Chlorostilbon stuebeli

Stübel’s Emerald

Illustration not included in supplement volume

This species, which we have not seen, was discovered by Dr. Stübel in the province of Yungas, in Bolivia.

It is described by Dr. Meyer, as follows:—

Upper surface bronzy green; head coppery; below golden green, the breast bluish; wings purplish brown; tail black, tinged with violet-purple; bill black. Total length 3·1 inches, wing 1·9, tail 1·0, bill 0·7.

Dr. Meyer has sent us the following translation of his original article:—

Dr. Stübel procured the specimen described, on the 15th of December, 1876, when descending from the village Yumata (2200 metres) to the Rio Tanampaya (1200 metres).

Besides the type specimen, Dr. Stiibel got from the same spot another specimen, which appears to be rather young, the bronze glow being less conspicuous. I have named the species in honour of its discoverer.

Besides these two examples, the Dresden Museum possesses a similar specimen without any exact habitat; but the colour of the tail is rather faint and deeper black, and some grey terminal spots appear to prove a still younger stage of plumage.

These birds belong to the section of the genus Chlorostilbon, which Elliot separated as a group, with black bills (see Syn. Troch. p. 243). This author enumerates three species, C. angustipennis, C. atala, and C. prasinus; but C. stuebelii cannot be referred to any one of these, on account of the form of its tail, not to mention the colour; it cannot be referred to C. angustipennis, as the tail of this species is forked and much longer; nor to C. atala, the tail of which is emarginated and bluish black; nor to C. prasinus, the tail of which is short, straight, and bluish black. The form of the tail of C. stuebelii is slightly emarginated, the rectrices being rather broad. In consideration of the high and isolated habitat, I do not doubt that C. stuebelii is a good species, the more so as C. atala, which it resembles in certain characters, only occurs on Trinidad.

I remarked, en passant, that some specimens of C. angustipennis (Fras.), in the Dresden Museum, have not a totally black bill, as this is lighter at the base of the mandibles. Elliot (l. c. p. 246) says that the black bill is the single character to be relied on for distinguishing C. angustipennis, together with the forked tail; but, according to what I have here stated, this character is not to be fully relied on.

[R. B. S.]


  • Chlorostilbon stubelii, Meyer, in Madarasz, Zeitschr. ges. Orn. 1. p. 206 (1884).

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