Thalurania refulgens

Refulgent Wood-Nymph

Unknown; supposed to be Venezuel

The bird figured in the accompanying Plate, to which I have given the name of Thalurania refulgens, is distinguished from most of the other members of the genus by its large size, its extreme beauty and strongly contrasted markings.

In its general style of colouring, as well as in the form and disposition of its gular patch, it is perhaps more nearly allied to the T. furcata than to any other species; but independently of its larger size, it is distinguished from that bird by the jet-black colour of its forehead, crown and nape, and its deep steel-black under tail-coverts. It so far exceeds in all its admeasurements the thousands of specimens of T. furcata I have seen and examined, that there is no doubt in my mind of its being specifically distinct; while the form of its green throat-mark, which is square or truncate below, separates it at once from the bird I have called nigrofasciata; besides which it is of larger size even than that species.

My collection contains two examples of this fine bird, one of which was presented to me by T. F. Erskine, Esq., a gentleman enthusiastically attached to the Trochilide, and whose knowledge of the species of this family is perhaps scarcely surpassed by any devotee of this lovely group of birds.

Up to the present time no example of the female has, so far as I am aware, been collected; neither is it in my power to direct the attention of collectors to the native localities of the species, whereby this desideratum might be supplied; in all probability the interior of Demerara and the neighbouring country of the Caraccas is its true habitat.

It will be seen that I have united with this bird one of the most delicate and beautiful flowering plants which America has yet given us; the drawing was made by Mr. Richter from a freshly expanded blossom which flowered in the stove at Berry Hill, near Taplow in Buckinghamshire; and it gives me great pleasure to offer thus publicly my thanks to Mr. Noble, for his kindness in directing this beautiful specimen of the Dipladenia splendens to be placed at my disposal for the purpose of figuring; thereby adding another to the many acts of liberality proffered by this gentleman for the furtherance of art and science.

Crown of the head velvety black; throat rich metallic green; breast and shoulders beautiful purplish blue; wings purplish brown; tail black; under tail-coverts steel-black.

Total length, 5 inches; bill, 1; wing, 2\(\frac{1}{4}\); tail, 2\(\frac{1}{4}\).

The figures are of the natural size.


  • Thalurama refulgens, Gould in Proc. of Zool. Soc., part xx. p. 9.—Bonap. Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1854, p. 254.—Reich. Auf. der Col., p. 7.
  • Coeligena refulgens, Reich. Troch. Enum., p. 3.

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