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Species Guide

Wattled Ploughbill

Eulacestoma nigropectus

The Wattled Ploughbill, Eulacestoma nigropectus, is a diminutive avian species, the sole representative of its genus and family. This New Guinea native is a songbird of modest size, measuring between 12.5 to 14 cm in length and weighing in at 19 to 22 grams. The male is particularly striking with its black underparts, a resplendent golden forehead, and black wings adorned with golden scapulars. Most notable are the male's large, circular pink wattles that grace each cheek. The female, by contrast, is clad in more subdued olive green plumage above and pale olive below, lacking the male's distinctive wattles.

Identification Tips

When identifying the Wattled Ploughbill, look for the male's unique cheek wattles and the strong, thick, wedge-shaped black bill. The male's contrasting black and gold plumage is also a key identifier. Females, while lacking the wattles, can be recognized by their consistent olive green coloration.


The Wattled Ploughbill is endemic to the central mountain ranges of New Guinea, where it frequents the forest understory to mid-levels, often in bamboo groves.


This species is restricted to New Guinea, where it is found in suitable habitats throughout the central mountains.


The Wattled Ploughbill is an insectivorous bird, foraging from the forest floor to heights of up to 10 meters. It exhibits a preference for bamboo groves within its forest habitat. The bird actively searches for insects on branches and twigs, employing its robust bill to glean insects from surfaces and to pry off bark in search of hidden prey. It is known to participate in mixed-species feeding flocks.

Conservation status

The Wattled Ploughbill is classified as Least Concern by the IUCN, thanks to its widespread distribution across a large range. Its population appears to be stable, without immediate threats that could lead to a rapid decline.

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