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Pyriglena leucoptera.jpg
White-shouldered fire-eye
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Thamnophilidae
Genus: Pyriglena
Cabanis, 1847

The fire-eyes, Pyriglena, are a genus of birds in the antbird family Thamnophilidae.The genus contains three species, all found in South America. The fire-eyes are 16–18 cm in length, weigh 25-36 g and have characteristic red eyes that give them their name. They have sexually dimorphic plumage, with the females possessing brown to buff coloured bodies with black tails, and the males being black with small patches of white on the back or wings. The fire-eyes eat a variety of insects, and will regularly follow army ants in order to catch prey flushed by them.[1] Two of the fire-eyes are widespread and safe, but one species, the fringe-backed fire-eye, is threatened with extinction.[2]

Taxonomy and systematics[edit]

The three species of fire-eye have sometimes been treated as a single species.

The genus Pyriglena was described by Jean Cabanis in 1847 and the name is derived from the Greek word puriglēnos meaning fiery-eyed.[3]



  1. ^ Zimmer, K. & M. Isler (2003) "Family Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)" pp.459–531 in del Hoyo, J.; Elliot, A. & Christie D. (editors). (2003). Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 8: Broadbills to Tapaculos. Lynx Edicions. ISBN 84-87334-50-4
  2. ^ BirdLife International. "Pyriglena atra". IUCN Red List. IUCN. Retrieved 23 January 2011. 
  3. ^ Jobling, J. A. (2017). "Key to Scientific Names in Ornithology.". Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. Retrieved 6 May 2017.