Rufous-tailed antwren

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Rufous-tailed antwren
Illustration by Joseph Smit, 1890
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Thamnophilidae
Genus: Epinecrophylla
Species: E. erythrura
Binomial name
Epinecrophylla erythrura
(Sclater, 1890)

See text

  • Myrmotherula erythrura

The rufous-tailed antwren or rufous-tailed stipplethroat (Epinecrophylla erythrura) is a species of insectivorous bird in the antbird family Thamnophilidae. It was formerly placed in the genus Myrmotherula. It is found in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests.


The rufous-tailed antwren was described and illustrated by the English zoologist Philip Sclater in 1890 and given the binomial name Hypocnemis erythrura.[2] The current genus Epinecrophylla was erected in 2006.[3]

Two subspecies are recognized:[4]


The rufous-tailed antwren is about 11.5 cm (4.5 in) in length and has a slightly longer tail than other members of the genus. The male has olive-brown upper parts with a chestnut back and tail, and pale tips to the wing coverts. The throat and breast are grey, sometimes with a dark "scaled" effect, and the belly is olive brown. The female is similar but the throat and breast are buff-ochre and the belly dull brown. In both sexes, the iris is red or orange and the bill is dark. The male is the only member of the genus without a contrasting throat patch. The female is similar in appearance to the stipple-throated antwren (Epinecrophylla haematonota), but that has no chestnut on its back. The song is a high-pitched, rather squeaky series of notes.[5]


The rufous-tailed antwren is endemic to the moist tropical forests of northern South America. Its range includes western Brazil, southeastern Colombia, eastern Ecuador and eastern Peru. This bird occurs in the lower and middle storeys of the forest at altitudes of up to 700 m (2,300 ft).[5]


The rufous-tailed antwren often feeds in pairs or small groups, often joining mixed flocks of small birds flitting through the lower parts of the canopy, often foraging higher in the trees than other related species.[5] The diet consists of insects and spiders, most of which are found by probing into rolled-up leaves. The nest is a dome-shaped construction with a side-entrance; breeding takes place in February in Ecuador.[6]


The rufous-tailed antwren is a fairly common species with a very wide range. The population appears to be stable and the International Union for Conservation of Nature has assessed its conservation status as being of "least concern".[1]


  1. ^ a b BirdLife International (2012). "Epinecrophylla erythrura". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Sclater, Philip L. (1890). Catalogue of the Birds in the British Museum. 15. London: British Museum. pp. 230, 236, Plate 15. 
  3. ^ Isler, M.L.; Lacerda, D.R.; Isler, P.R.; Hackett, S.J.; Rosenberg, K.V.; Brumfield, R.T. (2006). "Epinecrophylla, a new genus of antwrens (Aves: Passeriformes: Thamnophilidae)" (PDF). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. 119 (4): 522–527. doi:10.2988/0006-324X(2006)119[522:EANGOA]2.0.CO;2. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-06-29. 
  4. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2018). "Antbirds". World Bird List Version 8.1. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 23 February 2018. 
  5. ^ a b c Ridgely, Robert S.; Tudor, Guy (2009). Field Guide to the Songbirds of South America: The Passerines. University of Texas Press. p. 343. ISBN 978-0-292-71748-0. 
  6. ^ Zimmer, K; Isler, M.L. "Rufous-tailed Antwren (Myrmotherula erythrura)". Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. Retrieved 30 July 2016.