The Black-and-white Antbird is one of the more striking and intriguing antbirds of Amazonia. It is a monotypic species restricted to early successional habitats on sandbar scrub river islands along the Amazon River and its larger tributaries in western Brazil, eastern Peru and Ecuador, and northern Bolivia. The jet black upperparts contrast with snow-white underparts and along with two white wingbars, recalling a miniature Great Antshrike (Taraba major), but this antbird has a relatively long, slender bill. It tends to be rather secretive, with pairs favoring dense vine thickets in the understory of both Cecropia and Tessaria growth on the young islands. Little is known about the movements and dispersal capabilities of Black-and-white Antbird, but its preferred habitat often is totally submerged during the wet season, and therefore it must be able to fly reasonable distances over water to find suitable habitat, a behavior perhaps unique in the antbird family.