Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Versicolored Emerald (Amazilia versicolor)


French: Ariane versicolore German: Glanzamazilie Spanish: Amazilia versicolor
Other common names: Cuyuni Emerald (hollandi), Blue-green Emerald (rondoniae)

Trochilus versicolor


, 1818,



Sometimes placed in genus Agyrtria. Race rondoniae considered a distinct species in HBW on basis of reported sympatry without interbreeding, but fuller evidence needed. Taxonomic confusion has been caused by occurrence of polymorphism within S parts of range: birds from SE Brazil sometimes divided into two distinct races or even species, a green-throated inland one and a white-throated coastal one, but differences attributable to clinal variation within nominate race, and intermediates exist; coastal birds were listed as brevirostris, but this name is now considered to refer to the species formerly known as A. chionopectus (now A. brevirostris). Distinctive race hollandi sometimes considered a separate species, and millerii and nitidifrons have been suggested as constituting two further species. Validity of race kubtchecki has often been questioned, but it appears separable on basis of morphology; emendation to “kubitscheki” (or others) is unjustified, as dedicatee’s name similarly misspelt in original#R. Race viridiceps of A. franciae sometimes placed in present species, but bill-size disparity incompatible with this arrangement. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. v. millerii (Bourcier, 1847) – tropical Colombia E of Andes, C & S Venezuela and NW Brazil. Old record from Peru#R.
  • A. v. hollandi (Todd, 1913) – SE Venezuela and W Guyana.
  • A. v. nitidifrons (Gould, 1860) – NE Brazil (NE Pará to Ceará and Piauí).
  • A. v. versicolor#R (Vieillot, 1818) – SE Brazil (S from Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo, sparingly N to Alagoas).
  • A. v. rondoniae Ruschi, 1982 – right bank of R Madeira in WC Brazil (Rondônia) and N Bolivia.
  • A. v. kubtchecki (Ruschi, 1959) – NE Bolivia, E Paraguay, extreme NE Argentina (Misiones and Corrientes)#R and SW Brazil (E to Goiás).
  • Precise limits of distribution in Amazonia and NE Brazil very poorly known.

    Descriptive notes

    8–10 cm; male 3–4 g, female 3·2–3·5 g, male hollandi 3 g, female hollandi 3 g. Male has bill straight, medium-sized (1... read more


    Presumed song is a long series of the same single note, which is quite variable, “pseee” or “tsew”... read more


    In N of range, chiefly found at edges of cloud and rainforest and in gallery forest; ranges... read more

    Food and feeding

    Nectar and arthropods; feeds and perches at all levels. Has been observed to visit a great variety of plant families; prefers flowers with... read more


    Almost year-round; in E Brazil, Oct–Mar; nothing known concerning race rondoniae. Nest cup-shaped, built of plant down and... read more


    Generally sedentary, with some local movements, e.g. around Puerto Ayacucho, S Venezuela, the... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. The southern races versicolor and kubtchecki are more common and widespread than northern representatives, except ... read more

    Recommended citation

    Weller, A.A., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2020). Versicolored Emerald (Amazilia versicolor). 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 25 February 2020).