Coppery Thorntail Discosura letitiae


Justification of Red List Category
Known only from two 19th century trade skins labelled as from 'Bolivia', there remains the possibility that the species has been subsequently overlooked. Given the complete lack of modern information regarding the species, the species is classified as Data Deficient.

Population justification
The global population size cannot be quantified until the species is refound.

Trend justification
Data on overall population size, trends and threats is lacking.

Distribution and population

Discosura letitiae is known from two specimens simply labelled as from Bolivia, and taken prior to 1852 when it was described (Bourcier and Mulsant 1852, Butchart and Bird 2010). A study investigating the possibility that the specimens represented immature or variant plumages of Racquet-tailed Coquette Discosura longicauda (probably the most closely related species) or a hybrid form validated the original treatment as a separate species (Graves 1999). It could occur in the ornithologically poorly known Amazonian lowlands of north or north-east Bolivia, as the only other Popelairia recorded there is Black-bellied Thorntail P. langsdorffi (in extreme north-west Pando) and three of the other four Popelairia and Discosura species have lowland distributions. However, localities for 19th century trade skins, such as these, are often unreliable, to the extent that the two specimens may not have even come from Bolivia (Graves 1999). Furthermore, international boundaries have changed in this area since the early 19th century, such that parts of the Amazon previously in Bolivia are now in Brazil.


Unknown, but may occur in primary and secondary forest in the Amazonian lowland and foothills.


Unknown, but if it is an extant species of the Amazonian lowlands it is presumably threatened by habitat loss.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Search for the species in lowland forest in northern Bolivia.


Text account compilers
Capper, D., Sharpe, C J, Stuart, T., Symes, A., Martin, R

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Discosura letitiae. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 02/07/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 02/07/2022.