Violet-bellied Hummingbird Juliamyia julie

  • Order: Caprimulgiformes
  • Family: Trochilidae
  • Polytypic: 3 subspecies
  • Authors: Thomas S. Schulenberg


Geographic Variation

Three subspecies currently recognized (although the differences between them are minor):

panamensis, described as Damophila panamensis Berlepsch 1884; type locality Panamá and Veraguas

Occurs in Panama.

Crown of the male relatively dull green (the same color as the back); throat of the female usually immaculate (Ridgway 1911).

julie, described as Ornismyia julie Bourcier 1842; type locality Tunja [Boyacá], Colombia (although as noted by Meyer de Schauensee 1949, "The type locality designated for this species is a most unlikely one for a Tropical Zone bird").

Occurs in northern Colombia.

Bill averaging shorter than bill of feliciana (mean 14.5 mm). Crown of male less glittering green than crown of male feliciana, and blue of underparts less violet (Ridgway 1911).

feliciana, described as Ornismya Feliciana Lesson 1844; type locality Guayaquil, Ecuador

Occurs in western Ecuador and extreme northwestern Peru.

Bill averaging longer than in julie (mean 15.1 mm). Crown of male usually more glittering green than in male of julie, and blue of belly more violet (Ridgway 1911). Throat of female usually heavily spotted with green (Ridgway 1911).

Related Species

The genus Damophila is monotypic.

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 Chlorostilbon, Chlorestes, Klais, Orthorhynchus, Campylopterus, Chalybura, Thalurania, Eupherusa, Microchera, Elvira, Aphantochroa, Taphrospilus, Amazilia, Chrysuronia, Hylocharis, Lepidopyga, and Damophila (McGuire et al. 2007, 2009); the genera Cyanophaia, Cynanthus, Eupetomena, Goethalsia, Goldmania, Leucippus, Leucochloris, Phaeochroa, Stephanoxis, and Trochilus were not sampled, but also are suggested to belong to the emerald clade (McGuire et al. 2009).

The genera Amazilia and Hylocharis apparently are not monophyletic, as these genera, along with the genera Chrysuronia, Lepidopyga, and Damophila, are intermixed. Damophila julie is a member of a clade with Hylocharis eliciae and Hylocharis cyanus (McGuire et al. 2007, 2009).

Recommended Citation

Schulenberg, T. S. (2014). Violet-bellied Hummingbird (Juliamyia julie), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.