Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Long-tailed Hermit (Phaethornis superciliosus)


French: Ermite à brins blancs German: Östlicher Langschwanz-Schattenkolibri Spanish: Ermitaño colilargo
Other common names: Eastern Long-tailed Hermit

Trochilus superciliosus


, 1766,



Often considered conspecific with P. longirostris, but probably better treated as separate species; in addition, all races of P. malaris except nominate have traditionally been attributed instead to present species, but their affinities appear to lie with malaris. Race muelleri has been associated with P. malaris ochraceiventris. Venezuelan birds sometimes separated as race saturatior, but fall within range of variation of nominate. A single hybrid of nominate superciliosus with P. m. malaris was found at a locality of sympatric occurrence. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. s. superciliosus (Linnaeus, 1766) – S & E Venezuela, the Guianas and N Brazil N of Amazon (in Roraima and Pará).
  • P. s. muelleri Hellmayr, 1911 – N Brazil S of Amazon (in Pará and Maranhão).
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 14–15 cm; 4–6 g. A medium-sized brownish hermit very similar to P. longirostris and P. malaris, but distinguished from the former by two pale... read more


    Song is a continuous series of single “tsik” notes, at a rate of c. 1·6–2... read more


    Understorey of lowland rainforest and adjacent semi-deciduous forest, forest edge, gallery forest,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Nectar of plants such as Heliconia and Passiflora, and small arthropods. Feeds by trap-lining.


    Breeding records in Jan, Jun, Sept and Nov in N Brazil, S of Amazon; Sept in N Brazil, N of Amazon; Mar, Jun–Aug in Guyana; Aug... read more


    No information available.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Common throughout its range. Abundant in the Voltzberg Nature Reserve in Surinam, with recorded density of at least 3... read more

    Recommended citation

    Hinkelmann, C., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2020). Long-tailed Hermit (Phaethornis superciliosus). 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 3 April 2020).