They are small birds with a longish tail, a laterally flattened bill with an upturned tip (except in the slender-billed xenops), brown back and buff or rufous wing stripe. They forage for insects on bark, rotting stumps or bare twigs, moving mechanically in all directions on the trunk like a woodcreeper, but without using the tail as a prop.
Together with the distinct great xenops (Megaxenops parnaguae), this genus forms the tribe Xenopini, which based on some recent studies belongs in the woodcreeper and xenops subfamily Dendrocolaptinae, while others have found them to be part of the "traditional" ovenbirds.
- Slender-billed xenops, Xenops tenuirostris
- Plain xenops, Xenops minutus
- Streaked xenops, Xenops rutilans
- Fjeldså, J., M. Irestedt, & P. G. P. Ericson (2005). Molecular data reveal some major adaptational shifts in the early evolution of the most diverse avian family, the Furnariidae. Journal of Ornithology 146: 1–13.
- Moyle, R. G., R. T. Chesser, R. T. Brumfield, J. G. Tello, D. J. Marchese, & J. Cracraft (2009). Phylogeny and phylogenetic classification of the antbirds, ovenbirds, woodcreepers, and allies (Aves: Passeriformes: infraorder Furnariides). Cladistics 25: 386-405.