Short-tailed Woodstar Myrmia micrura
Version: 1.0 — Published December 12, 2014
Account navigation Account navigation
Welcome to Birds of the World!
You are currently viewing one of the free accounts available in our complimentary tour of Birds of the World. In this courtesy review, you can access all the life history articles and the multimedia galleries associated with this account.
For complete access to all accounts, a subscription is required.
Short-tailed Woodstar is the sole species in the genus Myrmia. This is a small hummingbird with a very short tail; at rest, the wingtips extend beyond the tip of the tail. The bill is relatively short (for a hummingbird) and very slightly decurved bill. The upperparts are shining green. The male is mostly white below, with a violet gorget. The rectrices are narrow and stiff; the central rectrices are green and the outer rectrices are blackish. Females are cinnamon buff below. The central rectrices of the female are green; the outer rectrices are black, with white tips.
Short-tailed Woodstar readily is distinguishable from sympatric species by its very small size and very short tail. Purple-collared Woodstar (Myrtis fanny) is larger, longer tailed (especially in the male), and has a longer, more strongly curved bill.
The following description is based on Meyer de Schauensee (1970) and on Schuchmann (1999):
Adult male: Upperparts shining green. Rectrices narrow and stiff; central rectrices are green, outer rectrices are blackish. Distinct white lateral throat stripe. Gorget glittering violet. Breast band and belly white; flanks dingier.
Adult female: Upperparts as in male. Central rectrices green, outer rectrices are black, tipped with white. Underparts pale buffy whitish or cinnamon buff.
Immature: Central rectrices slender and pointed at tips; rectrices of immature female broader and more evenly rounded (Zimmer 1953).
Iris: black [= dark brown?]
Bare parts color data from specimens in the Louisiana State University Museum of Natural Science.
Total length: 6 cm (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001b)
Bill length: 13 mm (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001b)
Mass: female, mean 2.3 g (range 2.2-2.4 g, n = 3; specimens in the Louisiana State University Museum of Natural Science)