The Long-tailed Tapaculo is one of the larger species of the genus Scytalopus, and, compared to other species of Scytalopus, its tail is relatively long. Otherwise the Long-tailed Tapaculo has few distinctive morphological features: the plumage is drab, primarily dark gray with russet brown flanks that are barred with black. Like most other species of Andean tapaculos, the Long-tailed typically remains in dense cover, where it can be difficult to see, although its long, loud song is heard frequently. The song typically begins with a series of single notes, but quickly turns into a series of couplets. The Long-tailed Tapaculo occurs along the east slopes of the Andes from Colombia south to northern Peru, and, like other cloud forest tapaculos, forages on or near the ground for small invertebrates.