The Black-hooded Antshrike is an attractive Central American endemic, which is confined to the Pacific slope of Costa Rica and adjacent western Panama. Males are largely deep black, becoming marginally paler over the ventral region, with three rows of well-marked white spots on the wings, while females are principally brown, with a contrasting black tail, equally prominent white wing-spots, and a narrowly but obviously white-streaked head and underparts. Black-hooded Antshrikes are found in a variety of forest types, including mangrove, from the lowlands to the foothills, within which they usually prefer vine tangles and other dense vegetation close to gaps and edges. Pairs or lone individuals generally forage, very sluggishly, from close to the ground to 15 m above it, and regularly associate with mixed-species flocks. The species has apparently disappeared from many areas of Panama as a result of deforestation, but remains reasonably common in neighboring Costa Rica.