Selenidera are small, stocky, relatively short-billed toucans of Central and South America; the Spot-billed Toucanet is the Selenidera that occurs in southeastern Brazil and in adjacent Paraguay and Argentina. The Spot-billed Toucanet is one of several species of Selenidera in which the iris is mostly yellow, except for dark spots just before and behind the pupil; this gives the eerie effect of having a slit-shaped pupil. The plumage of many species of Selenidera are very similar. The plumage of both sexes of the Spot-billed Toucanet is almost identical to that of Gould's Toucanet (Selendera gouldii) of central Amazonian Brazil, but the two species differ in the color pattern of the bill: the bill of Spot-billed Toucanet is mostly pale with a series of large black spots or stripes. The Spot-billed Toucanet usually is in pairs and forages for a variety of fruit in the canopy of humid lowland forest and in adjacent advanced second growth.