Selasphorus torridus

Torrid Flame-bearer

Illustration not included in supplement volume

Mr. Salvin gives the characters of this Humming-bird as follows:—

The coloration of the throat of this species is peculiar, having a somewhat faded appearance. The tint is not brilliant red as in S. scintilla, nor does it resemble the gorget of S. platycercus, but is altogether of a more lilac hue. However, six males, sent by Arcé, are all so exactly alike, that I cannot but suppose that the normal colour of the throat is shown. ‘The lateral plumes of the throat, too, are elongate, reminding one of Atthis heloise, and thus render the species distinct from all Selasphori except S. scintilla, from which it differs widely in other respects. The most nearly allied species appears to be S. flammula, Salv. (P. Z. S. 1864, p. 586), which, however, has a differently coloured throat, as well as distinctive characters in the tail.

The present bird has, as yet, only been met with on the volcano of Chiriqui, in Veragua.

As with the other two species of Selasphorus, I append the diagnosis of S. torridus, as given by Mr. Elliot:—

Male. Upper parts dark shining grass-green. Throat shining lilac-red, silvery in certain lights. Feathers on the side of the neck elongated, same colour as the throat. Breast and middle of abdomen white. Flanks green. Under tail-coverts buffy white. Median rectrices bronze-green; lateral ones purplish black, all except the two outer ones margined with rufous. Wings purplish brown. Maxilla black; mandible flesh-colour, tip black. Total length 2\(\frac{5}{8}\) inches, wing 1\(\frac{5}{8}\), tail 1\(\frac{1}{4}\), culmen \(\frac{3}{8}\).

Female. Head brownish; upper parts green. Underparts whitish; feathers of throat spotted with brown. Flanks rufous. Tail black; base of three outer feathers rufous, and tips white; next two margined with rufous; middle feathers green.


  • Selasphorus torridus, Salvin, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1870, p. 208.—Sclater & Salvin, Nomencl. Ay. Neotr. p. 84 (1873).—Mulsant, Hist. Nat. Oiseaux-Mouches, iv. p. 101 (1877).— Elliot, Synopsis of the Humming-Birds, p. 112 (1878).

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