NamingThe taxonomy of this species is uncertain. The subspecies ''spencei'' is recognised by the IOC as a full species, the Mérida sunangel, ''H. spencei'' , but other authorities lump it with Longuemare's sunangel, ''H. clarisse'' of Colombia and Venezuela or consider both ''spencei'' and ''clarisse'' as subspecies of amethyst-throated sunangel.
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