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Myrmeciza pelzelni

Gray-bellied Antbird

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Thamnophilidae


Myrmeciza pelzelni

Mitú Cachivera, Mitú, Vaupés, Colombia; 9 June 2011 © Ian Davies

Named by one latter-day giant of Neotropical ornithology, Philip Lutley Sclater, for another, August von Pelzeln, this species’ generic relationships demand further investigation. Although its distribution just spans three countries, the Gray-bellied Antbird has a relatively tiny range that is largely confined to the Orinoco-Negro White-sand Forest Endemic Bird Area. Here, this recently rediscovered species is found, sparingly, in a variety of forest types, all growing on white sand, but seems most dependent on Amazonian caatinga, which is characterized by relatively low-stature, slender-trunked trees, and an abundant leaf litter but poorly developed understory. The Gray-bellied Antbird feeds alone or in pairs, almost exclusively on the ground, which it explores on zigzagging route, taking insects and spiders, and does not associate with mixed-species flocks. Both sexes are principally brown above with pale-spotted wing coverts, but while females are largely pale below with some scalloping over the throat, males have a black throat and breast, becoming gray over the belly, and more ochre ventrally.

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Recommended Citation

. 2010. Gray-bellied Antbird (Myrmeciza pelzelni), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online:

This map provided by Robert S. Ridgely.

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