Metallura chloropogon

White-vented Copper-tail

Illustration not included in supplement volume

This species was described by Cabanis and Heine from two specimens in the Heine collection, but without any indication of exact locality.

These two specimens still remain the only ones known, so far as we are aware, and Mr. Elliot has also not seen the species. The latter gentleman places it in the vicinity of M. opaca and M. jelskii, from which it differs apparently in its tail being ‘luminous purple,” and by its white crissum.

The following is a translation of the original description:—

Adult male. Purplish dusky with a certain amount of greenish lustre, the crown, shoulders, and rump more brilliant green, but especially a gular spot, which is of a most beautiful green; wing purplish dusky; the tail very broad and glossed with more beautiful purple; vent white; the under tail-coverts shining green with a yellowish margin.

Adult female (or young male). Underneath brownish ochre; the throat and sides of the body spotted with small dusky and greenish markings; the tail-feathers brilliant purple, the three outer ones paler purplish at the tip. Total length 3 inches 6 lines, wing 2 inches, tail 1 inch 6 lines, culmen 5 lines.

[R. B. S.]


  • Urolampra chloropogon, Cab. & Heine, Mus. Hein. iii. p. 68 (1860).
  • Trochilus chloropogon, Gray, Hand-list of Birds, i. p. 142, no. 1839 (1869).
  • Metallura chloropogon, Elliot, Synopsis of the Humming-Birds, p. 164 (1878).

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