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Grallaricula ochraceifrons

Ochre-fronted Antpitta

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Grallariidae
  • Monotypic

Authors: Schulenberg, Thomas S., and Guy M. Kirwan



Grallaricula antpittas are small versions of Grallaria; similar to Grallaria, they are plump-bodied, with short tails and notably long tarsi. The Ochre-fronted Antpitta is olive above; the underparts are white or whitish, with broad black streaks. The sexes are similar in most species of Grallaricula, but in Ochre-fronted Antpitta, only the male has the ochraceous buff forecrown for which the species is named.

Similar Species

Ochre-fronted Antpitta is distinctive within its small geographic range. It overlaps geographically with Ochre-breasted Antpitta (Grallaricula flavirostris), but Ochre-breasted Antpitta is paler and tawnier (less olive) above, is buffier below, and has a bold buffy eyering. Ochre-breasted Antpitta also lacks the ochraceous buff forecrown of male Ochre-fronted Antpitta.

The most similar species is Peruvian Antpitta (Grallaricula peruviana), but the distributions of these two species are allopatric, separated by the broad, arid Marañón valley. Both sexes of Peruvian Antpitta also have a prominent buff spot on the lores (lacking in Ochre-fronted), and the crown and nape of the male Peruvian Antpitta are rufous (olive in Ochre-fronted).


Little known. The apparent song of Ochre-fronted Antpitta is "a single whistled note, given every 6–15 sec: a rising-falling wheeu?" (Lane, in Schulenberg et al. 2010). This song is similar to that of Ochre-breasted Antpitta (Grallaricula flavirostris), but the notes of the song of Ochre-breasted are shorter, more hollow-sounding, and often more descending (Lane, in Schulenberg et al. 2010). 

Ochre-fronted Antpitta also gives a chatter when responding aggressively (Lane, in Schulenberg et al. 2010).

Additional recordings of vocalizations of Ochre-fronted Antpitta can be heard at xeno-canto.

Nonvocal Sounds

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Detailed Description (appearance)

The following description is based on Graves et al. (1983) and Krabbe and Schulenberg (2003).

Adult male: Forecrown, lores, and wide eyering ochraceous buff. Rear crown olive brown. Upperparts olive brown. Throat white and malar white or buffy white, with a black lateral throat stripe. Underparts white, tinged buff on the sides and flanks. Breast streaked black, flanks indistinctly streaked olive brown.

Adult female: Similar to male, but lacks ochraceous buff on the head; the crown is olive brown with only a faint suffusion of ochraceous. The remaining upperparts also are generally darker brown than in the male.

Juvenile: Undescribed.

Bare Parts

Iris: dark brown

Bill: maxilla black; distal half of mandible black, base light pink

Tarsi and toes: grayish pink

Bare part color data from Graves et al. (1983).


Total length: 11.5–12 cm (Schulenberg et al. 2010)

Linear measurements (in mm; from Graves et al. 1983): 

        n   mean   range
 wing length     male     4      73.2    73.2-75.3
 (chord)   female     1      71.2     ---
  tail length     male     4     32.6    31.7-33.5
    female     1     31.9    ---
  culmen length    male     4     17.1    16.7-17.3
  (from base)   female     1     16.9    ---
  tarsus length    male     4     25.9    24.8-26.7
    female     1     27.0    ---

Mass: male, mean 23.1 g (range 22.5-23.8 g, n = 4; Graves et al. 1983). 


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Geographic Variation



Grallaricula ochraceifrons was discovered only as recently as 1976, and was formally described in 1983 (Graves et al. 1983). The type locality is "10 km (by road) below (NE) Abra Patricia", San Martín, Peru, at ca 1890 m (this also is the type locality of Xenoglaux loweryi, the Long-whiskered Owlet O'Neill and Graves 1977!). The type specimen is in the Louisiana State University Museum of Natural Science.

The phylogenetic relationships of Grallaricula antpittas have not been investigated in detail. Grallaricula ochraceifrons is similar in appearance, elevational distribution, and habitat associations to an allopatric species, Grallaricula peruviana (Peruvian Antpitta), and these two species probably form a superspecies (Graves et al. 1983, Krabbe and Schulenberg 2003).

Recommended Citation

Schulenberg, Thomas S., and Guy M. Kirwan. 2012. Ochre-fronted Antpitta (Grallaricula ochraceifrons), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: