Timolia lerchi

Lerch’s Sapphire

Mr. Elliot, in his ‘Synopsis,’ places the genus Timolia between the genera Eucephala and Juliamyia.

He states that it is nearly allied to the former of these genera and gives the following characters:—“Bill longer than the head, curved; feathers of forehead projecting on to the culmen; nostrils hidden. Tail forked. Tarsi clothed.” At the time he wrote, the type specimen was unique in his own collection; but we have been enabled, through the kindness of Messrs. Salvin and Godman, to examine a second example of this rare Humming-bird, which is now in their possession. This specimen agrees with Mr. Elliot’s description, which is as follows:—

Fore part of head and a spot on the chin shining deep blue. Upper parts dark grass-green, passing into reddish bronze on the upper tail-coverts. Entire underparts grass-green. Under tail-coverts olive-green. Wings purplish brown. ‘Tail steel-black. Maxilla black, mandible flesh-colour, tip black. Total length 4\(\frac{1}{8}\) inches, wing 2\(\frac{3}{4}\), tail 1\(\frac{5}{8}\), culmen \(\frac{13}{16}\).

The typical specimen is said by Mr. Elliot to have come from Colombia; that in the Salvin and Godman collection is supposed to be from Brazil.

The Plate represents a male bird in two positions, of the size of life. These figures have been drawn from the specimen in the collection of Messrs. Salvin and Godman, the female being as yet unknown.

[R. B. S.]


  • Thalurania lerchi, Muls. & Verr. Ann. Soc. Linn. Lyon, 1868.—Salvin & Elliot, Ibis, 1873, p. 360.—Elliot, Ibis, 1874, p. 264.
  • Timoha lerchi, Mulsant, Cat. Oiseaux-Mouches, p. 238 (1875).—Elliot. Synopsis of the Humming-Birds, p. 232 (1878).
  • Lucephala lerchi, Mulsant, Hist. Nat. Oiseaux-Mouches, iv. p. 191 (1877).
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