With an estimated overall range of less than 6000 square kilometres, the Dark-backed Wood-Quail is a Chocó endemic found only in extreme southwest Colombia and northwest Ecuador, where it inhabits a narrow elevational band between 1100 and 1900 m. This is a forest-dwelling species, although it is sometimes found in tall second growth, and the plumage is largely dark brownish with indistinct rufous vermiculations. The only distinctive feature is the rich rufous-chestnut throat and upper breast. Like all wood-quails, the species is more easily detected by its voice, a loud three-phrase rollicking song often given by a family group in chorus. The species feeds on insects and fruit, and gathers in coveys of up to ten individuals. The Dark-backed Wood-Quail is considered Vulnerable by BirdLife International.