Lesbia eucharis


New Granada

It may be thought by some persons that the Leshia Eucharis and L. Amaryllis are one and the same species, but a comparison of the two birds will readily prove that such is not the case, and that M. Bourcier’s view of the subject in separating them was correct.

In the size of their bodies and in the length of their wings the two birds are very much alike; but the tail of the Amaryllis far exceeds in length that of Eucharis; its colour also is very different, particularly that of the eight middle feathers, these feathers being wholly green on that portion of their apical surface which projects beyond the next in succession, or all that portion of each feather which is not overlapped when the tail is closed. A glance at the eeu on the Plates of the two species will at once render this clear to the reader.

The precise country wherein this bird flies has not been satisfactorily ascertained: my own specimens, which, unfortunately, are not very good ones, were obtained by M. Warszewicz, I believe, in Peru; while “New Granada” is written on the label attached to M. Bourcier’s bird now before me. I have indeed two males belonging to this gentleman, one of which he believes to be the adult of the Nouna-Koali; but it will be seen, on reference to my account of that species, that I do not coincide in that view. The only difference observable in the two specimens is, that a bronzy hue pervades the upper part of the body and those portions of the tail which are green in Eucharis; but this difference is, I am sure, entirely due to its having been longer exposed to the light, that is, to a greater period having elapsed since its last moult; with this exception, I find no difference between them, either in the size of the body or the form of the markings, both having the same luminous gular patch that is found in the Amarylis, but very different from the smaller species, the Nuna, the Gouldi, and the gracilis.

My figure of the female is taken from one of the specimens brought by M. Warszewicz, which, it will be seen, very closely resembles the female of L. Amaryllis.

The male has the head, upper surface, wing-coverts, sides of the neck, abdomen, and flanks bronzy green; a gorget of luminous green on the throat; wings purplish black; tail deep brownish black, the eight middle tail-feathers largely tipped with green, and the outer one tipped with bronzy green; these feathers moreover have the basal half of their outer webs of a pinky buff; under tail-coverts buff, glossed with bronze; bill black.

The female is similar to the male on the upper surface, but her tail is much shorter and less brilliant, and the apical three-fourths of the basal portion of the web of the outer feather greyish white; under surface buff, spangled with shining green.

The Plate represents the two sexes of the size of life. The plant is the Topæolum Smithi.


  • Trochilus Eucharis, Boure. Rev. Zool. 1848, p.
  • Lesbia Eucharis, Reichenb. Auf. der Col., p. 8.
  • Cynanthus eucharis, Bonap. Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 252.

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