The Scaled Ground-Cuckoo is almost endemic to Brazil, where it is best known from the region of the lower Rio Tapajós in southeast Amazonia, but its range just extends to eastern Peru and northern Bolivia. This large, principally terrestrial species is frequently considered a subspecies of the Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo (Neomorphus geoffroyi), especially given that there seems to be little genetic distinction between them. However, in plumage, the Scaled Ground-Cuckoo is relatively distinctive, in particular because of its lack of a black breast band. Its vocalizations are not well known, but include the distinctive bill clapping given by all ground-cuckoos. Like all of its congeners, the Scaled Ground-Cuckoo is a rare, local, and heavily unrecorded species, which is found singly or in pairs, usually attending army ant swarms.