The Spot-crowned Barbet is found from western Panama to northwest Colombia, with separate subspecies recognized west and east of the Panama Canal Zone. Like all Neotropical barbets, this is a striking-looking bird. The male is mainly black above, with black, yellow and white-patterned underparts. In addition, the female also has the face and throat entirely black. Spot-crowned Barbets inhabit primary forest at low and mid elevations, reaching to 1200 m but usually occurring lower. They forage mainly in the midstory to canopy, taking both fruits and insects, and sometimes forming small bands of up to ten individuals. They are also known to follow army ants, at least occasionally. The species is speculated to be a short-distance migrant in some areas. Almost nothing is known about the Spot-crowned Barbet’s breeding biology.