Sapphironia Goudoti

Green-breasted Sapphironia

New Granada

As will be seen on reference to the accompanying Plate, the Sapphironia Goudoti is a very elegantly formed bird, and its colouring is not less worthy of admiration, its throat, breast, and under surface being clothed with glittering metallic green.

It will be noticed also, that in this instance I have departed from my general rule in not figuring the female; this omission is due to my not possessing a specimen to figure from: neither have I been able to see an example of this sex in any other collection, which is the more strange, since the male is very commonly met with; indeed, it is one of the birds sent in the greatest numbers from Bogota. That the female will differ from the opposite sex, and bear a general resemblance to the female of Sapphironia cæuleogularis, there can be little doubt. It not unfrequently happens that we receive numerous male examples of a species for years before a single female is transmitted, but sometimes the contrary occurs; indeed, even in their native country, one sex appears to be often found in numbers, to the exclusion of the other. This may account for our not having yet received the female of the present species; at the same time, it is, doubtless, the less attractive colouring of the female which prevents examples of that sex being skinned by the Indians, who are the principal collectors and preservers in the neighbourhood of Bogota.

M. Bourcier has named this species in honour of M. Goudot, who, by his researches in New Grenada, and the collections he obtained there, has done so much to promote the cause of natural science.

I trust that the single figure in the accompanying Plate will sufficiently illustrate this pretty bird, and that it will bear out what I have said as to the elegance of its form and the beauty of its colouring.

All the upper surface grass-green; under surface glittering green; wings purplish brown; tail-coverts bronzy green; tail purplish black, slightly washed with bronze; under tail-coverts green, narrowly fringed with white in some specimens, broadly fringed with white in others, and in others again these feathers are white, with a streak only of green down the centre; upper mandible and tip of the lower black, the basal two-thirds of the latter apparently flesh-colour.

The figure is of the natural size. The plant is the Tropæolum umbellatum.


  • Trochilus Goudoti, Bourc. in Rev. Zool. 1843, p: 100.—Ib. Ann. Sci. Phys. &c. de Lyon, 1843, p. 47.
  • Saucerottia goudoti, Bonap. Consp. Gen. Av., p. 77, Saucerottia, sp. 6.
  • Polytmus Goudoti, Gray and Mitch. Gen. of Birds, vol. i. p. 108, Polytmus, sp. 68.
  • Chalybura Goudotii, Reichenb. Auf. der Col., p. 10.
  • Hylocharis goudoti, Bonap. Rev: et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 295.—Selat. in Proc. of Zool. Soc., part xxv. p. 17.

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