Phaiolaima rubinoïdes


New Granada. Frequently sent to Europe from Bogota.

On a close examination I find this species differs considerably both in form and colouring from the Clytolema rubinea, with which it has hitherto been associated; I therefore adopt Dr. Reichenbach’s generic appellation of Phaiolaima for this and a nearly allied species from Ecuador.

These two birds are rendered very conspicuous among the Trochilidæ by the quiet and modest style of their colouring as compared with the C. rubinea and other allied species. The tail, as will be seen, is very peculiarly coloured, but harmonizes well both with the buff colouring of the under surface and the metallic pale-lilac-coloured throat-mark.

The Phaiolaima rubinoïdes is by no means a common species; and nothing, I regret to say, is known of its habits, or the localities it frequents. It is a native of New Grenada, and individuals now and then occur in collections from Bogota. The metallic throat-mark and brilliant crown are more developed in some specimens than in others, and I have seen examples where both were almost absent; the birds in this state may be females or young males of the year. Few examples in this condition have yet been sent to Europe.

Face, line down the crown, and sides of the head luminous green; on the throat a patch of metallic lilac; sides of the head and upper surface bronzy green, the bronzy hue predominating on the wing-coverts, lower part of the back and upper tail-coverts; wings purplish brown, edged on the shoulder and outer quill with deep buff; tail pure bronze, with deep buff shafts; under surface buff, washed with green on the flanks.

The figures are of the size of life. The plant is the Lælia acuminata.


  • Trochilus rubinoïdes, Boure. et Muls. Ann. de la Soe. Sei. de Lyon, vol. ix. 1846, p. 322.
  • Mellisuga rubinoïdes, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 112, Mellisuga, sp. 23.
  • Heliomaster rubinoïdes, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 70, Heliomaster, sp. 5.
  • Clytolæma rubinoïdes, Bonap. Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 254.
  • Phaiolaima rubinoïdes, Reichenb. Aufz. der Colibris, p. 9.

More hummingbirds in the genus Phæolæma

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.