AudioDateDownLeftRightUpIconClosefacebookReportGallerySettingsGiftLanguageGridListMapMenunoAudionoPhotoPhotoPlayPlusSearchStartwitterUserVideo

White-bellied Antbird Myrmeciza longipes

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Thamnophilidae
  • Polytypic: 4 subspecies
  • Authors: DiGiovanni, Alex and Henry S. Pollock
Sections

White-bellied Antbird (Myrmeciza longipes) is a terrestrial insectivorous antbird (Family Thamnophilidae) found in lowland Neotropical forests from eastern Panama to northeastern Brazil. The Spanish common name is hormiguero ("antbird") ventriblanco (literally "white-bellied"). The generic name is derived from the Greek Myrmeco- ("ant") + -izo ("ambush"). The specific epithet is derived from the Greek longi- ("long") + -pes ("foot"or "leg"). The scientific name is a misnomer - White-bellied Antbirds do not consume ants or follow army ant (Eciton burchellii) swarms nor do they have particularly long legs relative to other terrestrial insectivores. It is a socially monogamous species that exhibits duetting behavior between mates. They build cup-shaped nests near the ground with a modal clutch size of two eggs (Austin-Bythell 2013).

White-bellied Antbirds are dimorphic and the four currently recognized subspecies are geographically variable in plumage. In general, males have warm rufous upperparts with a black throat, a gray supercilium that extends down the sides of the neck, and a white belly. In contrast, females lack the black throat patch, instead having light cinnamon/brown underparts, and they also have black spotting of varying intensity on the wing coverts. Differences in morphology and vocalizations of the four subspecies suggest that White-bellied Antbird may comprise more than one species, although further research on the evolutionary relationships among the subspecies is needed to validate this idea.

White-bellied Antbird possesses a comparatively wide, but also highly disjunct range across northern South America, entirely north of the Amazon, with a small extension of its range into easternmost Panama. A shy species, it can be difficult to observe without the use of a playback. They prefer dense, tangled vegetation at the edges of forest and near clearings and light gaps. Furthermore, they are relatively tolerant of fragmentation and are more common in second-growth habitats and drier, deciduous forests.

Help complete this species

There are many ways to contribute—we need species information, photographs, audio, video, translations, maps, distribution data, and bird sightings. There's a role for everyone!

Learn more

Song

© Paul A Schwartz

Enlarge
  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-breeding

Recommended Citation

DiGiovanni, Alex and Henry S. Pollock. White-bellied Antbird (Myrmeciza longipes), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/whbant1