Eucephala hypocyanea

Blue-breasted Sapphire

Unknown; probably Brazil

This is a very small but well-marked species.

The specimens from which my figures and description are taken are undoubtedly adult, and there is no other Humming-Bird known to me with which it can be confounded. Its beautiful shining blue breast renders it a bird of considerable beauty, and its dark rich coppery-red upper tail-coverts is a character which the Trochilidist should not overlook when comparing it with any other species; it must be understood also that the blue of the throat and breast is confined to those parts, while the crown of the head and all the upper surface are uniform deep green.

Plate 49 of Lesson’s ‘Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux Mouches’ appears to have been taken from a bird of this kind; but, unless we could see the type-specimen of that author, we cannot be certain that it represents this species; and even if it does, the term bicolor proposed by him is surely inappropriate.

I have only seen a single specimen of this bird, the native country of which is unknown to me; in all probability Brazil is its habitat.

Crown of the head, back of the neck, back and flanks dull green; throat and chest brilliant blue, passing into glittering green on the centre of the abdomen; wings purplish brown; upper tail-coverts reddish bronze; under tail-coverts brownish black with bronzy tips; tail steel-black; thighs brown; upper mandible black; basal two-thirds of the under mandible flesh-colour, the apical third black.

The figures are of the size of life. The plant is the Billbergia Wetherelli.


  • Eucephala hypocyanea, Gould in Proe. of Zool. Soc., part xxviii. p. 306.

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