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Version 1.0

This is a historic version of this account.  Current version


White-tailed Hummingbird Eupherusa poliocerca

Marîa del Coro Arizmendi, Claudia I. Rodríguez-Flores, Carlos A. Soberanes-González, and Thomas S. Schulenberg
Version: 1.0 — Published June 28, 2013


Geographic Variation



Related Species

Described as Eupherusa poliocerca Elliot 1871; type locality Putla, Oaxaca.

Eupherusa poliocerca is very similar to Eupherusa cyanophrys (Blue-capped Hummingbird), and some authors (e.g. Mayr 1971) classify cyanophrys as a subspecies of poliocerca. Eupherusa poliocerca itself has been classified as a subspecies of Eupherusa eximia (Stripe-tailed Hummingbird) (Peters 1945, Friedmann et al. 1950, Eisenmann 1955).

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). Eupherusa is a member of the emerald clade; other genera in this radiation include Chlorostilbon, Klais, Orthorhynchus, Campylopterus, Chalybura, Thalurania, Elvira, Microchera, Aphantochroa, Taphrospilus, Amazilia, Chrysuronia, Hylocharis, Lepidopyga, and Damophila (McGuire et al. 2007, 2009). Within the emerald clade, Eupherusa is sister to Elvira and to Microchera (McGuire et al. 2007, 2009). Interestingly, the outer rectrices are mostly white in all three of these genera.

Recommended Citation

Arizmendi, M. d. C., C. I. Rodríguez-Flores, C. A. Soberanes-González, and T. S. Schulenberg (2013). White-tailed Hummingbird (Eupherusa poliocerca), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.whthum1.01