Eucephala subcærulea

Blue-breasted Sapphire

Illustration not included in supplement volume

This species was described by Mr. Elliot, and I have never seen a specimen myself.

It is shown by him to belong to the green-headed section of the genus, and differs from its allies in having the throat, breast, and abdomen cærulean blue, with the upper and under tail-coverts dark green.

Mr. Elliot gives the following account of the bird, which is supposed to have come from Brazil:—

This species appears to be intermediate between E. cærulea and E. hypocyanea, as represented by the type in Mr. Gould’s collection. From the first of these it can be readily distinguished by the rich blue of the underparts, which are metallic green in E. cærulea, the blue being confined in that species to a spot on the chin. To the second of the above-named species it bears a closer affinity, but differs in the dull green upper tail-coverts, the metallic green under tail-coverts, and buffy white thighs, these parts in E. hypocyanea being respectively reddish bronze, brownish black with bronzy tips, and brown. Besides these differences, the blue of the under surface is not of the same colour, and also differently dispersed over the plumage.

Upper part of head and back dark dull green, rest of back and upper tail-coverts dark green, with a rufous tinge dispersed all over these parts; throat, breast, and abdomen beautiful metallic cerulean blue; flanks shining grass-green. Lower part of abdomen covered by fluffy white feathers. Under tail-coverts metallic green. Wings purple. Tail bluish black. Maxilla black; mandible yellow (in life possibly red) for its entire length, save the tip, which is black. Feet brownish black. Thighs buffy white. Length 3\(\frac{1}{8}\) inches, bill \(\frac{5}{8}\), wing 2\(\frac{1}{8}\), tail 1\(\frac{1}{8}\).


  • Eucephala subcærulea, Elliot, Ibis, 1874, p. 87.—Muls. Hist. Nat. Oiseaux-Mouches, ii. p. 85 (1875).—Elliot, Synopsis of the Humming-Birds, p. 230 (1878).— Eudes-Deslongchamps, Annuaire Mus. d’Hist. Nat. Caen, i. 457 (1881).

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