Eriocnemis smaragdini­pectus

Green-breasted Puff-leg

Illustration not included in supplement volume

The present species is one of the white-booted Puff-legs, and belongs to the blue-throated section.

It is further distinguished, as Mr. Elliot points out, by its golden-green under surface.

The following is my original account of the species:—

This species, which is from the neighbourhood of Quito, is very closely allied to Ercocnemis vestita, but differs from that bird in the green of the breast commencing immediately below the blue throat-spot, whereas in five old males of E. vestita, when viewed in bright sunlight, a black band is seen separating the two colours. It is true that this band is green in certain lights; but the feathers are of a different structure to those of the Quitan species. Taking the average of seven specimens of both kinds, I find that E. smaragdinipectus has a rather longer bill and somewhat shorter wing than E. vestita; in all other respects their dimensions are very similar. The green of the abdomen of the former is more pure, or not so yellow as the same part of the latter; in the gorgeous colouring of the rump perhaps the Quitan bird is somewhat less resplendent than the Bogotan E. vestita. I have ample materials at my disposal for determining the distinctness of the two birds; and, however similar they may be, ghere gnc sufficient tangible characters by which each may be recognized, and to show that they are really different.

Head and upper surface dullish grass-green; rump and upper tail-coverts resplendently luminous yellowish green; on the throat a patch of violet-blue; thence to the vent glittering grass-green 3 under tail-coverts bright blue; thighs thickly clothed with white downy feathers; bill, primaries, and tail-feathers black. Total length 4 inches, bill 1\(\frac{15}{16}\), wing 2\(\frac{5}{16}\), tail 1\(\frac{5}{8}\).


  • Eriocnemis smaragdinipectus, Gould, Ann. & Mag. Nat. Hist. (4) i. p. 322 (1868).—Elliot, Ibis, 1872, p. 295.—Mulsant, Hist. Nat. Oiseaux-Mouches, iii. p. 35 (1876).— Elliot, Synopsis of the Humming-Birds, p. 194 (1878).

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