Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Green-fronted Lancebill (Doryfera ludovicae)


French: Porte-lance de Louise German: Grünstirn-Lanzettschnabel Spanish: Colibrí picolanza mayor

Trochilus ludovicæ

Bourcier and Mulsant

, 1847,

Buena Vista, east Andes above Villavicencio, Meta, Colombia


Proposed races rectirostris (W Andes of Colombia and NW Ecuador) and grisea (NW Bolivia) now usually subsumed within nominate; former differs only in having bill on average longer, but with wide overlap, and latter based on characters of an immature male (birds of this age indistinguishable from those of nominate). Species name sometimes misspelt ludoviciae. Two subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • D. l. veraguensis Salvin, 1867 – NC Costa Rica to W Panama (Veraguas).
  • D. l. ludovicae (Bourcier & Mulsant, 1847) – extreme E Panama (Cerro Tacarcuna), and Andes from W Venezuela and Colombia S to NW Bolivia (only on E slope S from C Ecuador).
  • Descriptive notes

    11–13 cm; male 5·9 g, female 5·5 g (veraguensis), male 5·9–7·1 g, female 6·0 g, unsexed 5·1–6... read more


    Usually silent. Song apparently undescribed. Call, usually given in flight, a repeated short “tsik... read more


    Mid-strata and lower canopy of wet, epiphyte-laden cloudforest and humid forest in broken terrain,... read more

    Food and feeding

    In forest usually visits flowers of epiphytes with long, tubular, usually pendent corollas, including Ericaceae (Satyria, ... read more


    In Costa Rica breeds in latter half of wet season to start of dry, Aug–Jan; in Colombia nesting recorded between Jul and late Jan;... read more


    Outside breeding season in Costa Rica many individuals descend to 500 m, rarely down to 150 m on... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Generally uncommon (or occasionally rare) to locally fairly common in suitable habitat throughout range, which includes... read more

    Recommended citation

    Stiles, F.G., Boesman, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Green-fronted Lancebill (Doryfera ludovicae). 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 28 January 2020).