Erythronota? elegans

Elegant Erythonote


This is one of the unique birds comprised in the vast collection from which this monograph has been written.

In what part of South America it was obtained is quite unknown to me, and, of course, I am equally unacquained with its habits and economy. I feel confident that the example from which my figures were taken is fully adult, and I am as certain that it differs from every other known species. The following remarks and description, to which I have nothing to add, are reprinted from the ‘Proceedings of the Zoological Society.’ It would have given me very great pleasure to have furnished more ample details respecting many members of the family than I have done, but this has been impossible; we often receive examples of new species many years before any details respecting them are obtainable.

“It is easier to assign a specific name to a bird than to determine to which generic form it is referable; and if there be any bird which is a puzzle to the brain of the ornithologist, this is one. It is a very elegant species, and quite distinct from every other known Humming-Bird; in its glittering light-green crown, throat, and chest it looks like a Chlorostilbon, but the form of its tail and some other characters ally it to the Erythronote, with which I have provisionally placed it.

“Crown and all the under surface of the body glittering light green; back of the neck and back goldenor orange-green; upper tail-coverts purplish red or puce-colour; tail long, forked, and of a purplish violet hue with green reflexions on the tips of the two centre feathers; wings purplish brown; tarsi white; under tail-coverts grey with bronzy-purple centres; upper mandible flesh-colour at the base, and black for the remainder of its length; under mandible flesh-colour, except at the tip, which is black.

“Total length 3\(\frac{7}{8}\) inches; bill 1\(\frac{1}{2}\); wing 2\(\frac{1}{8}\); tail \(\frac{7}{8}\).”

The figures are of the natural size. The plant is the Mormodes atro-purpurea.


  • Erythronota? elegans, Gould in Proe. of Zool. Soc., part xxviii. p. 307.

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