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Myrmochanes hemileucus

Black-and-white Antbird

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Thamnophilidae
  • Monotypic

Authors: Schulenberg, Thomas S., and Gary H. Rosenberg

Myrmochanes hemileucus

Iranduba, Amazonas, Brazil; 19 September 2010 © Anselmo d'Affonseca

The Black-and-white Antbird is one of the more striking and intriguing antbirds of Amazonia. It is a monotypic species restricted to early successional habitats on sandbar scrub river islands along the Amazon River and its larger tributaries in western Brazil, eastern Peru and Ecuador, and northern Bolivia. The jet black upperparts contrast with snow-white underparts and along with two white wingbars, recalling a miniature Great Antshrike (Taraba major), but this antbird has a relatively long, slender bill. It tends to be rather secretive, with pairs favoring dense vine thickets in the understory of both Cecropia and Tessaria growth on the young islands. Little is known about the movements and dispersal capabilities of Black-and-white Antbird, but its preferred habitat often is totally submerged during the wet season, and therefore it must be able to fly reasonable distances over water to find suitable habitat, a behavior perhaps unique in the antbird family.

Recommended Citation

Schulenberg, Thomas S., and Gary H. Rosenberg. 2011. Black-and-white Antbird (Myrmochanes hemileucus), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online:

This map provided by Robert S. Ridgely.

  • Migration/Movement:Resident (nonmigratory)
  • Primary Habitat:River island scrub
  • Foraging Strata:Understory
  • Foraging Behavior:Glean
  • Diet:Terrestrial invertebrates
  • Sociality:Pairs/Family Groups
  • Mating System:
  • Nest Form:Undescribed
  • Clutch: -
  • IUCN Status:Least Concern