Yellow-spotted or Graceful Honeyeater?

To: Martin Butterfield <>
Subject: Yellow-spotted or Graceful Honeyeater?
From: Andrew Taylor <>
Date: Sun, 15 Sep 2013 13:03:43 +1000
On Sun, Sep 15, 2013 at 10:35:56AM +1000, Martin Butterfield wrote:
> As the range of both these species is (unfortunately) some 1000s of
> kilometres from anywhere that I am likely to be in the near future I have
> not paid full attention to this discussion.  However given the subtleties
> of distinguishing the species on field marks I wonder whether thought has
> been given to uniting them as a single species.
> I realise that until Apple or Google release their DNA sequencing app the
> nuances of appearance will have to do for field work, but I wonder if a
> taxonomist could comment on the degree of difference between the genetic
> composition of the two species and whether they could be considered for
> lumping?

Not a taxonomist, but  Yellow Spotted & Graceful can recognize
each other by call without worrying about the plumage subtleties
discussed in this thread.

DNA-based studies suggest Yellow-spotted & Lewin's are sister taxa which
arose (split) in Australia and Graceful is their closest relative but
is thought to have invaded Australia from PNG about a million years
ago. Paper here but maybe you need to join researchgate to see it:


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