Genus Helianthea Goud

The members of the genus Helianthea, distinguished by their star-like frontlets and luminous under-surfaces, appear to range next to the preceding. Three of them (namely, H. typica, H. Bonapartei, and H. Eos) are quite typical; but the H. Lutetiæ and H. violifera differ somewhat in their colouring, the lower part of the body of the two latter species not being luminous, while they assimilate in all other respects. Dr. Reichenbach’s separation of the H. typica and H. Bonapartei into a separate genus (Hypochrysa) cannot, in my opinion, for a moment be admitted.

Generic characters.

Male.Bill long, straight and cylindrical; wings moderately long and powerful; tail of medium size and slightly forked when closed; tarsi extremely short and clothed with feathers; feet very small; hind toe the shortest; forehead and under-surface luminous.

Female.—Destitute of luminous colouring.

The members of this genus frequent the Andes for at least eight degrees on each side of the equator.


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.