Coppery-headed Emerald Elvira cupreiceps

  • Order: Caprimulgiformes
  • Family: Trochilidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Thomas S. Schulenberg and Carolyn W. Sedgwick


Geographic Variation

Elvira cupreiceps is monotypic.

Related Species

Described as Eupherusa cupreiceps (Lawrence 1866); type locality Barrance, Costa Rica.

Phylogenetic analysis of DNA sequence data reveals that hummingbirds (Trochilidae) constitute nine major clades, comprising the hermits, mangos, Patagona, topazes, coquettes, brilliants, mountain-gems, bees, and emeralds (McGuire et al. 2007, 2009). The two species of Elvira, cupreiceps and Elvira chionura (White-tailed Emerald), are members of the emerald clade; other genera in this radiation include ChlorostilbonKlais, Orthorhynchus, Campylopterus, Chalybura, Thalurania, Eupherusa, Microchera, Aphantochroa, Taphrospilus, Amazilia, Chrysuronia, Hylocharis, Lepidopyga, and Damophila (McGuire et al. 2007, 2009). Within the emerald radiation, Elvira is sister to (and very closely related to) Microchera; the sister to Microchera + Elvira is Eupherusa (McGuire et al. 2007, 2009). Interestingly, the outer rectrices are mostly white in all three of these genera.

Recommended Citation

Schulenberg, T. S. and C. W. Sedgwick (2013). Coppery-headed Emerald (Elvira cupreiceps), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.