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Glossy flowerpiercer (D. lafresnayii)
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Thraupidae
Genus: Diglossa
Wagler, 1832
Type species
Diglossa baritula
Wagler, 1832

See text

Diglossa is a genus in the family Thraupidae. They are commonly known as flowerpiercers because of their habit of piercing the base of flowers to access nectar that otherwise would be out of reach. This is done with their highly modified bill, which is typically upswept, with a hook at the tip. Most members of the genus Diglossa are found in highlands of South America (especially the Andes), but two species are found in Central America.

Rusty flowerpiercer, female, piercing the base of an Abutilon flower to access the nectar inside.

Taxonomy and species list

The genus Diglossa was introduced by the German naturalist Johann Georg Wagler in 1832 with the cinnamon-bellied flowerpiercer (Diglossa baritula) as the type species.[1][2] The genus name is from the Ancient Greek diglōssos meaning "double-tongued" or "speaking two languages".[3] The genus now includes 18 species.[4]


  1. ^ Wagler, Johann Georg (1832). "Mittheilungen über einige merkwürdige Thiere". Isis von Oken (in German). cols 275–282 [280–281].
  2. ^ Paynter, Raymond A. Jr, ed. (1970). Check-List of Birds of the World. Vol. 13. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Museum of Comparative Zoology. p. 399.
  3. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 136. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  4. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David; Rasmussen, Pamela, eds. (July 2020). "Tanagers and allies". IOC World Bird List Version 10.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 16 October 2020.

Further reading

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