Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Stripe-breasted Starthroat (Heliomaster squamosus)


French: Colibri médiastin German: Violettkehlkolibri Spanish: Colibrí escamoso

Trochilus squamosus


, 1823,

Bahia, Brazil


Present species has occasionally been separated in genus Lepidolarynx on basis of tail and bill morphology; details of these characters, however, vary in a continuum from H. constantii and H. longirostris to H. furcifer, present species occupying an intermediate position, and treatment of all four as congeners now generally considered more appropriate. Monotypic.


E Brazil from Pernambuco through Bahia, Goiás and Minas Gerais to São Paulo; recorded also in extreme NE Argentina (Misiones)#R.

Descriptive notes

11·2–12·4 cm; 5–6·5 g. Male has long, decurved black bill; crown iridescent green, upperparts bronze-green; throat glittering violet, lateral... read more


Presumed song a subdued, buzzy scratchy warble “bzzzrrrr..bzzzrrr..chi-chi-chi-chi..bzrrr”. Calls... read more


Forest, savanna, from lowlands to 800 m.

Food and feeding

Nectar of flowering native and introduced shrubs and trees, such as Hibiscus, Erythrina, Spathodea, Tabebuia... read more


Feb–Apr; also recorded incubating in Nov. Small cup-shaped nest is constructed on horizontal tree branches, 6–8 m above ground... read more


Generally considered to be sedentary, with, for example, a study in the Serra do Pará,... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. CITES II. Locally common, for example in Serra da Mantiqueira. Occurs in Serra da Canastra National Park (Minas Gerais). Until end of 1970s, was... read more

Recommended citation

Schuchmann, K.L., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2019). Stripe-breasted Starthroat (Heliomaster squamosus). 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 6 December 2019).