Petasophora Delphinæ

Brown Violet-Ear

The Guianas, Trinidad, Venezuela, Guatemala, New Granada, and Ecuador

No member of the genus Petasophora, nor indeed of the whole family of Trochilidæ, enjoys a more extensive range than this well-marked species; for it inhabits alike Trinidad, the low countries of Cayenne and Demerara, the Caraccas, and the temperate regions of Columbia; M. Warszewicz has also sent it to me from the Andes of Quindios and from Peru, and it is occasionally found in collections from Santa Fé de Bogota.

Its sombre colouring, and the rufous brown hue of the lower part of the back and the upper tail-coverts, at once distinguish it from every other member of the genus; and the only difference I have observed between the upland and lowland specimens is that the former are of a somewhat smaller size; in colour and markings they are alike.

Head, upper and under surface dark olive-brown; the feathers of the rump and upper tail-coverts largely tipped with dull rufous; wings purplish brown; tail pale bronzy brown, crossed near the tip by a broad band of dark brown; ear-coverts rich purplish blue; down each side of the face a stripe of greyish buff; on the centre of the throat a small patch of tessellated feathers, the lower portion of which is blue and the upper bronzy green; vent and under tail-coverts pale rufous, with darker centres; bill and feet blackish brown.

The figures are of the size of life.


  • Ornismya Delphinæ, Less. Rev. Zool. 1839, p. 44.—Ib. Echo du Monde savante, 1843, no. 31.—Ib. Il. de Zool., tom. i. pl. 64.
  • Petasophora Delphinæ, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., Part xv. p. 8.
  • Polytmus Delphinæ, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 108, Polytmus, sp. 30.
  • Colibri delphinæ, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 69, Colibri, sp. 6.

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