UC Riverside researchers have discovered what could be a new species of hummingbird in the Bahamas.
The Bahama Woodstar comprises of two subspecies: Calliphlox evelynae evelynae, found throughout the islands of the Bahamas and Calliphlox evelynae lyrura (“lyrura” for lyre-tailed, refers to the forked tail of males that resembles a classical lyre harp). This lovely creature is only found among the southern Inaguan islands of the Bahama Archipelago.
Based on data from morphology, behavior, genetics and geology, UCR biologist Christopher J. Clark says the two subspecies should be recognized as two distinct species.
“The two subspecies were originally described as separate species, partly on the basis of small differences in the tail feathers between them, but were then classified in 1945 as subspecies of the Bahama Woodstar. It’s time now to call these two distinct species of hummingbirds.”