Panoplites Mathewsi

Matthews’ Panoplites


The rich country of Peru is the native habitat of this very rare species; I say very rare, because as yet few examples have been sent to Europe; there is, however, a very fine one in the Collection of the Jardin des Plantes at Paris, and I have been fortunate enough to procure three or four for my own.

One of these was sent to me by Don Manuel Villavicencio, from Quejos in the neighbourhood of the Napo, the others were killed on the banks of the Maranon by M. Warszewicz.

The name of Matthews, to whom this bird has been dedicated, will live as long as the study of Ornithology holds a place among the natural sciences, as the discoverer of the wonderful Humming Bird called Loddgesia mirabilis, which is still unique, and forms the chief gem of the Loddigesian Collection; I regret to add that the life of its discoverer fell a victim to the pestiferous region in which it was found.

Of the habits and economy of the Panoplites Mathewsi, nothing is at present known; they are doubtless very similar to those of its near allies the P. Jardini and P. flavescens, but of these, unfortunately, little has been recorded. I believe the sexes to be similarly coloured, all the examples I have seen being precisely alike.

Feathers of the head, neck and throat rich shining green, the basal portion of the lower feathers of the throat being chestnut-red; wing-coverts, back and upper tail-coverts bronzy green; under surface of the shoulders and under surface of the body rich chestnut-red; wings purplish brown; two central tail-feathers greenish bronze; the remainder cinnamon-red tipped with greenish bronze; bill black.

The figures are of the natural size.


  • Trochilus Matthewsii, Lodd. MSS. Boure. in Proce. of Zool. Soc. Part XV. p. 43.
  • Mellisuga Matthewsii, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 112, Mellisuga, sp. 27.
  • Clytolema matthewsi, Bonap. Consp. Troch. in Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 254.

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