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Sephanoides fernandensis

Sephanoides fernandensis (*)

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: Sephanoides
Species: Sephanoides fernandensis
Subspecies: S. f. fernandensis – †S. f. leyboldi

Sephanoides fernandensis (King, 1831)

Type locality: Island of Juan Fernandez.


Trochilus fernandensis (protonym)
Trochilus stokesii King, 1831 PZS p. 30 BHL


King, P.P. 1831. Characters of New Genera and Species of Birds from the Straits of Magellan. Proceedings of the Committee of Science and Correspondence of the Zoological Society of London Pt.1 no.1: 14–15 BHL; no.3: 29–30 BHL Reference page. p. 30 BHL


IUCN: Sephanoides fernandensis (Critically Endangered)

Vernacular names
Cymraeg: Sïedn fflamgorun gwinau
Deutsch: Juan-Fernandez-Kolibri
English: Juan Fernández Firecrown
español: Colibrí de Juan Fernández
suomi: Juanfernandezinkolibri
français: Colibri robinson
Nederlands: Juan-Fernandezkolibrie
polski: Fernandezik wyspowy
svenska: juanfernándezkolibri

The Juan Fernández firecrown (Sephanoides fernandensis) is a Critically Endangered hummingbird in the "coquettes", tribe Lesbiini of subfamily Lesbiinae. It is endemic to Isla Róbinson Crusoe, one of the three-island Juan Fernández archipelago belonging to Chile.[3][4]

Taxonomy and systematics

The Juan Fernández firecrown shares genus Sephanoides with the green-backed firecrown (S. sephaniodes). It has one existing subspecies, the nominate S. f. fernandensis. Most worldwide taxonomic systems attribute a second subspecies to it, the extinct S. f. leyboldi. They list it as having occurred on another island in the Juan Fernández group, Alejandro Selkirk Island (also called Más Afuera).[3][4][5] However, at least one author questions the two-subspecies treatment and whether a firecrown ever inhabited Selkirk.[6]
Adult female drawn from a millinery specimen

The Juan Fernández firecrown is among the most radically sexually dimorphic hummingbirds. The male and female plumages are so different, and even the female has a male-like iridescent crown, that in the 19th century they were thought to be different species until a nest was discovered with one of each sex. Males are 11.5 to 12 cm (4.5 to 4.7 in) long and weigh about 10.9 g (0.38 oz). Females are about 10.5 cm (4.1 in) long and weigh about 6.8 g (0.24 oz). Both sexes have a straight black bill.[7]

The male is almost entirely cinnamon-orange. Its forehead and crown are iridescent fiery reddish yellow and the wings dark coppery gray. The female's upperparts are bluish green with an iridescent bluish purple crown. Its underparts are pure white with black and green disks and the wings slaty green. The central tail feathers and the inner webs of the others are blue-green and the outer webs white.[7]
The putative extinct subspecies S. f. leyboldi
Distribution and habitat

The nominate subspecies of Juan Fernández firecrown is found only on Isla Róbinson Crusoe. The putative extinct subspecies S. f. leyboldi is attributed to Alejandro Selkirk Island. The species inhabits forests, thickets, and gardens, favoring shady areas. In summer, males are frequently seen in the island's only town, San Juan Bautista, feeding on the flowers of trees of genus Dendroseris which are endemic to the island chain, and many of which are themselves critically endangered species. All of the breeding records are at elevations between 120 and 660 m (390 and 2,200 ft).[7]

The Juan Fernández firecrown moves around the island, presumably in search of flowering plants, but is otherwise sedentary.[7]

The Juan Fernández firecrown forages for nectar at the flowers of native plants, especially Rhaphithamnus venustus and Dendroseris litoralis. It may also feed on introduced Eucalyptus and Abutilon during autumn and winter when most of the native plants are not flowering. It feeds by clinging to the flowers, and favors shaded blossoms well above the ground. Both sexes defend foraging territories, with males holding the more productive sites. In addition to nectar, the species feeds on small insects taken in flight or gleaned from leaves.[7]

The Juan Fernández firecrown's breeding season is from September to mid-November. The female constructs a small cup nest of woven fern fibers, other fibers, mosses, and spiderweb placed on the tip of a twig in cover, typically about 4 m (13 ft) above the ground. A 2011 study found more than 75% of the nests were in Myrceugenia fernandeziana trees. The clutch size is two eggs. The incubation period and time to fledging are not known.[7]

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

Songs and calls
Listen to Juan Fernández firecrown on xeno-canto

The Juan Fernández firecrown's song is "a medley of high-pitched squeaky notes, dry gravelly trills and descending chatters."[7]
Status and conservation

The IUCN has assessed the Juan Fernández firecrown as Critically Endangered. The species inhabits only one small island. It has an estimated population of 1500 to 3500 mature birds or 3000 to 5200 total individuals and the number is believed to be decreasing. The destruction of native trees, which the species depends on for nest sites, is a major cause of the decline. Also contributing are the spread of exotic zarzamora blackberry (Rubus ulmifolius) and maqui wineberry (Aristotelia chilensis), predation by domestic and feral cats, and destruction by introduced rabbits and goats. It may also suffer from competition for food from the more numerous green-backed firecrown.[1]

A conservation effort was begun in 2004 by a partnership of several organizations (The Hummingbird Society, American Bird Conservancy, and Juan Fernández Islands Conservancy, Oikonos - Ecosystem Knowledge) with the aim of preventing extinction of the species. Their efforts include planting native species, removing non-native plants, and reducing non-native predators and competitors. Island residents have been hired as project coordinators and workers.[1]

BirdLife International (2020). "Sephanoides fernandensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2020: e.T22687863A179402328. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-3.RLTS.T22687863A179402328.en. Retrieved 25 July 2022.
"Appendices | CITES". Retrieved 2022-01-14.
Gill, F.; Donsker, D.; Rasmussen, P., eds. (January 2022). "Hummingbirds". IOC World Bird List. v 12.1. 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
Johow, Federico. (2007). El picaflor de la Isla de Masafuera: ¿subspecie extinta, nunca existió o mistery bird? / The Hummingbird of the Masafuera Island: extinct subspecies, never existed or Mystery Bird? Boletín Chileno de Ornitología 13: 28-41. [in Spanish with English summary]
Roy, M.S., G. M. Kirwan, and P. F. D. Boesman (2020). Juan Fernandez Firecrown (Sephanoides fernandensis), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, J. Sargatal, D. A. Christie, and E. de Juana, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved July 25, 2022

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