera ( Gould, 1840) - CN Australia from NE Western Australia (Kimberley region) E to SE head of Gulf of Carpentaria, S to Great Sandy Desert (in W) and about Tropic of Capricorn (in E).
  • pileata ( Gould, 1838) - C & S Western Australia (N to S Great Sandy Desert) E through S Northern Territory and South Australia to far SW Queensland, W New South Wales and NW Victoria.
  • striata ( Gould, 1869) - NE Australia from Cape York S to R Burdekin, in NC Queensland.
  • leucocephala ( Gould, 1838) - CE Australia from R Burdekin S to Queensland-New South Wales border, and inland to Great Dividing Range.
  • chrysoptera ( Latham, 1801) - SE Australia from SC Queensland S through E New South Wales and E Victoria.