Wing-banded Antbird Myrmornis torquata

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Thamnophilidae
  • Polytypic: 2 subspecies
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  • © Bruno Rennó

The strikingly plumaged and highly unusual Wing-banded Antbird is principally distributed across the Guiana Shield and eastern Amazonia, but additional populations are found, locally, from Honduras to extreme northwest Colombia, as well as at the base of the Andes in eastern Colombia to northeast Peru, and southern Amazonian Brazil. Despite this apparently highly discontinuous range, just two subspecies are recognized, with M. t. stictoptera in Central America and northwest Colombia, and the nominate taxon over the rest of the species’ range. Plumage differences between them, perhaps most especially in females, have promoted the suggestion that more than one species is involved, but, additionally, vocal differences are apparent among the different South American populations, necessitating more detailed work before a robust taxonomy for the genus Myrmornis can be reached. The Wing-banded Antbird inhabits the floor of lowland forest, but its microhabitat requirements are to date poorly understood, though it is often found on slopes. In addition to arthropods, spiders and small molluscs have also been recorded in the species’ diet; and the Wing-banded Antbird usually forages alone or in pairs in a slow and very deliberate manner, by flicking over leaves to uncover prey items below. This curious-looking antbird seems to be generally rare or uncommon virtually throughout its range, and it is possible that at least some apparent gaps in its distribution may actually result from a combination of low survey effort and the species’ rarity.

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Song (Buff-banded)

© Ted Parker

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

Recommended Citation

Wing-banded Antbird (Myrmornis torquata), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/wibant1