Itatiaia Spinetail Asthenes moreirae


Also sometimes called the Itatiaia Thistletail, this species is not confined to the famous Itatiaia massif in southeast Brazil, although this area is undoubtedly that in which most observers gain their first, or only, experience of this Atlantic Forest biome endemic. Nonetheless, the Itatiaia Spinetail is endemic to a relatively small area, encompassing four Brazilian states, those of Espírito Santo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, and São Paulo. Sometimes also placed in its own, monospecific, genus Oreophylax, other authors, especially latterly, suggested that the Itatiaia Spinetail might be more appropriately incorporated in the genus Schizoeaca, with the Andean thistletails, due to their convergent morphology, including (perhaps most obviously) the shared, small, rufous chin-spot. This species is a distinctive inhabitant of semi-humid montane scrub and adjacent tall grass, usually above the treeline, where it is generally found foraging low down and furtively, in groups of up to three individuals, and is most easily detected through use of playback.

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© Ted Parker

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

Recommended Citation

Itatiaia Spinetail (Asthenes moreirae), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: