SPECIES

Capped White-eye Zosterops fuscicapilla Scientific name definitions

Natalia C. García, Bas van Balen, Josep del Hoyo, David Christie, and Nigel Collar
Version: 2.0 — Published May 13, 2022

Systematics

Systematics History

This species was originally described in 1875 (11), and subspecies Zosterops fuscicapilla crookshanki was described in 1935 (9) based on specimens from Goodenough Island. This subspecies has been granted full species status in the past, based mainly on differences in eye-ring size, iris coloration, body size, and a seemingly very different song (4, 9). Some authors consider that a population of this species that was discovered on Fergusson Island belongs to Zosterops fuscicapilla crookshanki and therefore reinforces the case for species rank for this subspecies (4). However, birds from Fergusson Island also share traits with the nominate subspecies, like the black crown and head sides, unlike birds from Goodenough Island. Thus, birds from Fergusson Island could represent an intermediate form between nominate and Zosterops fuscicapilla crookshanki, or may represent an undescribed subspecies.

The present species has also been treated as conspecific with Black-headed White-eye (Zosterops hypoxanthus), to which subspecies fuscicapilla is very similar.

Geographic Variation

Zosterops fuscicapilla crookshanki males have olive-colored head with black loral area (Goodenough Island) or black extending from forehead and lores to crown and head-sides (Fergusson Island), in both cases with a prominent broad white eye-ring; upperparts yellowish olive-green, rump olivaceous, upperwing-coverts and tertials with paler and brighter greenish edgings, outer remiges and tail dull brownish; throat and underparts rather dull yellowish olive; iris silver-gray; bill dark gray to blackish, mandible with base lighter gray; legs gray. The female is similar, perhaps somewhat duller than male.

Previous authors (12), employing a quantitative criteria for species delimitation (13, 14) (from which scores in brackets are derived), treated Zosterops fuscicapilla crookshanki as a full species based on its markedly broader eye-ring [2]; silver-gray vs brown iris [3, assuming that iris color is pale on Goodenough Island]; less yellow, more olivaceous on rump and underparts [1]; browner tail (ns[1]); larger size [at least 1]; and seemingly very different song on basis of published descriptions (9, 4).

Subspecies


EBIRD GROUP (MONOTYPIC)

Capped White-eye (Capped) Zosterops fuscicapilla fuscicapilla Scientific name definitions

Distribution

Mountains of western and central New Guinea (Tamrau, Arfak, Fakfak, and Wandammen Mountains, Foja Mountains, West Central Ranges, Cyclops Mountains, and North Coastal Range).

Identification Summary

Forehead, lores and a streak under eye-ring black, extending over anterior part of crown and merging with green nape; eye-ring white, rather narrow, broken at front by black spot; upperparts dark yellowish olive green, rump yellower; wingtips and tail dusky brownish; throat and underparts yellowish olive green, becoming almost pure lemon yellow on center of belly and undertail coverts.


EBIRD GROUP (MONOTYPIC)

Capped White-eye (Oya Tabu) Zosterops fuscicapilla crookshanki Scientific name definitions

Distribution

Fergusson Island and Goodenough Island (D’Entrecasteaux Islands) (4).

Identification Summary

Olive-colored head with black loral area (Goodenough Island) or black extending from forehead and lores to crown and head-sides (Fergusson Island); prominent broad white eye-ring; upperparts yellowish olive-green, rump olivaceous, upperwing-coverts and tertials with paler and brighter greenish edgings, outer remiges and tail dull brownish; throat and underparts rather dull yellowish olive.

Related Species

Based on a study analyzing the phylogenetic relationships of the numerous species in this genus using many genetic markers, the sister species of Zosterops fuscicapilla is New Guinea White-eye (Zosterops novaeguineae). The affinities with other Australasian Zosterops are not clear (15).

Nomenclature

Also called Western Mountain or Yellow-bellied Mountain White-eye (16). In Hewa, a Sepik language of northern Papua New Guinea, white-eyes are collectively referred to as Yenuk (17).

Oya Tabu White-eye is commonly used for subspecies Zosterops fuscicapilla crookshanki, especially when considered a separate species.

Fossil History

No information available.

Recommended Citation

García, N. C., B. van Balen, J. del Hoyo, D. A. Christie, and N. Collar (2022). Capped White-eye (Zosterops fuscicapilla), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (S. M. Billerman and B. K. Keeney, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.capwhe3.02