Sunangels (genus: Heliangelus)

The Sunangels (genus: Heliangelus) are South American hummingbirds that are typically associated with mountain areas.

Purple-throated Sunangel (Heliangelus viola)
Male Amethyst-throated Hummingbird

The common name was derived from:

  • “helios” – Greek for sun or light
  • “angelos” Greek or “angelus” Latin for angels

This genus contains the following species:

  • Amethyst-throated Sunangel (Heliangelus amethysticollis) – Range: Eastern Andes in southern Peru and northwestern Bolivia.
    • Heliangelus amethysticollis laticlavius (Salvin, 1891) – Range: Southern Ecuador and northern Peru – north and west of Marañón Valley
    • Heliangelus amethysticollis decolor (Zimmer, 1951) – Range: Eastern Andes in central Peru (south of the Marañón river).
  • Longuemare’s Sunangel (Heliangelus clarisse) – Range: Eastern Andes of Colombia and adjacent western Venezuela
    • Heliangelus clarisse spencei (Bourcier, 1847) – Originally considered a separate species – Range: Northwestern Venezuela. [Heliangelus clarisse violiceps (Phelps and Phelps, Jr., 1953 / 1959 ?)] – considered an invalid species by some authorities – Range: Sierra de Perijá mountain range, along Colombia-Venezuela border
  • Tourmaline Sunangel (Heliangelus exortis) – Range: Colombia and Ecuador
  • Orange-throated Sunangel (Heliangelus mavors) – Range: Colombia and Venezuela
  • Flame-throated Sunangel (Heliangelus micraster) – Range: Along the eastern Andean slope of southeastern Ecuador and adjacent northern Peru
    • Heliangelus micraster cutervensis (Simon, 1921) – Range: Northwestern Peru (Cajamarca).
  • Royal Sunangel (Heliangelus regalis) – Range: Northern Peru and adjacent south-eastern Ecuador.
    • Heliangelus regalis johnsoni – Range: Ecuador
  • Purple-throated Sunangel (Heliangelus viola) – Range: Ecuador and Peru
  • Gorgeted Sunangel (Heliangelus strophianus) – Range: Colombia and northwestern Ecuador
  • [Bogotá Sunangel (Heliangelus zusii)] – According to DNA testing, these hummingbirds are actually more closely related to the Sylph hummingbirds. – Range: Colombia (? exact location undetermined)
Tourmaline Sunangel (Heliangelus exortis)
Royal Sunangel (Heliangelus regalis) Male
Many-spotted Hummingbird (Taphrospilus hypostictus)
Gorgeted Sunangel (Heliangelus strophianus) - Male
Longuemare's Sunangel (Heliangelus [amethysticollis] clarisse)
Orange-throated Sunangel

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Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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