An inhabitant of lowland deciduous forest, the Black-Backed Antshrike is found on the Caribbean slope in northern Colombia and northwestern Venezuela. Male Black-backed Antshrikes are mostly black with light gray posterior underparts, with white on the edges of its flight feathers and tail, and across its belly and flanks. Females, on the other hand, have brown upperparts, pale buff underparts, dark brown wings and a rufous-brown tail. An understory species, the Black-backed Antshrike prefers disturbed areas of riparian arroyos and evergreen thickets within arid woodland. The Black-backed Antshrike is usually found singly or in pairs, foraging using short hops separated by pauses to scan for prey. These birds will occasionally attend army-ant swarms but are not usually associate with mixed species flocks.