This Pantepui endemic has enjoyed a confused systematic history, it having been originally described in the genus Philydor, subsequently transferred to Automolus, and only recently revealed to be most appropriately removed to Syndactyla. Some four subspecies have been described across its rather small range in southern Venezuela, with more limited extensions into western Guyana and northernmost Brazil. Throughout, the species is known from montane evergreen forest and adjacent stunted forest, mostly at elevations between 1100 and 2475 m. Usually found in the understory, either in singles or pairs, the White-throated Foliage-gleaner regularly joins mixed-species flocks. Despite the geographical variation just alluded to, most subspecies conform to a basic plumage pattern. The upperparts are dark rufescent brown, becoming even darker on the crown and ear coverts, which contrast with the obvious white supercilium and striking white throat, whilst the rest of the underparts are brighter and paler brown.