White-shouldered Antshrike Thamnophilus aethiops

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Thamnophilidae
  • Polytypic: 10 subspecies
  • Authors needed...
  • © Alexander Lees

The principally Amazonian-distributed White-shouldered Antshrike represents an extremely interesting and complex case for the student of Neotropical avian taxonomy. Some ten subspecies are generally recognized, several of which are rather distinctive in either male or female plumage, and at least one of which, T. a. distans of northeast coastal Brazil, is also extremely geographically disjunct, but a comprehensive analysis of the species’ vocalizations and genetics has yet to be attempted. In general, the all-dark (sooty to deep black) males are relieved only by a few neat ‘pinpricks’ of white on the shoulder, while females are predominantly deep rufous-brown. White-shouldered Antshrikes are usually found in dense, tangled vegetation around light gaps or along streams in lowland forest, although locally they seem to be associated with stands of Guadua bamboo. In some parts of the range, the species routinely follows mixed-species flocks, but in most areas singles or pairs forage alone. Feeding behavior has been well described, but our knowledge of the species’ breeding biology is in need of better data.

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© Paul A. Schwartz

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-breeding

Recommended Citation

White-shouldered Antshrike (Thamnophilus aethiops), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: