Family Toucans (Ramphastidae)

Least Concern

Emerald Toucanet (Aulacorhynchus prasinus)


French: Toucanet émeraude German: Laucharassari Spanish: Tucanete esmeralda

Pteroglossus prasinus


, 1833,

Valle Real, Mexico


Until recently, generally considered to include A. wagleri, A. caeruleogularis, A. albivitta, A. cyanolaemus and A. atrogularis, but combination of morphological and genetic evidence suggests that the 14 taxa in the A. prasinus complex can be broken down into at least six species, as here; see under A. wagleri and A. caeruleogularis and A. albivitta for points of divergence from present species. Proposed races chiapensis (SE Mexico) and stenorhabdus (W Guatemala, N El Salvador) considered synonymous with virescens, probably exhibiting only clinal differences. Four subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. p. prasinus (Gould, 1833) – E Mexico (SE San Luis Potosí to N Oaxaca) S & E to Yucatán, Belize and N Guatemala.
  • A. p. warneri Winker, 2000 – SE Mexico (Sierra de Los Tuxtlas, in S Veracruz).
  • A. p. volcanius Dickey & van Rossem, 1930 – E El Salvador (San Miguel Volcano slopes).
  • A. p. virescens Ridgway, 1912 – SE Mexico (Chiapas) to Honduras and Nicaragua.
  • Descriptive notes

    30–37 cm; male 163–239 g, female 150–201 g. Green toucanet with black and yellow bill, sometimes with some chestnut colour at base; basal line of bill large... read more


    Song an often prolonged series of variable barking to growling notes, from loud, hoarse “... read more


    Usually wet montane and submontane forest, cloudforest, edges, well-developed ­secondary forest... read more

    Food and feeding

    Fruits include lauraceous species (Ocotea, Nectandra, Phoebe) and solanaceous species (Solanum, ... read more


    Mar–Jul or later in Middle America; sometimes two broods. Displays with nodding, head-jerking, tail-cocking; courtship feeding may... read more


    Some evidence of downslope movement, mainly by groups of young birds.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally common in parts of range, but is considered to be threatened in El Salvador due to loss of habitat and the pet trade. Found in moderate... read more

    Recommended citation

    Short, L.L. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Emerald Toucanet (Aulacorhynchus prasinus). 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 26 February 2020).