Myzomela nigriventris Peale

Black-bellied Honeyeater (Myzomela nigriventris)

The Black-bellied Honeyeater is still regarded as a subspecies of the Cardinal Honeyeater (Myzomela cardinalis (Gmelin)), which, in view of the distribution of these two species, makes no sense.

In fact this bird is an endemic species of the Samoan Islands. It, however, seems to be restricted to the three largest islands, Savai’i, Tutuila and ‘Upolu, where it is nevertheless very common and can even be found in settled areas.

The Black-bellied Honeyeater is about 12 to 13 cm in length, and shows an conspicuous sexual dimorphism, the males being brightly black and red in colour, while the females are brownish.

The bird feeds on nectar, but takes also various insects and other small invertebrates like snails etc..

The Samoan name of the bird is segasegamau’u. [1]



[1] Ulf Beichle; Sabine Baumann: Die Landvögel der Samoa-Inseln. Übersee-Museum Bremen 2003



Photo: Tavita Togia

(under creative commons license (4.0))


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