Panterpe insignis

Costa-Rican Humming-Bird

Costa Rica

It has fallen to the lot of the well-known Berlin ornithologist, Dr. Cabanis, to make known to science the very distinct and beautiful species of Humming-Bird figured on the opposite Plate.

In point of affinity, I know of no other species with which it can be compared; for it is, in fact, both generically and specifically distinct from every other member of the extensive family to which it pertains. I believe that the single specimen from which Dr. Cabanis took his characters and description is the only one which has yet reached Berlin; this individual was procured in Costa Rica by Dr. Hoffmann, a gentleman who has done so much to make us acquainted with the natural productions of that part of South America, but who I regret to say has passed away from among us.

A glance at the accompanying Plate, in which the figures are about the size of life, perhaps a trifle larger, will give an accurate idea of the bird both as to form and colouring. I am greatly indebted to Dr. Peters, the Director of the Zoological Museum of Berlin, for his kindness in permitting this ornithological rarity to be sent to me in London, in order that I might be enabled to enrich the present work with a figure of it; my thanks are also due to Mr. Ferdinand Heine, for a copy of the third part of the “Museum Heineanum,” in which the species has been described by Dr. Cabanis.

Crown of the head rich deep shining blue; back and sides of the neck, all the upper surface, wing-coverts, flanks, lower part of the abdomen, and under tail-coverts bronzy green, changing to deep blue on the upper tail-coverts; wings purplish brown; tail black with steel-blue reflexions; throat rich deep scarlet, bordered on the sides with fine yellow; centre of the breast and upper part of the abdomen deep blue; thighs black; under tail-coverts bright bluish green; bill black; base of under mandible brownish.

The plant is the Begonia biserrata.


  • Panterpe insignis, Cab. Mus. Hein., Theil iii. p. 43, note.
Poster preview

Get a poster

Featuring all 422 illustrated species from John Gould’s A Monograph of the Trochilidæ, or Family of Humming-Birds arranged by color.