The Sharpbill is a highly distinctive bird with no close relatives, although recent molecular evidence indicates that several other genera traditionally placed in Tyrannidae (Onychorhynchus, Myiobius and Terenotriccus) may warrant placement in Oxyruncidae. The Sharpbill has an upright posture and, as the name suggests, a conical, pointed bill. Both sexes are green above, are white spotted with black below, and have an orange coronal patch, although this last feature is more obvious in the male than the female. The male's song is highly distinctive, a long, electric buzz descending greatly in pitch. This species is local and patchily-distributed, primarily in foothill forest, in Costa Rica and Panama, the Guianan highlands, the Andes, and from eastern Brazil south to extreme northern Argentina.