Delattria viridipallens

Green-throated Cazique


The Delattria viridipallens is a native of Guatemala and Mexico. The specimens from which MM. Bourcier and Mulsant took their description were brought to Europe by M. De Lattre, who obtained them at Coban; others, in my own collection, have been sent to me by my friend George Ure Skinner, Esq., from Guatemala, where they had been procured and beautifully prepared by M. Riviera Paz. The species offers but little to recommend it to our notice, for its structure exhibits no peculiarity, nor is its plumage conspicuous for beauty,—indeed it is its want of colour that is its principal characteristic; even the pale green colouring of the throat, which suggested the specific appellation of viridipallens, is not very bright or glittering, and hence I have not sought the aid of a metallic agent in depicting it, but have depended upon ordinary means for its faithful representation.

Like Delattria Henrici and D. delattria-clemenciæ, this bird bears the semi-crescentic mark of white behind the eye, and like them, too, presents a similar difference in the colouring of the throat of the two sexes, the female being destitute of the green hue which decorates that part in the male.

The male has the head, upper surface, wing-coverts and flanks coppery green, the coppery hue prevailing on the lower part of the back and rump; behind the eye a semi-crescentic mark of white; throat pale green; breast and abdomen white; under tail-coverts pale greenish grey, fringed with white; wings purplish brown; central tail-feathers bluish brown; the remainder brownish grey, the grey tint becoming gradually more apparent or stronger as the feathers recede from the centre; bill black; feet dark brown.

The female is very similar, but has the throat greyish white instead of green; and the lateral tail-feathers of a paler hue than those of the male.

The birds are represented of the natural size, on the Oncidium ornithorhynchum, one of the beautiful Orchids of Guatemala.


  • Trochilus viridi-pallens, Boure. et Muls. Ann. de la Soe. Sci. de Lyons, 1846, p. 321.—Ib. Rey. Zool. 1846, p. 316.
  • Polytmus viridi-pallens, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 108, Polytmus, sp. 57.
  • Delattria viridi-pallens, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 70, Delattria, sp. 2.
  • Thaumantias viridipallens, Bonap. Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 255.
  • Agyrtria viridipallens, Reichenb. Aufz. der Colibris, p. 10.

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