Calothorax Calliope

Mexican Satellite

The table lands of Northern Mexico and California

For the discovery of this elegant little Calothorax, science is indebted to the late Signor Damiano Floresi d’Areais, a gentleman endowed with so many amiable qualities, that while his friends dwell with pleasure upon the recollections of the gratification they derived from his society, they as deeply and mournfully regret his premature decease from fever immediately on landing in the pestilential country of Panama.

The name of Floresi will also always be held in high regard among Trochilidists for the fine collections of Humming-Birds obtained by him during his lengthened sojourn on the table-lands of Mexico, and from the circumstance of several of the species he procured being new to science; the little Satellite figured on the accompanying Plate is one of them. Of the history of this species, nothing more, I regret to say, 1s known than that it was procured in the neighbourbood of the Real del Monte mines, and that it occasionally and very sparingly visited that region, probably during its migrations from some more distant locality: had it been a stationary species in that part of the country, the vigilance displayed by Signor Floresi in the pursuit of this group of birds would have led to the capture of a larger number of specimens; but this not being the case, it continues so rare, that I know of not more than two or three collections besides my own which contain examples. Its diminutive size, short and square-formed tail, and the delicate colouring of its starry throat, render it conspicuously different from every other species. The female bears a general resemblance to the female of Selasphorus? Heloisæ, but differs in the colouring of the base of the outer tail-feathers, which are grey instead of reddish-buff; the entire tail too is shorter, and assumes much of the square form of that of the male sex.

The male has the upper surface bronzy-green; wings and tail greyish-brown; feathers of the throat elongated, narrow, and of a rich pinky-scarlet, with white bases arranged in a starred form; breast, centre of the abdomen and under tail-coverts white; flanks light bronzy-green; bill and feet blackish-brown.

The female has the upper surface golden-bronze; wings greyish-brown; tail-feathers greenish-grey at the base, the remainder black, with the exception of the two outer feathers on each side, which are tipped with white; under surface buffy-white, very minutely speckled with brown on the throat, and stained with buff on the abdomen and under tail-coverts.

The Plate represents a male and a female of the size of life. The plant is Gilia dianthoides.


  • Trochilus (Calothorax) Calliope, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., part xv. p. 11.
  • Calothorax Calliope, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 110, Calothorax, sp. 11.—Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 85, Calothorax, sp. 2.—Reich. Aufz. der Col., p. 13.—Bonap. Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 297.
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