Isler, ML & Brumfield, 2006
Epinecrophylla is a South and Central American genus of birds in the antbird family Thamnophilidae. They were previously included in the genus Myrmotherula as the "stipple-throated group", but in 2006 were transferred to the new genus Epinecrophylla.
Molecular studies show that Myrmotherula as previously defined is polyphyletic. The stipple-throated members form a clade that is not a sister clade to any of the remaining members, and the genus Epinecrophylla has been erected to accommodate them. The stipple-throated species have a black and white (or buffy-white) stippled throat in one or both of the sexes. They also have a relatively long, plain-coloured tail. That this clade is distinct from the remaining members of the Myrmotherula is reinforced by differences in song, foraging behaviour and nest-building.
Members of the genus Epinecrophylla tend to specialise in extracting insects and spiders from dangling clusters of dead leaves, foraging in this way for more than 75% of the time. While foraging they have sterotyped methods of manipulating the leaves with their beaks and feet; by way of contrast, members of Myrmotherula tend to hunt for prey on the surfaces of leaves, stems, twigs, mosses and vines, and none of those birds specialises in and manipulates dead leaves, although they do sometimes probe them with their beaks. Another characteristic of Epinecrophylla seems to be the dome-shaped nest with side or oblique entrance; three of the species have this characteristic, while the nesting behaviours of the other members of the genus are not known.
Epinecrophylla contains the following species:
- Brown-bellied antwren (Epinecrophylla gutturalis).
- Checker-throated antwren (Epinecrophylla fulviventris).
- White-eyed antwren (Epinecrophylla leucophthalma).
- Foothill antwren (Epinecrophylla spodionota).
- Napo stipple-throated antwren (Epinecrophylla haematonota).
- Negro stipple-throated antwren (Epinecrophylla pyrrhonota).
- Madeira stipple-throated antwren (Epinecrophylla amazonica).
- Yasuni antwren (Epinecrophylla fjeldsaai).
- Ornate antwren (Epinecrophylla ornata).
- Rufous-tailed antwren (Epinecrophylla erythrura).
- Isler, Morton L.; Lacerda, Daniela Rodrigues; Isler, Phyllis R.; Hackett, Shannon J.; Rosenberg, Kenneth V.; Brumfield, Robb T. (2006). "Epinecrophylla, a new genus of antwrens (Aves: Passeriformes: Thamnophilidae)" (PDF). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. 119 (4): 522–527.