Violet-throated Starfrontlets have buffy bellies and copper on the upper wing. Most subspecies have an orangeish-buff tail, but C. v. albicaudata of southern Peru has a more whitish tail. They inhabit edges of cloud and elfin forests, neighboring shrub, clearings, and second growth. During some parts of the year, males and females tend to inhabit different altitudes in some areas. When males display, they fly in pendula-like arcs above females.