Papuan Spine-tailed Swift
05 40 043 Mearnsia novaeguineae
Common Name Papuan Needletail, New Guinea Spine-tailed Swift and Papua Spinetail
Range New Guinea
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Class Aves
Order Apodiformes
Family Apodidae
Genus Mearnsia
Species Mearnsia novaeguineae
Conservation Status
Least Concern

The Papuan spine-tailed swift (Mearnsia novaeguineae), also known as the Papuan needletail, New Guinea spine-tailed swift or Papua spinetail, is a species of small (11.5 cm in length), stocky swift with a short, rounded tail and very fast flight. Head and upperparts glossy blue-black, white or whitish belly and undertail coverts, dark underwing with pale central stripe. The small spines at the end of the tail are not visible in flight.


Endemic to New Guinea where it is widespread in the lowlands and hills up to 550 m. It has been recorded from Boigu Island, Queensland, Australian territory in north-western Torres Strait.


Forest edges, gardens and cleared areas with standing dead trees.


Flying insects.


Nests in a high tree hollows.


Common and widespread species assessed as being of Least Concern.

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