Cœligena hemileuca

White-bellied Cacique

This bird was originally described by Mr. Salvin as an Oreopyra, but he now considers that it might be more correctly placed in the genus Delattria.

This species has the under surface of the body white like C. viridipallens, but is easily distinguished from that bird by its amethyst-coloured throat. It has at present only been found in Costa Rica, where it replaces C. viridipallens of Guatemala.

The following is a translation of Mr. Salvin’s description:—

Back, sides, and lesser wing-coverts green; crown, sides of head, and chin brilliant glittering green; a long post-ocular streak of white extending as far as the nape, the latter blackish green; throat amethyst, the breast and the abdomen entirely white, the vent rather more ashy; wings dull purplish black; tail ashy green, the two centre feathers green, the others with a subterminal band of bronzy green, the tips themselves whitish; bill black; feet dusky. Adult female with the head and the throat plain, the terminal spot of the outer tail-feathers larger in size.

Total length 4 inches, wing 2·6, tail 1·45, long tail-feathers 1·55, bill from gape 0·95.

We have represented in the Plate two males and a female of the natural size.

[R. B. S.J


  • Oreopyra hemileuca, Salvin, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1864, p. 584.
  • Cœligena hemileuca, Elliot, Synopsis of the Humming-Birds, p. 31 (1878).

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