Family Motmots (Momotidae)

Least Concern

Blue-throated Motmot (Aspatha gularis)


French: Motmot à gorge bleue German: Blaukehlmotmot Spanish: Momoto gorjiazul

Prionites gularis


, 1840,



Distinctive, with no obvious close relatives. Has been considered primitive on account of its tail lacking racquet tips. Monotypic.


S Mexico (from E Oaxaca and Chiapas) through Guatemala and extreme N El Salvador to Honduras.

Descriptive notes

25·5–28 cm; 56–67·3 g. Tail feathers markedly graduated throughout, no racquet tips; bill with low, well-spaced serrations along middle part of... read more


Calls usually given from exposed perch high above ground. Gives single, far-carrying "hoot... read more


Humid to semi-humid high montane evergreen and pine forest; 1300–3000 m in Mexico, but not... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly insects, especially beetles; some fruit taken, and presumed also fed to young in small quantities, as seeds found among insect... read more


Lays in Apr in Guatemala; fledgling collected in second half of May in S Mexico. Nest in burrow excavated in earth bank; burrow often... read more


None recorded; almost certainly very sedentary, as adults attached to burrows (excavating, breeding... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in North Central American Highlands EBA. Probably much more abundant than suggested by casual diurnal observations... read more

Recommended citation

Snow, D. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Blue-throated Motmot (Aspatha gularis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 18 January 2020).