Meliphagidae Phylogeny

To: Greg Oakley <>
Subject: Meliphagidae Phylogeny
From: Brian Fleming <>
Date: Wed, 01 Sep 2004 17:27:34 +1000
Greg Oakley wrote:
> This paper is actually quite fascinating - some of it is pretty heavy
> going, but there are some interesting findings ­ eg. in a subclade of
> Clade 4 of Meliphagidae, it was found that there is a 'sister'
> relationship between the Painted and Striped HE, and even more
> unexpected, the Blue-faced HE is not closely related to miners and
> wattlebirds, but is more aligned to the Melithreptus group
> (White-naped HE)! It is also mentioned that despite the large size
> difference between these genera, the plumage of the BF/HE is
> remarkably similar to that of Melithreptus.
> Cheers,
> Greg
This is fascinating - I have always thought of the Blue-faced HE as a
super-size Melithreptus: it's very nice to have my completely
unqualified notions confirmed by science. It has never seemed to have
anything of the Miner group's 'style', nor to resemble the Wattlebirds.
I wish I had seen Regents often enough to have an opinion of their
resemblance to Wattlebirds.
Anthea Fleming
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