Hypuroptila cæruleogaster

Blue-breasted Plumeleteer

New Granada.

So closely do the Hypuroptila cæruleogaster and H. Buffoni assimilate to each other, both in size and in general conformation, that it becomes difficult to divest oneself of the belief that they are merely varieties of one and the same species; but in contradiction to such an opinion, I may state that I have never seen specimens in any intermediate state of colouring, and that the young males at the age when the scaly breastfeathers are assumed for the first time, are blue and not green.

I may also mention that while we know the Hypuroptila Buffoni to be very widely dispersed, the H. cæruleogaster has up to the present time only been found in a very limited area, most of the specimens that have reached this country being either from Bogota, or the country intervening between that city and Popayan.

Mr. Mark tells me that this species inhabits the Andean ranges at an elevation of from six to seven thousand feet, and that, like its ally, it obtains its insect food from the flowers of the shrub-like trees of the table-lands.

The sexes, as will be seen on reference to the accompanying Plate, are very different both in size and colour.

The male has the head and upper surface grass-green, with a wash of bronze at the back of the neck and on the upper tail-coverts; chin and sides of the neck bluish green, gradually merging into the beautiful blue of the centre of the breast and abdomen; lower part of the flanks and abdomen green; under tail-coverts white and largely developed; wings purplish brown; tail black with steel-blue reflexions; bill black.

The upper surface of the female and the under tail-coverts are the same as in the male; her under surface is light grey with a few specks of green on the flanks; two central tail-feathers bronzy green, the remainder bluish black, margined at the base of the outer web with bronzy green, lessening in extent as the feathers recede from the centre, the outer feather tipped with white, the next on each side with a diamond-shaped spot of white at the tip.

The figures represent a male and a female of the natural size. The plant is the Nematanthus ionæma.


  • Trochilus (Glaucis ?) ceruleogaster, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part XV. p. 96.
  • Polytmus cæruleogaster, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 108, Polytmus, sp. 18.
  • Lamporns cæruleigaster, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 72, Lampornis, sp. 10.—Ib. Consp. Troch. in Rey. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 250.

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