Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)


Venezuelan Sylph (Aglaiocercus berlepschi)


French: Sylphe du Venezuela German: Berlepschsylphe Spanish: Silfo de Berlepsch

Cyanolesbia berlepschi

E. J. O. Hartert

, 1898,

Cumaná, Venezuela


Closely related to A. kingii and A. coelestis; these three may be parapatric in parts of their ranges, but hybridization appears not to be common. Present species has been treated by several authors as a race of A. kingii, but morphological differences indicate it is probably better regarded as a separate species; female strikingly different. Has alternatively been considered a race of A. coelestis, although this would appear difficult to justify. Comprehensive research into all taxa in Aglaiocercus may, however, result in different species limits and subspecies allocations from those currently applied. Monotypic.


NE Venezuela: E coastal Cordillera de la Costa in Turimiquire Massif (both in Serranía de Turimiquire to W of San Antonio Valley and Cordillera de Caripe to E) on borders of Sucre, Anzoátegui and Monagas.

Descriptive notes

Male 22 cm (including outer tail feathers 14–15 cm), 5·5 g; female 9·5–11 cm, 4·5 g. Male has short black bill; upperparts shining green with... read more


Presumed song a continuous series of buzzy notes “bzzt...bzzt...bzzt...”. Also a high-pitched... read more


Coastal slopes, scrub and forest habitats in subtropical montane zone from 1450 m to 1800 m.

Food and feeding

Nectar of flowering shrubs, vines and trees, especially Inga. Forages alone or in pairs from low underbrush to highest treetops,... read more


Aug–Jan. Domed nest is built in epiphytes. All nestbuilding and incubation of eggs is performed by female. No further information.



Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. Restricted-range species found only in the Turimiquire Massif of NE Venezuela: present in Caripe–Paria region EBA. Locally common within a very small range... read more

Recommended citation

Altshuler, D.L., de Juana, E., Boesman, P. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Venezuelan Sylph (Aglaiocercus berlepschi). 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 29 February 2020).