Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Purple-throated Sunangel (Heliangelus viola)


French: Héliange viola German: Purpurkehl-Sonnennymphe Spanish: Colibrí violeta

Heliotrypha viola


, 1853,

banks of River Marañón = Chachapoyas, Peru


Relationships with congeners poorly known. W & N populations have been separated out as a full species, H. splendidus with subspecies pyropus#R#R, but not all claimed distinctions substantiated, and differences in any case very slight and apparently only in continuously varying traits, so that validity of taxa not certain; moreover, supposed sympatry of splendidus and viola undermined by possibility of migrant individuals being involved. Monotypic.


W slope of Andes from NC Ecuador to N Peru (Piura S in W to Cajamarca, in E to Amazonas).

Descriptive notes

11–12 cm; 5·1–6·6 g. Straight bill blackish. Male has shining green upperparts with a glittering blue-green frontlet; the highly iridescent gorget... read more


Calls include a loose series of short dry trills “”, and a repeated, drawn-out... read more


Inhabits a wide range of habitats from cloudforest to shrubby thickets and Alnus woods.... read more

Food and feeding

Has been recorded feeding at flowering Eucalyptus trees. In some areas of S Ecuador seems to be largely dependent on the... read more


Oct–Jan. Clutch two white eggs; incubation by female. An adult recorded feeding chicks in Jan. No further information.



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. CITES II. Restricted-range species: present in Southern Central Andes EBA. Locally fairly common. In some areas apparently depends largely on the... read more

Recommended citation

Heynen, I., Boesman, P. & Bonan, A. (2019). Purple-throated Sunangel (Heliangelus viola). 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 17 June 2019).