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Discosura conversii

Discosura conversii (*)

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Cladus: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Cladus: Holozoa
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Megaclassis: Osteichthyes
Cladus: Sarcopterygii
Cladus: Rhipidistia
Cladus: Tetrapodomorpha
Cladus: Eotetrapodiformes
Cladus: Elpistostegalia
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Archosauromorpha
Cladus: Crurotarsi
Divisio: Archosauria
Cladus: Avemetatarsalia
Cladus: Ornithodira
Subtaxon: Dinosauromorpha
Cladus: Dinosauriformes
Cladus: Dracohors
Cladus: Dinosauria
Ordo: Saurischia
Cladus: Eusaurischia
Subordo: Theropoda
Cladus: Neotheropoda
Cladus: Averostra
Cladus: Tetanurae
Cladus: Avetheropoda
Cladus: Coelurosauria
Cladus: Tyrannoraptora
Cladus: Maniraptoromorpha
Cladus: Maniraptoriformes
Cladus: Maniraptora
Cladus: Pennaraptora
Cladus: Paraves
Cladus: Eumaniraptora
Cladus: Avialae
Infraclassis: Aves
Cladus: Euavialae
Cladus: Avebrevicauda
Cladus: Pygostylia
Cladus: Ornithothoraces
Cladus: Ornithuromorpha
Cladus: Carinatae
Parvclassis: Neornithes
Cohors: Neognathae
Cladus: Neoaves
Superordo: Caprimulgimorphae
Ordo: Apodiformes

Familia: Trochilidae
Subfamilia: Trochilinae
Genus: Discosura
Species: Discosura conversii

Discosura conversii (Bourcier & Mulsant, 1846)

Popelairia conversii


Ann.Sci.Phys.Nat.Agric.Ind. 9 p.313 pl.9
Internet Bird Collection

Vernacular names
English: Green Thorntail

The green thorntail (Discosura conversii) is a small hummingbird in the "brilliants", tribe Lesbiini of subfamily Lesbiinae. It is found in Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Panama.[3][4]

Taxonomy and systematics

The green thorntail and three other species were at one time placed in genus Popelairia but since the late 1900s that genus has been merged into the present Discosura. Some authors have further merged Discosura into Lophornis but this treatment has not been widely accepted. Though early authors proposed two subspecies for the green thorntail, current taxonomies treat it as monotypic.[3][4][5][6][7]

Male green thorntails are about 9.5 to 10.2 cm (3.7 to 4.0 in) long and females about 6.6 to 7.5 cm (2.6 to 3.0 in). Five individuals whose sex was not recorded had an average weight of 3.0 g (0.11 oz). The adult male has a dark green crown and a lighter more metallic green back. The coppery bronze rump has bluish black inclusions and a white band across it. The bluish black tail is deeply forked and the outer feathers are very narrow, giving the species its common name. The throat is bright metallic green and the breast and belly mostly darker green with the center of the breast being metallic greenish blue. The adult female's upperparts are like the male's but for a darker rump. Its tail is notched but not elongated. All but the outermost pair of tail feathers are bluish black with dark green bases; the outmost have white bases, a blue-black middle, and white tips. Their face has a broad white cheek patch. The chin is dull black with white spots, the flanks dull green with a white spot, and the breast and belly dull black. Juveniles are like the adults but with a grayish white chin.[7]
Distribution and habitat

The green thorntail is found on the Caribbean slope in Costa Rica and the Pacific slopes of Panama, Colombia, and Ecuador almost to the Peruvian border. It is thought to also occur on the Caribbean side of eastern Panama. It is primarily a forest canopy species, inhabiting the upper levels of the interior and edges of humid montane forest and lowland evergreen forest. It also occurs at flowering trees in clearings. In elevation it mostly ranges from 700 to 1,400 m (2,300 to 4,600 ft) in Costa Rica, 600 to 1,200 m (2,000 to 3,900 ft) in Panama, from near sea level to 1,000 m (3,300 ft) in Colombia, and at 300 to 1,000 m (980 to 3,300 ft) in Ecuador.[7]

The green thorntail is generally resident throughout its range but it also tends to move to its lower elevations during the wet season.[7]

The green thorntail forages for nectar mostly at the tops of flowering trees but also from epiphytes and shrubs. It appears to favor legumes. It nectars while hovering with its tail cocked at nearly a right angle to its body. Its diet also includes small arthropods such as flies, wasps, and spiders that it captures by hawking from a perch and gleans from the underside of leaves while hovering.[7]

Breeding male green thorntails perch on high bare twigs and sometimes give a dive display. The species' breeding season appears to vary across its range but are not well defined. It is thought to span from November to April in Costa Rica, and displays have been noted in Colombia in June. All hummingbirds lay two white eggs that are incubated by the female alone, but no details of the species' breeding phenology are known and the nest has not been described.[7]

Dickcissel male perched on a metal pole singing, with neck stretched and beak open.

Songs and calls
Listen to green thorntail on xeno-canto

The green thorntail is usually silent, but makes "soft, squeaky chipping in interactions".[7]

The IUCN has assessed the green thorntail as being of Least Concern though its population size is not known and is believed to be decreasing.[1] It is judged to be rare and local in Panama, uncommon to common in Colombia, and uncommon in Costa Rica and Ecuador. It is "vulnerable to widespread habitat loss or degradation, but otherwise human activity probably has little short term effect on this species."[7]


BirdLife International (2018). "Green Thorntail Discosura conversii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2018: e.T22687275A130120316. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T22687275A130120316.en. Retrieved 23 January 2022.
"Appendices | CITES". Retrieved 2022-01-14.
Gill, F.; Donsker, D.; Rasmussen, P. (July 2021). "IOC World Bird List (v 12.1)". doi:10.14344/IOC.ML.11.2. Retrieved January 15, 2022.
HBW and BirdLife International (2020) Handbook of the Birds of the World and BirdLife International digital checklist of the birds of the world Version 5. Available at: [.xls zipped 1 MB] retrieved May 27, 2021
Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2021. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2021. Downloaded from Retrieved August 25, 2021
Remsen, J. V., Jr., J. I. Areta, E. Bonaccorso, S. Claramunt, A. Jaramillo, D. F. Lane, J. F. Pacheco, M. B. Robbins, F. G. Stiles, and K. J. Zimmer. Version 24 August 2021. A classification of the bird species of South America. American Ornithological Society. retrieved August 24, 2021

Schulenberg, T. S. (2020). Green Thorntail (Discosura conversii), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved January 23, 2022

Further reading

Stiles and Skutch, A guide to the birds of Costa Rica ISBN 978-0-8014-9600-4

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