Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Pale-tailed Barbthroat (Threnetes niger) - HBW 5, p. 539

French: Ermite á queue blanche German: Orangekehl-Schattenkolibri Spanish: Ermitaño Barbudo Común
Other common names: White-tailed Barbthroat (leucurus); Bronze-tailed Barbthroat (loehkeni); Sooty Barbthroat (niger); Christina’s Barbthroat (“christinae”)

Taxonomy: Trochilus niger Linnaeus, 1758, Cayenne.
Species long known as T. leucurus, but taxon niger, traditionally considered a separate species, represents a melanistic form of geographically limited distribution, based on apomorphic characters within the range of variation found in leucurus; otherwise the two are apparently inseparable, so conspecific treatment seems appropriate, with older name niger claiming priority. Since there are several regions from which no or only a few specimens have been secured, exact limits of racial distributions not yet reliably determined. Race loehkeni sometimes regarded.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Trochilus niger Linnaeus, 1758, Cayenne.
Species long known as T. leucurus, but taxon niger, traditionally considered a separate species, represents a melanistic form of geographically limited distribution, based on apomorphic characters within the range of variation found in leucurus; otherwise the two are apparently inseparable, so conspecific treatment seems appropriate, with older name niger claiming priority. Since there are several regions from which no or only a few specimens have been secured, exact limits of racial distributions not yet reliably determined. Race loehkeni sometimes regarded as separate species; appears to be intermediate between leucurus and niger; proposed race freirei from Amapá (N Brazil) is inseparable from a dull male loehkeni and may confirm the intermediate position of latter; both niger and loehkeni are very rare in scientific collections. In W Amazonia, two zones of character intergradation exist between races cervinicauda and rufigastra on the one hand, and leucurus and rufigastra on the other, apparent in belly and tail coloration. Proposed race cristinae is synonym of loehkeni. Six subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • cervinicauda Gould, 1855 - E Colombia to N Peru and adjacent W Amazonian Brazil.
  • rufigastra Cory, 1915 - C Peru to N Bolivia.
  • leucurus (Linnaeus, 1766) - S Venezuela, Guyana and Surinam through Amazonian Brazil to N Bolivia.

     See all 6 subspecies
  • cervinicauda Gould, 1855 - E Colombia to N Peru and adjacent W Amazonian Brazil.
  • rufigastra Cory, 1915 - C Peru to N Bolivia.
  • leucurus (Linnaeus, 1766) - S Venezuela, Guyana and Surinam through Amazonian Brazil to N Bolivia.
  • niger (Linnaeus, 1758) - French Guiana and adjacent Brazil (N Amapá).
  • loehkeni Grantsau, 1969 - NE Brazil N of Amazon (Amapá).
  • medianus Hellmayr, 1929 - NE Brazil S of Amazon (Pará).