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Schistocichla caurensis

Caura Antbird

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Thamnophilidae

Authors: Kirwan, Guy M

Schistocichla caurensis

Barcelos, Amazonas, Brazil; 16 February 2007 © Octavio Campos Salles

Poorly differentiated morphologically from the Spot-winged Antbird (Schistocicla leucostigma), the Caura Antbird is the pantepui representative of the genus Schistocichla. It is almost endemic to southern Venezuela, but has a foothold in northernmost Brazil, in the state of Amazonas. The Caura Antbird differs from the allopatric Spot-winged Antbird only in the male’s red irides, both sexes slaty gray legs, and its larger size. However, the two species’ loudsongs are substantially different, and the Caura Antbird prefers very different habitat, which has been taken to suggest a comparatively ancient divergence. This habitat comprises humid evergreen or semideciduous forest, often on the slopes of tepuis, and characterised by a fairly open understory, with many boulders, bamboos, and woody vines. The birds frequently forage on the ground, tossing leaves aside to reveal their insect prey, as well as on the boulders. Some authors have suggested that the entire Spot-winged Antbird complex should be removed to the genus Percnostola, in which it was frequently placed in the first half of the 20th century.

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Recommended Citation

Kirwan, Guy M. 2010. Caura Antbird (Schistocichla caurensis), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p_spp=393491

This map provided by Robert S. Ridgely.

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