Eriocnemis dyselius

Black-vented Puff-leg

Illustration not included in supplement volume

This species is unknown to me; but the type is in Mr. Elliot’s collection.

It is supposed to have come from Ecuador; but Mr. Elliot does not state from whom he received the specimen. It belongs to the section of the genus in which the downy puffs on the tarsi are white, and it differs from all the allied species in having the under tail-coverts purplish black instead of grey, green, or shining blue.

Mr. Elliot writes:—

Among the many groups that comprise the great family of the Trochilide, there are few more strongly characterized than that of Eriocnemis, from the fact that all its members are possessed of very conspicuous tufts of various colours, viz. white, black, brown, or brown and white, which cover the tarsi, and from which the species have obtained the trivial name of ‘Puff-leg.’

Four specimens, precisely alike, were, as I was informed, contained in the small collection of birds from which my example was taken; and although no locality was given, it is supposed that Ecuador is the habitat of the species. I propose to call it, from its sombre plumage, Eriocnemis dyselus.

The following is a copy of Mr. Elliot’s original description:—

Head, and entire upper parts, black with a purplish gloss; upper tail-coverts having a very dark greenish gloss; throat and underparts black, but not of so deep a shade as the upper parts, purplish on the abdomen; wings purplish black; tarsi thickly covered with pure white downy feathers; under tail-coverts purplish black; tail rather deeply forked, steel-blue, with purple reflections; the bill is perfectly straight and rather slender. Total length 4 inches, wing 2\(\frac{1}{4}\), tail 1\(\frac{1}{2}\), bill \(\frac{3}{4}\).


  • Eriocnemis dyselius, Klhot, Ibis, 1872, p. 294.—Sclater & Salv. Nomencl. Av. Neotr. p. 91 (1873).—Mulsant, Nat. Hist. Oiseaux-Mouches, iii. p. 50 (1876).—Elliot, Synopsis of the Humming-Birds, p. 194 (1878).

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