Sunbirds (Nectariniidae)

Amethyst Sunbird (Chalcomitra amethystina) - HBW 13, p. 264

French: Souimanga améthyste German: Amethystglanzköpfchen Spanish: Suimanga Amatista
Other common names: Black/Amethyst-throated Sunbird

Taxonomy: Certhia amethystina Shaw, 1811, Cape of Good Hope, South Africa.
Genus previously merged with Nectarinia. Forms a group with C. fuliginosa and C. rubescens; sometimes thought to form a superspecies with those, despite considerable geographical overlap, but all appear to hybridize occasionally in areas where they meet. Other proposed races are adjuncta from E Swaziland (described from Stegi, in Lebombo Mts), which is synonymized with nominate, and doggetti (Ravine, in W Kenya) and kalckreuthi (Mombasa, in SE Kenya), both merged with kirkii. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • deminuta Cabanis, 1880 - SE Gabon, S PRCongo, W & SE DRCongo, Angola, Namibia, N & W Zambia and N Botswana.
  • kirkii (Shelley, 1876) - SE Sudan, SE Ethiopia (sight records), Somalia (Jubba Valley), NE Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, E & S Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique (S to Coguna) and Zimbabwe.
  • amethystina (Shaw, 1811) - E Botswana, S Mozambique (S of R Limpopo), Swaziland and E & S South Africa (Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal S to S coastal Western Cape).