Myiabeillia typica

Abeille’s Flutterer

Mexico and Guatemala

This species,” says M. De Lattre, usually confines itself to the forests, but also seeks its food among the wild flowers in the vicinity of Jalapa. Its flight is airy and buoyant, not unlike that of some of the moths. In its habits it is very unsociable, and the least thing alarms it.”

That it enjoys a wide range of habitat is certain, as, besides being found near Jalapa,.as mentioned by M. De Lattre, I have lately received from George Ure Skinner, Esq., now (1854) resident in Guatemala, examples of both sexes, which had been killed in Coban by M. Riviera Paz, a young Guatemalan naturalist of very promising attainments.

Mr. Skinner has been well known for many years to the lovers of botany, as one to whom they are greatly indebted for unfolding the botanical riches of South America, and especially of Guatemala. At my request he has now kindly consented to pay as much attention as circumstances will admit to the lovely group of birds forming the subject of the present work, and some of the interesting species which I have recently obtained, have been procured through his instrumentality. Two branches of science having therefore been promoted in no slight degree by his energies, I have much pleasure in figuring the present pretty Humming-Bird, with the exquisite orchid named Lycaste Skinneri in honour of this gentleman.

The Myiabeillia typica, as its name implies, is the first species of the form that has been named; indeed it is the only one of the genus that has yet been discovered. In point of beauty this bird has but little to recommend it, a small patch of glittering green on the throat being all the metallic or brilliant colouring with which it is decorated.

The male has the head, wing-coverts, upper surface, two central tail-feathers, sides of the neck and flanks dark bronzy grass-green; wings purplish brown; lateral tail-feathers black, tipped with grey; on the throat a patch of brilliant grass-green; centre of the chest dull black; abdomen ashy grey; under tailcoverts pale green, edged with dark grey.

The female differs in having the whole of the under surface brownish grey.

The figures represent the two sexes of the size of life.


  • Trochilus Abeillei, De Latt. et Less. Rev. Zool. 1839, p. 16.
  • Mellisuga Abeillei, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 112, Mellisuga, sp. 37.
  • Ramphomicron abeilli, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 79, Ramphomicron, sp. 4.
  • Myiabeillia typica, Bonap. Consp. Troch. in Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 253.
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