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From Opus

Photo © by Neil Sydney, Australia, August 2004
Photo © by Neil
Sydney, Australia, August 2004
Zosterops lateralis

Includes: Lord Howe White-eye


[edit] Identification

Ssp tephropleurus - Lord Howe White-eyePhoto © by Mat & Cathy Lord Howe Island, New South Wales, Australia, December 2007
Ssp tephropleurus - Lord Howe White-eye
Photo © by Mat & Cathy
Lord Howe Island, New South Wales, Australia, December 2007

12cm (4¬ĺ in), 13gm.
Also known as wax-eye, or white-eye, it has a conspicuous white ring around the eye, thus giving the bird its name.
The head and upperparts are olive green with a grey band across the back, which extends around the chest.
The underparts are a peachy brown with white under the tail.

[edit] Distribution

An abundant native to Australia and New Zealand.
Recent colonist to New Zealand - 1856, at the settlement stage. The Maori name is Tauhou meaning "Stranger". Was not known in NZ until the middle of the 19th century, but it is thought that a storm caught a migrating flock and diverted them to New Zealand.
As they arrived naturally and colonised NZ on their own, they are protected like other native species.
Also found in New Caledonia, the Loyalty Islands, Vanuatu and Fiji.

[edit] Taxonomy

[edit] Subspecies

Ssp lateralisPhoto © by flossiepipDargaville, Northland, New Zealand, August 2016
Ssp lateralis
Photo © by flossiepip
Dargaville, Northland, New Zealand, August 2016

There are 16 subspecies[1]:

  • Z. l. vegetus: North East Queensland (McIlwraith Range to Burdekin River)
  • Z. l. cornwalli: East Australia (east-central Queensland to Hunter River, [[New South Wales)
  • Z. l. chlorocephalus: East Queensland (islands of Capricorn coast)
  • Z. l. westernensis: South East Australia (southeast New South Wales to Victoria)
  • Z. l. lateralis: breeds Tasmania and Flinders Island (Bass Strait); winters in coastal eastern Australia. Also colonized New Zealand in the 19th century, now resident throughout New Zealand (colonized ca 1832) and on Norfolk Island (colonized 1904)
  • Z. l. ochrochrous: King Island (Bass Strait)
  • Z. l. pinarochrous: South Australia (Eyre Peninula) to north-western Victoria and adjacent NSW
  • Z. l. chloronotus: South West Western Australia (Shark Bay to far south-western South Australia)
  • Z. l. griseonota: New Caledonia
  • Z. l. nigrescens: Loyalty Islands (Ouv√©a and Mar√©)
  • Z. l. melanops: Lifou (Loyalty Islands)
  • Z. l. macmillani: Vanuatu (Tanna and Aniwa islands)
  • Z. l. tropicus: Esp√≠ritu Santo Island (Vanuatu)
  • Z. l. vatensis: North Vanuatu, Banks Group and Torres Island
  • Z. l. valuensis: Vanua Lava Island (Vanuatu)
  • Z. l. flaviceps: Fiji Archipelago

An additional subspecies tephropleurus from Lord Howe Island is sometimes treated as full species, Lord Howe White-eye.

[edit] Habitat

Tree cover, up to 1000m

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Diet

Silvereyes feed on a variety of foods, invertebrates, fruit, and nectar and will feed in flocks over winter in gardens and parks they have a fine tapered bill and a brush tipped tongue for drinking nectar. They prefer the fruit of native trees but do feed on other fruiting species.

[edit] Breeding

As the breeding season approaches the pair break away to form individual territories. They are prolific breeders, often raising 2-3 broods, occasionally as many as 5 per season, with between 2-5 eggs per brood.

[edit] Gallery

Click on photo for larger image

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved December 2016)

[edit] External Links


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