Trochilini is part of the subfamily Trochilinae, descendant of the umbrella hummingbird family known entirely as the Trochilidae. Alongside, the Trochilini (emeralds) tribe, are the Lampornithini (mountain gems) and the Mellisugini (the bees) tribes. This tribe contains over 114 subspecies of hummingbirds categorized into 36 different genera.
Trochilini is a hummingbird clade, and the birds in this category are also called emeralds. These emerald hummingbirds were categorized by ornithologists using molecular phylogenetic characteristics. This means that the hummingbirds that share the most genetics are categorized into the same group.
Table of Contents
Cladogram of the Trochilini Tribe of Hummingbird
As defined by Dickinson & Remsen according to the phylogenetic studies done by Jimmy McGuire
Species and genera in the Trochilini family
Hummingbird taxonomy and phylogeny can be complicated. The generic nomenclature Trochilini classification was revised to conform to recent genetic (DNA sequencing) studies by McGuire et al. (2014) – respecting the International Code for Zoological Nomenclature.
So this tribe has been significantly revised:
- 11 genera came back to life
- One new genus (Elliotomyia) was added
- Some genera turned out to be synonyms (Aphantochroa, Elvira, Goethalsia, Cyanophaia, Juliamyia, and Lepidopyga)
Trochilini Family Clads – Categorization and Characteristics.
The Trochilini tribe has 36 genera and no less than 114 species, so it may be possible that you find your favorite hummer on the list. The Trochilini tribe are accompanied by another two tribes known as Mellisugini and the Lampornithini tribes. Hummingbirds in the Trochilini family are found in the United States to South America.
The dusky hummingbird (Phaeoptila sordida) can be found in Mexico in arid scrubs and elevations of 900-2200m. Both sexes are bronzy green above and grey below, with no iridescence. The male has a redder beak and white tail corners. Female Broad-billed Hummingbird similar, but greener above.
This genus is spread in the Caribbean and has two extinct species: Riccordia bracei and Riccordia elegant. The Brace’s emerald (Riccordia bracei) is an extinct species that used to live in the Bahamas (New Providence). Gould’s emerald (Riccordia elegant) is an extinct species of emerald. His whereabouts were unknown (probably in Jamaica or the Bahamas). The following are the current species in this clad that are alive and actively propagating.
Cuban emerald, Riccordia ricordii can be found mainly in the Bahamas and Cuba. The male is iridescent green and has a red bill base, a white patch below the abdomen, and a white point behind the eye. The female has a long, forked tail and is metallic green above and white below.
The Hispaniolan emerald (Riccordia swainsonii) is a Hispaniola native. The males have an iridescent green tail and a red bill base. The female has a long, forked tail and is metallic green above and white below.
The Puerto Rican emerald (Riccordia maugaeus) is, as the name says, a Puerto Rico native. Males are entirely iridescent green or blue under certain circumstances. Females have a long, forked tail and are metallic green above and white below, with a black face.
Blue-headed hummingbirds (Riccordia bicolor) inhabit forest openings and edges in the Lesser Antilles (Dominica and Martinique). The male has iridescent blue and green plumage all over. The female is dingy white below and sparkling green above, while her crown and tail are blue-iridescent.
Broad-billed hummingbirds (Cynanthus latirostris) usually reside in Mexico & southwestern US. In the appropriate light, the male’s body has gorgeous iridescent blues and greens. Females are duller, grey below, with a white line below the eye.
Doubleday’s hummingbird, Cynanthus doubledayi – Mexico native
Golden-crowned emerald, Cynanthus auriceps – western Mexico native
Cozumel emerald, Cynanthus forficatus – Native in Cozumel (Mexico)
Canivet’s emerald, Cynanthus canivetii – El Salvador, Costa Rica, Belize, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Mexico.
The males in the Chlorostilbon clade have iridescent green plumage and they may also have variations of golden, green, or blue. Females are duller and have white and grey bellies and tail corners.
Garden emerald, Chlorostilbon assimilis – Costa Rica and Panama
Western emerald, Chlorostilbon melanorhynchus – Colombia and Ecuador
Red-billed emerald, Chlorostilbon gibsoni – Colombia and Venezuela
Blue-tailed emerald, Chlorostilbon mellisugus – Colombia, Guianas, Trinidad, Bolivia, and Brazil.
Chiribiquete emerald, Chlorostilbon olivaresi – Colombia native
Glittering-bellied emerald, Chlorostilbon lucidus – Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.
Coppery emerald, Chlorostilbon russatus – Colombia and Venezuela
Narrow-tailed emerald, Chlorostilbon stenurus – Colombia and Venezuela
Green-tailed emerald, Chlorostilbon alice – Venezuela native
Short-tailed emerald, Chlorostilbon poortmani – Colombia and Venezuela
White-eared hummingbird, Basilinna leucotis – southern New Mexico, southeastern Arizona, and western Texas
Xantus’s hummingbird, Basilinna xantusii – southern Baja Peninsula of Mexico
These species are typically native to northern Middle America and are a polyphyletic group.
Curve-winged sabrewing, Pampa curvipennis – Mexico
Wedge-tailed sabrewing, Pampa pampa – Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras.
Long-tailed sabrewing, Pampa excellent – Mexico native
Rufous sabrewing, Pampa rufa – Mexico, El Salvador, and Guatemala
Emerald-chinned hummingbird, Abeillia abeillei
Distribution: Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua
Violet-headed hummingbird, Klais guimeti
Distribution: Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, Panama, Venezuela, and Nicaragua
Habitat: tropical and subtropical lowlands, montane forest
Antillean crested hummingbird, Orthorhyncus cristatus
Distribution: Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Anguilla, Dominica, Montserrat, Martinique, Puerto Rico, Saint Kills and Nevis, Saba, Saint-Barthelemy, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint MAetin, The British & US Virgin Islands, Florida & Lesser Antilles
Santa Marta blossomcrown, Anthocephala floriceps – Colombia native (Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta)
Tolima blossomcrown, Anthocephala berlepschi – Colombia native
Green-crowned plovercrest, Stephanoxis lalandi – Brazil
Purple-crowned plovercrest, Stephanoxis loddigesii – Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil
These are the larger hummingbirds (12-15cm) in the family. The distribution for the Campylopterus hummingbird family is in Brazil, Guyana, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, southern Mexico, Central America, Peru. Their typical habitats are found in mountains, forests, and streams.
Grey-breasted sabrewing, Campylopterus largipennis
Outcrop sabrewing, Campylopterus calcirupicola
Diamantina sabrewing, Campylopterus diamantinensis
Rufous-breasted sabrewing, Campylopterus hyperythrus
White-tailed sabrewing, Campylopterus ensipennis
Lazuline sabrewing, Campylopterus falcatus
Santa Marta sabrewing, Campylopterus phainopeplus
Violet sabrewing, Campylopterus hemileucurus
Buff-breasted sabrewing, Campylopterus duidae
Napo sabrewing, Campylopterus villaviscensio
Bronze-tailed plumeleteer, Chalybura urochrysia – eastern Honduras and northwestern Ecuador.
White-vented plumeleteer, Chalybura buffonii – Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Panama, and Venezuela
The distribution of these woodnymph hummingbirds are anywhere in the Neotropical realm which include southern Mexico, the southern tip of Florida, the Caribbean, and most of South America. You can find these hummingbirds in humid forest, and tall second growth habitats.
Crowned woodnymph, Thalurania colombica
Fork-tailed woodnymph, Thalurania furcata
Long-tailed woodnymph, Thalurania watertonii
Violet-capped woodnymph, Thalurania glaucopis
Snowcap, Microchera albocoronata – Costa Rica, Hinduras, Nicaragua, and west Panama
Coppery-headed emerald, Microchera cupreiceps – Costa Rica native
White-tailed emerald, Microchera chionura – Talamancan montane forests.
Violet-capped hummingbird, Goldmania violiceps – Panama and northwestern Colombia.
Pirre hummingbird, Goldmania bella – Panama, and northwestern Colombia
Eupherusa poliocerca – Guerrero and western Oaxaca
Mexican woodnymph, Eupherusa ridgwayi – west Mexico
White-tailed hummingbird, Eupherusa poliocerca – Guerrero and western Oaxaca
Oaxaca hummingbird, Eupherusa cyanophrys – Oaxaca
Stripe-tailed hummingbird, Eupherusa eximia – southeastern Mexico and Panama.
Black-bellied hummingbird, Eupherusa nigriventris – Costa Rica & Panama
Scaly-breasted hummingbird, Phaeochroa cuvierii
Distribution: Colombia, Belize, Honduras, Mexico, Guatemala, Panama & Nicaragua
Habitat: tropical and subtropical lowland forests
Buffy hummingbird, Leucippus fallax
Distribution: Colombia, Venezuela, and French Guiana
Habitat: arid areas, desert shrubland; elevation up to 500 meters
Distribution: Ecuador and Peru
Habitat: subtropical or tropical dry forests and shrublands
Tumbes hummingbird, Thaumasius baeri
Spot-throated hummingbird, Thaumasius taczanowskii
Many-spotted hummingbird, Taphrospilus hypostictus
Distribution: Andean Foothills, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, and northwestern Argentina.
Habitat: subtropical or tropical moist forests and shrublands
Swallow-tailed hummingbird, Eupetomena macrourus – east-central South America
Sombre hummingbird, Eupetomena cirrochloris – Brazil
Olive-spotted hummingbird, Talaphorus chlorocercus
Distribution: western Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, southeastern Colombia.
Habitat: tropical and subtropical moist shrublands
Red-billed streamertail, Trochilus polytmus – Jamaica
Black-billed streamertail, Trochilus scitulus – eastern Jamaica
Distribution: southeastern Arizona, Mexico, and western Guatemala, Pacific coast, Oaxaca (depending on species). Habitats include tropical and subtropical dry forests, moist lowland forests, and shrub lands.
Violet-crowned hummingbird, Leucolia violiceps
Green-fronted hummingbird, Leucolia viridifrons
Cinnamon-sided hummingbird, Leucolia wagneri
Azure-crowned hummingbird, Saucerottia cyanocephala – tropical and subtropical montane forests of El Salvador, Belize, Honduras, Mexico, Guatemala, and Nicaragua
Blue-vented hummingbird, Saucerottia hoffmanni – west of Nicaragua to Costa Rica.
Berylline hummingbird, Saucerottia beryllina – western Mexico, Honduras, Central America, southeastern Arizona.
Blue-tailed hummingbird, Saucerottia cyanura – tropical and subtropical dry forests and moist lowlands in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, El Salvador, and Nicaragua.
Snowy-bellied hummingbird, Saucerottia edward – tropical or subtropical moist forests/montane forests in Panama, Costa Rica, and northwestern Colombia.
Steely-vented hummingbird, Saucerottia saucerrottei – evergreen forests and open woodlands – from Colombia to northwestern Venezuela.
Indigo-capped hummingbird, Saucerottia cyanifrons – Colombia
Chestnut-bellied hummingbird, Saucerottia castaneiventris – mostly dry habitats in Colombia (Magdalena Valley)
Green-bellied hummingbird, Saucerottia viridigaster – tropical and subtropical dry forests/moist lowland forests/montane forests in Brazil, Guyana, Colombia, and Venezuela.
Copper-rumped hummingbird, Saucerottia tobaci – Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, and Venezuela.
Distribution: tropical Central & South America. Species:
Cinnamon hummingbird, Amazilia rutila = from Mexico to Costa Rica
Buff-bellied hummingbird, Amazilia yucatanensis – Texas, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala.
Rufous-tailed hummingbird, Amazilia tzacatl – Mexico, Central America, and Colombia, to Ecuador and Venezuela.
Honduran emerald, Amazilia luciae – Honduras
Mangrove hummingbird, Amazilia boucardi – Costa Rica
Amazilia hummingbird, Amazilis amazilia
Distribution: common in western Peru and southwestern Ecuador.
Habitat: prefers arid or semi-arid climate, thorn forests, scrubs, deserts, and steppes
Andean emerald, Uranomitra franciae
Distribution: Ecuador, Colombia, and Peru
Habitat: woodlands, forest edges, scrubs
Distribution: Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Paraguay, Argentina, and Guyana (depending on species). Species:
Shining-green hummingbird, Chrysuronia goudoti
Golden-tailed sapphire, Chrysuronia oenone
Versicolored emerald, Chrysuronia versicolor
Sapphire-throated hummingbird, Chrysuronia coeruleogularis
Sapphire-bellied hummingbird, Chrysuronia lilliae
Humboldt’s sapphire, Chrysuronia humboldtii
Blue-headed sapphire, Chrysuronia grayi
White-chested emerald, Chrysuronia brevirostris
Plain-bellied emerald, Chrysuronia leucogaster
White-throated hummingbird, Leucochloris albicollis
Distribution: South-east of Brazil, north-east of Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay
Habitat: woodlands, forests, and gardens.
Glittering-throated emerald, Chionomesa fimbriata – Amazon Basin, Brazil, Guianas, Venezuela, and Trinidad.
Sapphire-spangled emerald, Chionomesa lactea – Peru, Bolivia, Venezuela, Brazil, and sometimes Ecuador
Rufous-throated sapphire, Hylocharis sapphirina – northern and central South America.
Gilded sapphire, Hylocharis chrysura – Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina (north), Paraguay, and Uruguay
White-bellied hummingbird, Elliotomyia chionogaster – northern Peru, Bolivia, northwestern Argentina.
Green-and-white hummingbird, Elliotomyia viridicauda – East Andean slope in Peru
Distribution: Colombia, Costa Rica,anama, Ecuador, and Nicaragua.
Blue-chested hummingbird, Polyerata amabilis
Charming hummingbird, Polyerata decora
Purple-chested hummingbird, Polyerata rosenbergi
Distribution: Belize, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil.
White-bellied emerald, Chlorestes candida
Blue-throated sapphire, Chlorestes eliciae
White-chinned sapphire, Chlorestes cyanus
Violet-bellied hummingbird, Chlorestes julie
Blue-chinned sapphire, Chlorestes notata