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Southern Emerald Toucanet - BirdForum Opus

Subspecies griseigularis (Gray-throated Toucanet
Photo © by Pitter
Dapa-Valle, Colombia, 31 May 2008
Aulacorhynchus albivitta

Includes: Andean Toucanet; Black-throated Toucanet; Black-billed Toucanet; Greyish-throated Toucanet; White-throated Toucanet; Santa Marta Toucanet


Nominate subspecies albivitta (Andean Toucanet)
Photo © by Stanley Jones
Cosanga, Napo Province, Ecuador, 25 January 2016

30-35cm (11¾-13¾ in). Sexes similar but females have shorter bills.

  • Green plumage
  • Rufous vent and tail tip
  • Black bill with yellow on the upper mandible
  • Broad pale stripe at base of both mandibles
  • White, black or blue throat dependent on subspecies
  • Eye ring can be blue to yellowish to pinkish
  • Dull grey legs
  • Dark iris

Similar Species

Overlaps locally with Groove-billed Toucanet (A. sulcatus) which differs in lacking chestnut undertail coverts and tail tips and in having more yellow on the bill, including the tip. Other similar species are much larger and have a bright red rump.


Subspecies lautus (Santa Marta Toucanet),
Photo © by max1
Santa Marta mountains, Colombia, 16 February 2016

The subspecies vary in colour of basal line of bill, throat colour, tone of green around breast and head and extent of black on bill:

  • lautus has pale grey throat bordered in bluish; bill has limited yellow on top of upper mandible; stripe at base of bill is white below but yellow above; bare skin around eye shown as chestnut in some sources
  • griseigularis with grey throat; upper mandible with much yellow; whitish basal bill line; proximal part of lower mandible chestnut; eye surrounded by yellowish-pinkish skin, and by blue feathers
  • albivitta with white throat; white basal bill line and proximal part of lower mandible chestnut; >1/2 of eye surrounded by yellowish skin and bluish feathers
  • phaeolaemus with blue-grey throat; bill and eye-surroundings much like previous
  • cyanolaemus with blue throat; almost all black bill, basal line white to yellowish; some pinkish skin around eye
  • atrogularis with black throat reaching to eye; upper mandible half yellow, rest of bill black with no chestnut; basal line to bill white below and orange-yellow above; no yellowish skin around eye
  • dimidiatus smallest subspecies; with black throat and overall very similar to atrogularis


Found from Colombia and western Venezuela to Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and western Brazil. On the eastern slope of Andes and associated lowlands except for Colombia where also found on Central Andes and even reaching the northern end of Western Andes.

Locally common in parts of its range.


Formerly considered conspecific with Northern Emerald Toucanet under the name Emerald Toucanet. Gill and Donsker further split this species into White-throated Toucanet (lautus, griseigularis, albivitta and phaeolaemus) and Black-throated Toucanet. HBWalive recognize three species, using Greyish-throated for the first four subspecies, Black-billed for cyanolaemus and Black-throated for the remaining two.


Subspecies cyanolaemus (Black-throated Toucanet)
Photo © by Pepe_Rojas
Maranhon, Peru, 12 November 2013

Clements recognizes 7 subspecies in four groups[2]:

  • Santa Marta Toucanet:
    • A. a. lautus - Santa Marta Mountains in north east Colombia
  • Gray-throated Toucanet
    • A. a. griseigularis - northern end of West Andes and western slope of Central Andes of Colombia
  • Andean Toucanet
  • Black-throated Toucanet:
    • A. a. cyanolaemus - Subtropical Andes of south east Ecuador and northern Peru
    • A. a. atrogularis - Humid Andes of eastern Peru and northern Bolivia
    • A. a. dimidiatus - Subtropical Andes of northern Peru


Open woodland and humid forest. Locally up to 3700m.



Subspecies atrogularis (Black-throated Toucanet)
Photo © by Stanley Jones
Oxapampa, Oxapampa, Peru, 20 August 2017

Their diet consists mostly of fruit, but some insects, lizards, and bird eggs are also taken. Usually forages at mid-story or in the canopy, usually singly, sometimes in groups. Rarely descends to the ground.


Breeding generally from March to July, locally starting in February and lasting to November. They nest in an unlined cavity in a tree; 3-4 white eggs are laid and incubated by both sexes for 14–15 days. Both parents care for the young which fledge after about 6 weeks.


Presumed resident.


Has been described as a series of short "took" or "churt" nots. Also a series of gutteral double notes or a fast series of yap notes with a barking quality.


  1. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliot, and J Sargatal, eds. 2002. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 7: Jacamars to Woodpeckers. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334375
  2. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  3. Gill, F & D Donsker (Eds). 2019. IOC World Bird List (v9.2). doi : 10.14344/IOC.ML.9.2. Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/
  4. del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Greyish-throated Toucanet (Aulacorhynchus albivitta). 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 https://www.hbw.com/node/467421 on 24 June 2019).
  5. Schulenberg, T. S., A. M. Contreras-González, C. I. Rodríguez-Flores, C. A. Soberanes-González, M. d. C. Arizmendi, and K. Powell (2017). Southern Emerald-Toucanet (Aulacorhynchus albivitta), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.souemt1.01

Recommended Citation

External Links

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