Cœligena Prunelli

Prunelle’s Cœligene

Andes of New Granada. Common in collections from Bogota.

This, like most of the straight-billed Humming-birds, is a native of Columbia and New Grenada; it is a most interesting and attractive species, and is plentifully sent to this country from Bogota: seldom indeed does a collection arrive from that part of South America which does not contain examples.

M. Bourcier gives the environs of Facativa, in Columbia, as one of the localities in which specimens have been procured. The conspicuous white mark on the side of the chest, beautifully relieved by the black of the surrounding parts, the glittering glaucous green of the shoulders, and the variegated colouring of the back, all tend to render it remarkably different from its congeners. The specific name, bestowed upon this bird by M. Bourcier, is intended as a compliment to Dr. Prunelle, one of the scientific celebrities of the city of Lyons.

The sexes present no marked difference in their colouring, but the female is rather less brilliant, and somewhat smaller than her mate.

General plumage dark purplish-black; a bronzy gloss on the forehead; a narrow mark of bluish-green on the lower part of the throat; on each side the chest a large and conspicuous patch of white; wing-coverts steel-blue with green reflexions; wings dark purplish-brown; tail dark velvety purplish-black; under tailcoverts fringed with white; back and upper tail-coverts, when viewed from behind a mass of colour, of which language can convey no idea, being a mingling of crimson, green, purple and red, changing with the direction of the rays of light, or perfectly iridescent; bill black; feet fleshy-brown.

The figures are of the natural size. The plant is a portion of the Chamædorea Ernesti-Augusti.


  • Trochilus Prunelli, Boure. Ann. de la Soc. Sci. de Lyon, tom. vi. 1843, p. 36. pl. 1.—Ib. Rev. Zool. 1843, p. 70.
  • Mellisuga Prunellei, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 112, Mellisuga, sp. 11.
  • Homophania Prunellii, Reich. Aufz. der Col., p. 10.
  • Bourcieria prunellii, Bonap. Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 292.

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