Bogotá sunangel

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Bogotá sunangel
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Apodiformes
Family: Trochilidae
Genus: Heliangelus
Species: H. zusii
Binomial name
Heliangelus zusii
Graves, 1993

The Bogotá sunangel (Heliangelus zusii) is a species of hummingbird that is only known from one specimen. The hummingbird is a bright purple with black flight feathers and a bright green chin and crown. This bird has only been found in Colombia and is assumed to live in cloud forest between 1200 and 3400 meters. Most of its potential habitat is degraded, though the possibility that a population may still exist is feasible.

This hummingbird is known from a single skin purchased in Bogotá in 1909. Nothing more is known of the bird, and though the skin is most commonly thought to come from either the Eastern or Central Andes of Colombia, other specimens from Bogotá have come from as far away as Ecuador. Since the bird has not been seen alive, it is assumed to have a relict population if it still survives. Some have suggested that the bird is just a hybrid, though the skin is very distinct.

A recent genetic study found that it was in fact a valid species, and is probably extinct. Phylogenetic analyses place H. zusii as sister to a clade of mid -to high- elevation Andean species currently placed in the genera Taphrolesbia and Aglaiocercus (but outside the genus Heliangelus).[2]

After the discovery of a hummingbird hybrid at Rogitama in 2011 which shows similaries to the Bogotá sunangel[3] it has been shown that the Bogotá sunangel might be a hybrid between Aglaiocercus kingii and a yet undetermined species.[4]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2016). "Heliangelus zusii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2017.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 20 July 2017. 
  2. ^ Kirchman, J. J., Witt, C. C., McGuire, J. A. and Graves, G. R. 2009. DNA from a 100-year-old holotype confirms the validity of a potentially extinct hummingbird species. Biology Letters (2010) 6: 112-115, doi:10.1098/rsbl.2009.0545
  3. ^ James Currie on Rogitama Hummingbird in Colombia: Lost Relic or No?
  4. ^ Jorge L. Perez-Eman, Jhoniel Perdigon Ferreira, Natalia Gutierrez-Pinto, Andres M. Cuervo, Laura N. Cespedes, Christopher C. Witt, Carlos Daniel Cadena: An extinct hummingbird species that never was: a cautionary tale about sampling issues in molecular phylogenetics. In: bioRxiv. 2017, p 1–8, doi:10.1101/149898.