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Wattled ploughbill

Wattled ploughbill
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Eulacestomatidae
Schodde & Christidis, 2014
Genus: Eulacestoma
De Vis, 1894
E. nigropectus
Binomial name
Eulacestoma nigropectus
De Vis, 1894

The wattled ploughbill (Eulacestoma nigropectus) is a small bird from New Guinea. It is the only member of the monotypic genus Eulacestoma and family Eulacestomatidae. It is also known as the wattled shrike-tit or ploughshare tit.[2]


The wattled ploughbill was formally described in 1894 by the English naturalist Charles Walter De Vis. He introduced a new genus Eulacestoma and coined the binomial name Eulacestoma nigropectus.[3][4] The genus name combines the Ancient Greek eulaka meaning "ploughshare" with stoma meaning "mouth". The specific epithet is from the Latin niger meaning "black" and pectus meaning "breast".[5]

The wattled ploughbill was long thought to be related to the whistlers (Pachycephalidae), and shriketits (formerly Pachycephalidae, now often treated as its own family). In particular the wattled ploughbill and crested shriketit share a similar large bill. Genetic studies have shown that these birds are not closely related, and the wattled ploughbill is instead more closely related to the sittellas.[6] Because of its genetic and morphological uniqueness, in 2014 Richard Schodde and Leslie Christidis placed it in its own monotypic family Eulacestomatidae.[7][8]

The wattled ploughbill is a monotypic species, meaning it has no accepted subspecies. A subspecies clara has been proposed, but it is not reliably distinct from other birds in this species.[8][9]


It is approximately 12.5 to 14 cm (4.9–5.5 in) , olive-brown songbird with a strong, thick, wedge-shaped black bill. It weighs 19–22 g (0.67–0.78 oz). The sexes are different. The male has black underparts, an almost golden forehead, black wings with golden scapulars, and a pair of large circular pink wattles on the cheek. The female has olive green plumage and pale olive below. Only the adult male has wattles.[9]

Distribution and habitat

The wattled ploughbill is distributed and endemic to central mountain ranges of New Guinea.[citation needed]


The diet consists mainly of insects. The species feeds from the forest floor to up to 10 m (33 ft), from the understory to the mid-level of the forest. It particularly favours groves of bamboo as a micro-habitat for feeding. It forages on branches and twigs, gleaning insects from the surface and prising off bark to expose prey. The species will readily join mixed-species feeding flocks.[9]


Widespread throughout its large range, the wattled ploughbill is evaluated as least concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2016). "Eulacestoma nigropectus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T22705592A94026010. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22705592A94026010.en. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  2. ^ Eulacestoma nigropectus. New Guinea Birds.
  3. ^ De Vis, Charles Walter (1894). "Appendix EE: Report on ornithological specimens collected in British New Guinea" (PDF). Annual Report on British New Guinea from 1st July, 1893 to 30th June 1894, with Appendices. Brisbane: Edmund Gregory. pp. 99–105 [102].
  4. ^ Paynter, Raymond A. Jr, ed. (1986). Check-List of Birds of the World. Vol. 12. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Museum of Comparative Zoology. p. 3.
  5. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 152, 272. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  6. ^ Aggerbeck, M.; Fjeldså, J.; Christidis, L.; Fabre, P.-H.; Jønsson, K.A. (2014). "Resolving deep lineage divergences in core corvoid passerine birds supports a proto-Papuan island origin". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 70: 272–285. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2013.09.027. PMID 24125832.
  7. ^ Schodde, R.; Christidis, L. (2014). "Relicts from Tertiary Australasia: undescribed families and subfamilies of songbirds (Passeriformes) and their zoogeographic signal". Zootaxa. 3786 (5): 501–522. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.3786.5.1. PMID 24869551.
  8. ^ a b Gill, Frank; Donsker, David; Rasmussen, Pamela, eds. (January 2021). "Bristlehead, butcherbirds, woodswallows, Mottled Berryhunter, ioras, cuckooshrikes". IOC World Bird List Version 12.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 14 December 2022.
  9. ^ a b c Boles, W. (2020). del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J.; Christie, D.A.; de Juana, E. (eds.). "Wattled Ploughbill (Eulacestoma nigropectus), version 1.0". Birds of the World. Ithaca, NY, USA: Cornell Lab of Ornithology. doi:10.2173/bow.comcha.01. S2CID 216157865. Retrieved 14 December 2022.
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Wattled ploughbill
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