Description and systematics Stripe-throated Hermit (Phaethornis striigularis)
With a total length of 3½-4 in (9–10 cm) and a weight of 2-3 g, it is among the smaller species of hermits. The wing-coverts, mantle, nape and crown are dull iridescent green, the rump is pale rufous, the belly and flanks are buff, and the central underparts and throat are pale greyish-brown; the latter with small dark streaks that often are faint and difficult to see. The face has a blackish "bandit-mask" border above by a whitish-buff supercilium and below by whitish-buff malar. The flight-feathers and tail are blackish; the latter tipped whitish to ochraceous depending on the subspecies involved. As in most other hermits, it has a long, decurved bill. The basal half of the lower mandible is yellow, but otherwise the entire bill is black.
The sexes are virtually identical. Juveniles apparently have the entire back pale rufous.
The male has a song which is high-pitched, squeaky, monotonous and easily overheard. Its exact structure varies over the species' range.
The Stripe-throated Hermit has, together with several other small hermits, often been considered a subspecies of the Little Hermit (P. longuemareus), but morphological data suggest it may be closer to the Grey-chinned Hermit (P. griseolaris). At present most, if not all, major authorities accept the split (SACC, the Clements check list, the Howard & Moore check list, etc.). It has been suggested that the mainly Central American taxon saturatus, which typically is considered a subspecies of P. striigularis, may deserve species status, in which case it would become the Dusky Hermit or Boucard's Hermit (P. saturatus). The taxon adolphi is considered a junior synonym of saturatus by most authorities.