Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Reddish Hermit (Phaethornis ruber) - HBW 5, p. 546

French: Ermite roussâtre German: Roter Zwergschattenkolibri Spanish: Ermitaño Rojizo
Other common names: Red-vented/Pygmy Hermit

Taxonomy: Trochilus ruber Linnaeus, 1758, Surinam.
One of the small hermits sometimes separated in genus Pygmornis. Forms a species group or even superspecies with P. stuarti, and the two are often considered conspecific; there is very close geographical contact, if not sympatry, and one natural hybrid recorded. Other close relatives are P. atrimentalis, P. striigularis and P. griseogularis. There is a zone of character introgression between nominate and race longipennis, but no such zone has been found between present species and P. stuarti. Future investigation may confirm species status for .. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Trochilus ruber Linnaeus, 1758, Surinam.
One of the small hermits sometimes separated in genus Pygmornis. Forms a species group or even superspecies with P. stuarti, and the two are often considered conspecific; there is very close geographical contact, if not sympatry, and one natural hybrid recorded. Other close relatives are P. atrimentalis, P. striigularis and P. griseogularis. There is a zone of character introgression between nominate and race longipennis, but no such zone has been found between present species and P. stuarti. Future investigation may confirm species status for current races nigricinctus and episcopus, other taxa apparently lacking introgession with nominate ruber. Birds of SE Brazil have been separated as race pygmaeus, but claimed differences took insufficient account of age- and sex-related individual variation homogeneously distributed over entire range of nominate race. Synonyms for species include P. rufiventris and P. rufigaster. A hybrid of nominate ruber with P. rupurumii was described as “P. longuemareus aethopyga”. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • episcopus Gould, 1857 - C & E Venezuela, Guyana and adjacent N Brazil.
  • ruber (Linnaeus, 1758) - Surinam and French Guiana through Brazil to SE Peru and N Bolivia.
  • nigricinctus Lawrence, 1858 - extreme SW Venezuela and E & S Colombia to N Peru.
  • longipennis Berlepsch & Stolzmann, 1902 - S Peru.