Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Variable Mountain-gem (Lampornis castaneoventris) - HBW 5, p. 611

French: Colibri à ventre châtain German: Weißkehlnymphe Spanish: Colibrí Variable
Other common names: Chestnut-bellied Mountain-gem; Purple-throated Mountain-gem (calolaemus); Grey-tailed Mountain-gem (cinereicauda); White-throated Mountain-gem (castaneoventris)

Taxonomy: Trochilus (——?) castaneoventris Gould, 1851, Cordillera de Chiriquí, 6000 feet [c. 1830 m], Panama.
Classification much disputed: three essentially parapatric groups with distinct male plumages hybridize to uncertain extent, probably very limited, where their ranges abut; many previous reports of hybrids may refer to young birds. The groups are: purple-throated, blue-tailed calolaemus (with pectoralis and homogenes); white-throated, grey-tailed cinereicauda; and white-throated, blue-tailed castaneoventris. Racial allocation of purple-throated birds of the Pacific coastal range of S Costa Rica (calolaemus or homogenes) is uncertain at present... View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Trochilus (——?) castaneoventris Gould, 1851, Cordillera de Chiriquí, 6000 feet [c. 1830 m], Panama.
Classification much disputed: three essentially parapatric groups with distinct male plumages hybridize to uncertain extent, probably very limited, where their ranges abut; many previous reports of hybrids may refer to young birds. The groups are: purple-throated, blue-tailed calolaemus (with pectoralis and homogenes); white-throated, grey-tailed cinereicauda; and white-throated, blue-tailed castaneoventris. Racial allocation of purple-throated birds of the Pacific coastal range of S Costa Rica (calolaemus or homogenes) is uncertain at present. Where white- and purple-throated forms occur on the same slopes, the former tend to occupy higher elevations. Different authors have advocated recognizing one, two (white-throated as opposed to purple-throated races), or three species. Females of all groups are very similar. More study of this complex is needed. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • pectoralis (Salvin, 1891) - extreme S Nicaragua to NC Costa Rica.
  • calolaemus (Salvin, 1865) - Cordillera Central and extreme N Cordillera de Talamanca (C Costa Rica).
  • cinereicauda (Lawrence, 1867) - Cordillera de Talamanca (S Costa Rica).

     See all 5 subspecies
  • pectoralis (Salvin, 1891) - extreme S Nicaragua to NC Costa Rica.
  • calolaemus (Salvin, 1865) - Cordillera Central and extreme N Cordillera de Talamanca (C Costa Rica).
  • cinereicauda (Lawrence, 1867) - Cordillera de Talamanca (S Costa Rica).
  • homogenes Wetmore, 1967 - Pacific slope of S Costa Rica (probably) and W Panama.
  • castaneoventris (Gould, 1851) - extreme W Panama.
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