Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Glittering-throated Emerald (Amazilia fimbriata)


French: Ariane de Linné German: Glitzerkehlamazilie Spanish: Amazilia listada

Trochilus fimbriatus

J. F. Gmelin

, 1788,



Sometimes placed in genus Polyerata or Agyrtria. Closely related to A. lactea. Races fluviatilis, nigricauda and tephrocephala were all previously treated as distinct species. Several proposed races are invalid owing to similar morphology and range overlap with adjacent forms: obscuricauda has proved to be identical to elegantissima; maculicaudus and alia are inseparable from nominate. In Venezuela, the very local form described as A. distans (known only from Táchira) is now thought probably of hybrid origin, present species x Hylocharis cyanus, although sometimes recognized as valid#R. Has been suggested that proposed species A. cyaneotincta, known only from two skins of uncertain origin, is an aberrant form of present species, but this seems unlikely; in plumage pattern it is more similar to A. amabilis. Seven subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. f. elegantissima Todd, 1942 – N & W Venezuela and adjacent extreme NE Colombia.
  • A. f. fimbriata (J. F. Gmelin, 1788) – NE Venezuela (from Orinoco Basin) to the Guianas and N Brazil N of Amazon.
  • A. f. apicalis (Gould, 1861) – Colombia E of Andes.
  • A. f. fluviatilis (Gould, 1861) – SE Colombia and E Ecuador.
  • A. f. laeta (E. J. O. Hartert, 1900) – NE Peru (N Amazonas and Loreto to NE Ucayali).
  • A. f. nigricauda (Elliot, 1878) – E Bolivia and C & E Brazil S of Amazon.
  • A. f. tephrocephala (Vieillot, 1818) – coastal SE Brazil from Espírito Santo S to Rio Grande do Sul.
  • Descriptive notes

    8–12 cm; 3·5–6·2 g. Male has straight, medium-sized bill, maxilla blackish, mandible pinkish, tipped dark; upperparts golden to bronze-green; throat... read more


    Song, mainly given at dawn, is a continuously repeated, single, high-pitched buzzy note, “tzee...... read more


    Generally widespread in open to semi-open areas; normally absent from interior of dense forest.... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mostly feeds in lower strata of flowering trees, often close to ground, and takes nectar also while perching; trap-liner. Forages for... read more


    Almost year-round; in Guyana and NE Brazil, data indicate Aug–Sept, in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay Nov–Dec; C Brazil, Nov... read more


    Race tephrocephala migrates regularly southward along Atlantic coast, occasionally... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Common to very common in many parts of the range, especially within northern and eastern regions. Has been erroneously reported once from... read more

    Recommended citation

    Weller, A.A., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2020). Glittering-throated Emerald (Amazilia fimbriata). 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 27 February 2020).