Androdon aequatorialis ( Tooth-billed Hummingbird, Ecuadorian Tooth-bill )

Tooth-billed Hummingbird
From Monograph of the Trochilidae, J. Gould (©1887)
Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom Animalia – Animal, animals
Phylum Chordata – chordates
Subphylum Vertebrata – vertebrates
Class Aves – Birds
Order Apodiformes – Swifts, Hummingbirds
Family Trochilidae – Hummingbirds
Subfamily Trochilinae
Genus Androdon Gould, 1863
Species Androdon aequatorialis Gould, 1863 – Tooth-billed Hummingbird, Ecuadorian Tooth-bill
Androdon aequatorialis

Named the Ecuadorian "tooth" bill, for good reason as demonstrated in Gould's Monograph

Ecuadorian toothbill

From Monograph of the Trochilidae, J. Gould (©1887) :


Ecuadorian Tooth-bill.

Androdon æquatorialis, Gould, Ann. & Mag. Nat. Hist. 1863, vol. xii. p. 247. — Elliot's Syn. p. 5, 1879.
Gryphus æquatorialis, Muls. Hist. Nat. Ois.-Mouch. tom. i. p. 32, pl.

It was a source of great pleasure to me that such an interesting form of Humming-bird had been discovered since my great Monograph was published. Of this curious Humming-bird, according to my statement in the ‘Annals’ I had but two specimens — one whose bill was armed with teeth, and a hook at the end of each mandible; the other was toothless in the same organ, and the upper bill did not end in a hook. Judging from this difference in the bills, the male only had teeth ending in a hook, the bill of the female is straighter and smooth at the edges, as will be seen by a glance at the drawing.
This singular form of Androdon has its alliances, although they are not very near; Gryphus, and Eutoæeres may be stated as two of them; these forms, I beheve, run into Glaucis and Phaethormis. The form about which I am now writing has moderately large wings, while the tail-feathers are half covered; tarsi and feet very small.
As I have never seen a line written on the history of the Ecuadorian Tooth-bill, I fear some repetition of my original description must be added; for myself, I literally do not know any thing about its habits and economy.
The following appeared in the 'Annals' :—
“ I send for insertion in your next Number a description of a new and very singular Humming-bird which I have lately received from Ecuador. Not only does it differ specifically from every other with which I am acquainted, but it also differs in its structure from every form comprised in the great family of Trochilidæ.
“ This new bird is so very singular that it is not easy to say to which section of the family it is most nearly related; but in some of its characters it assimilates with Gryphus, Eutoæeres, and Doryfera. In size it is about equal to Lampornis mango; the edges of its mandibles are thickly set with fine teeth, like those of Gryphus, but more strongly developed; the bill is very long for the size of the bird, and has rather an upward curvature; the wings are moderate in proportion to the body; and the tail is square or shghtly rounded. The bird must be ranked among the dull-coloured species of its extensive family; at the same time it exhibits some approach to a metallic lustre in the blue or bronzy-red colouring of the hinder part of the crown. I say blue or bronzy-red, because the only specimens I have seen differ in this way, as they also do in the form of the bill, — the one with a blue crown having the toothing strongly developed, and the bill terminating in spiny hooks which cross each other when that organ is closed; whilst the other with a bronzy-red crown has a longer bill, the serrations are not developed, and the spiny hooks are wanting. The tarsi are partly bare of feathers; and the feet are small, pale in colour, and with very long black nails. The back in both is bronzy green; the rump apparently crossed with white feathers, while the upper tail-coverts are bluish; the tail-feathers are pale olive-grey at the base crossed with a band of blackish green near the tip, the three outer ones on each side being largely tipped with white; wings purplish brown, with epaulets of light grey, similar in form to those seen in Helianthea eos; all the under surface grey, with a conspicuous streak of blackish brown down the feathers of the throat, as in Eutoæeres.
“ Total length 5 3/8 inches, bill 1 7/8, wing 1 5/8, tail 1 3/4. “ Hab. Ecuador.”

Androdon aequatorialis

References and Further Reading

  • Androdon aequatorialis Gould, 1863, Taxonomic Serial No.: 555053
  • Monograph of the Trochilidae, J. Gould ©1887
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