The Stripe-backed Antbird is the only antbird with a long tail, brown streaked upperparts, and a black throat in the male. It occurs disjunctly in the caatinga of northeastern Brazil (M. s. strigilatus) and the Chaco of southeastern Bolivia, western Brazil, western Paraguay, and northern Argentina (M. s. suspicax). It occurs in dense understory in woodland and scrub, particularly in areas with dense ground bromeliad growth. Individuals and pairs forage for arthropods on or near the ground, sometimes kicking with their strong legs to disturb prey. A nest in Argentina was a cup of dried grass placed on the ground.