Two subspecies recognized:
abeillei, described as Ornismya Abeillei (Lesson and DeLattre 1839); type locality Jalapa, Veracruz, Mexico
Occurs from southern Mexico south to northern Honduras.
See Detailed Description.
aurea, described as Abeillia abeillei aurea Miller and Griscom 1925; type locality San Rafael del Norte, Nicaragua; above 4000 feet [1220 m]
Occurs in southern Honduras and northern Nicaragua. Intergrades with nominate abeillei in Honduras (Monroe 1968).
Similar to nominate abeillei, but "upperparts, chest, abdomen and flanks everywhere metallic golden-green instead of bronze-green or emerald-green, most conspicuous on the flanks; size averaging considerably smaller" (Miller and Griscom 1925).
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). Genera that are confirmed as members of the emerald clade are Amazilia, Aphantochroa, Campylopterus, Chalybura, Chlorestes, Chlorostilbon, Chrysuronia, Damophila, Elvira, Eupherusa, Hylocharis, Klais, Lepidopyga, Microchera, Orthorhyncus, Taphrospilus, and Thalurania. Abeillia was not sampled as part of this phylogenetic survey of Trochildae. McGuire et al. (2009) propose, however, that Abeillia also is a member of the emeralds, as are several other genera that were not sampled (Cyanophaia, Cynanthus, Eupetomena, Goethalsia, Goldmania, Leucippus, Leucochloris, Phaeochroa, Stephanoxis, and Trochilus).