Diphlogæna Aurora

Bolivian Rainbow

Peru; locality the same as D. Iris.

The beautiful bird to which I have given the name of Diphlogena Iris, and the one represented in the accompanying plate, were both collected by M. Warszewicz; and two finer or more interesting species are scarcely to be found among the Trochilidæ.

It is very unfortunate that the traveller, of whose intrepidity I have so often had occasion to speak, did not ascertain the sexes of these birds by dissection; had this been done, the doubt which has arisen in my mind as to whether this may be a distinct species, or merely a female of D. Iris, would have been dispelled; as it is, the point must remain to be decided by future research. Since my original description was published in the ‘Proceedings of the Zoological Society’ for 1853, I have examined the collection of birds contained in the Museum at Dresden, and thereby ascertained that the bird to which Dr. Reichenbach has given the specific name of Warszewicsii is precisely identical with my D. Aurora, It isa question which name has the priority; but I believe that mine was first given; for I know that all the Humming-Birds collected by M. Warszewicz were sent direct to George Ure Skinner, Esq., and by him at once handed over to me, and those that were new were immediately described; a few, and only a few, were retained by M. Warszewicz, and afterwards sent to Berlin, whence some of them found their way to Dresden.

It is now pretty certain that both these fine birds were collected in the Andes of La Paz, in Bolivia, and not in Peru, as stated in my account of D. Iris.

The following is a copy of my description of this bird, read at the scientific meeting of the Zoological Society, held in the evening of the 12th of April, 1853.

“The whole of the crown rich metallic green; throat and back of the neck also metallic green, but not so lustrous as on the crown; body and tail chestnut red, as in D. Iris, but not of so deep a hue.” The figures are of the natural size. The plant is the Lestanthus acutangulus.


  • Diphlogena Aurora, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., part xxi. p. 61.
  • Hypochrysia Aurora, Reichenb. Aufz. der Col., p. 9.
  • Coeligena Warszewizii, Reichenb. Aufz. der Col., p. 23.
  • Coeligena Warszewiczii, Reichenb. Troch. Enum., p. 4, pl. 690. fig. 4526.

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