Aphantochroa gularis

Puce-throated Humming-Bird

Banks of the Napo

If this bird had not a small patch of luminous colour on the throat, white under tail-coverts, and a somewhat more lengthened bill, it would so closely resemble the Aphantochroa cirrhochloris that one might almost be induced to believe it to be identical with that species.

There can be no doubt, however, that the two birds are specifically distinct; indeed, I have for a long time entertained a belief that the bird here represented should not only be generically separated from that species, but from every other known HummingBird. The single individual which graces my own collection is the only one that has ever come under my notice; it was procured in the neighbourhood of the river Napo; and when the vast forests bordering that river have been more minutely explored, other specimens will doubtless be discovered, and we shall then be in possession of materials which will enable us to come to a more just conclusion respecting it than we can with that we at present possess.

The luminous mark on the throat reminds us of a similar feature in Phaiolaima rubinoides and P. Æquatorialis; but the tails of those species are very different from that of the subject of the present memoir, both in size and colouring.

Crown shining grass-green; back of the neck, shoulders, back, upper tail-coverts, and two centre tailfeathers deep grass-green; under surface of the body grass-green, with the exception of a glittering patch of lilac on the throat and centre of the abdomen, and the thighs and under tail-coverts, which are white; primaries purplish brown; four outer tail-feathers on each side purplish green; bill slightly curved and black, with the exception of the base of the under mandible, which appears to have been flesh-colour.

The accompanying Plate gives a very correct representation of this rare species, of the size of life. The plant (Leucothoë pulchra) is from the same country; but I am not sure that the bird and the plant are ever in such close juxtaposition as I have represented them.


  • Aphantochroa? gularis, Gould in Proce. of Zool. Soe., part xxviii. p. 310.

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