Purple-throated sun nymph

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Purple-throated sun nymph
Purple-throated sun nymph

Purple-throated sun nymph

Class : Birds (aves)
Order : Sailor birds (Apodiformes)
Family : Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)
Genre : Sun Angel ( Heliangelus )
Type : Purple-throated sun nymph
Scientific name
Heliangelus viola
Gould , 1853

The purple-throated sun nymph ( Heliangelus viola ) or sometimes also violet-throated nymph or violet-throated sun nymph is a species of bird from the hummingbird family (Trochilidae). The species has a large range that covers about 56,000 square kilometers in the South American countries of Ecuador and Peru . The IUCN assesses the population as Least Concern .


The male purple-throated sun nymph reaches a body length of around 12.5 to 13 centimeters, while the female is slightly smaller at around 11.5 centimeters. The straight black beak becomes about 14 millimeters long. Both sexes are very similar. Only the tail of the female is a little shorter. The plumage is dark green with a blue-green part. The throat sparkles purple and is adorned with a thin blue-green frame. The lower cissus (crissum) is predominantly yellow-brown. The relatively long tail is fork-shaped. The central control spring is green while the outer springs are black.


The hummingbird is mainly found on the edge of the forest and adjacent secondary vegetation as well as areas with scrub at altitudes between 1800 and 3200 meters. Unlike all other species of the Heliangelus genus , the bird is found in an arid climate. That is the reason why you can often find it in gardens or other surroundings that are disturbed by people. In Peru you can find it on the western slopes of the Andes near Piura and Cajamarca . This hummingbird also occurs in the Marañón and Utcubamba valleys . In Ecuador you can see it at Chimborazo and in the provinces of Cañar , Azuay , El Oro and Loja .


The purple-throated sun nymph is relatively contentious. Birds sitting on a branch like to be scared away. They chase each other or other hummingbird species. Especially smaller hummingbirds such as the green- tailed sylph ( Lesbia nuna ) are among the victims of belligerent behavior.


No subspecies is known of the species. It is therefore considered monotypical . The subspecies Heliangelus viola splendidus and Heliangelus viola pyropus described by André-Alexander Weller in 2011 were rejected by the South American Classification Committee .

Etymology and history of research

John Gould described the species under the current name Heliangelus viola . The type specimen was collected by Józef Warszewicz Ritter von Rawicz on the banks of the Río Marañón . In the same year Gould also published the species in the Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London . "Heliangelus" is derived from the Greek words "hēlios ἥλιος " for "sun" and "angelos ἄγγελος " for "angel, messenger, messenger". The specific epithet »viola« is the Latin word for »violet«.


  • Thomas Schulenberg , Douglas F. Stotz , Daniel F. Lane: Birds of Peru. Princeton University Press, 2007, ISBN 978-0-691-04915-1 , p. 238.
  • Robert S. Ridgely , Paul J. Greenfield: Birds of Ecuador Field Guide. Volume 1, Cornell University Press, 2001, p. 373, ISBN 978-0-8014-8720-0 .
  • Robert S. Ridgely, Paul J. Greenfield: Birds of Ecuador Field Guide. Volume 2, Cornell University Press, 2001, pp. 279 ff, ISBN 978-0-8014-8721-7 .
  • James A. Jobling: Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names . Christopher Helm, London 2010, ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4 .
  • John Gould: Mr. Gould exhibited and described four new species of humming-birds . In: The Athenaeum. Journal of English and Foreign Literature, Science, and the Fine Arts . No. 1329 , 1853, pp. 481 ( books.google.de - a).
  • John Gould: A monograph of the Trochilidæ, or family of humming-birds . tape 4 , delivery 5. Taylor and Francis, London 1853 ( biodiversitylibrary.org - b).
  • John Gould: Description of Five new species of Humming Bird . In: Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London . tape 21 , 1853, p. 61-62 ( biodiversitylibrary.org - c).
  • Frederick Herschel Waterhouse: The dates of publication of some of the zoological works of the late John Gould, FRS RH Porter, London 1885 ( biodiversitylibrary.org ).
  • Murray D. Bruce, Ian AW McAllan: Some problems in vertebrate nomenclature. II. Birds. Part. 1. In: Bollettino del Museo regional di scienze naturali . tape 8 , 1990, pp. 453-485 .
  • André-Alexander Weller : Geographic and age-related variation in the Violet-throated Sunangel (Heliangelus viola, Trochilidae): evidence for a new species and subspecies . In: Ornitologia Neotropical . tape 22 , no. 4 , 2011, p. 601–614 ( sora.unm.edu [PDF; 2,3 MB ]).

Web links

Commons : Crimson-throated Sun Nymph  - Collection of images, videos, and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ IOC World Bird List Hummingbirds
  2. ^ André-Alexander Weller, p. 605.
  3. ^ André-Alexander Weller, p. 608.
  4. ^ Proposal (544) to South American Classification Committee: Recognize newly described Heliangelus splendidus
  5. John Gould (1853a), p 481st
  6. John Gould (1853b), p 241st
  7. Frederick Herschel Waterhouse, p. 51 Here the year of publication, delivery with the plate in A monograph of the Trochilidæ is shown.
  8. John Gould (1853c), p 61st
  9. Murray D. Bruce et al., Pp. 453–485 show that The Athenaeum has preference from the time of publication.
  10. James A. Jobling, p. 187.
  11. James A. Jobling, p. 402.