We describe a new species of smoky honeyeater from the Foja Mountains, an isolated range in western New Guinea (Papua Province, Indonesia). A common inhabitant of montane forest and forest-edge in this little-known north coastal range, this species possesses a fleshy pendant suborbital wattle, unique in the genus Melipotes, among other characteristics that distinguish it from all congeners. This fleshy wattle provides a morphological link between Melipotes and the monotypic genus Macgregoria, an alpine inhabitant of the Central Ranges of New Guinea, traditionally treated as a bird of paradise (e.g., Frith and Beehler 1998) but now regarded as the sister genus to Melipotes (Cracraft and Feinstein 2000). The presence of an endemic meliphagid species in the Foja Mountains highlights the biogeographic significance and conservation importance of this geographically isolated upland forest tract, which is also home to the endemic Golden-fronted Bowerbird (Amblyornis flavifrons) and Berlepsch's Parotia (Parotia berlepschi), a distinctive, recently rediscovered species of six-wired bird of paradise (B. M. Beehler unpubl. data).
Una Especie Nueva de Melipotes (Meliphagidae) del Oeste de Nueva Guinea