Family Typical Antbirds (Thamnophilidae)

Least Concern

Amazonian Antshrike (Thamnophilus amazonicus)


French: Batara d’Amazonie German: Amazonienameisenwürger Spanish: Batará amazónico

Thamnophilus amazonicus

P. L. Sclater

, 1858,

Río Yavarí, north-east Peru


Previously thought to be closest to the “T. punctatus group” (see that species), and race huallagae of T. punctatus formerly included in present species. Recent molecular analysis#R, however, indicates that present species belongs in a group with T. insignis (which see) and relatives. Plumage variation mostly clinal. Form cinereiceps fairly distinctive in appearance (both sexes), but no evidence of vocal differences from other races. Five subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. a. cinereiceps Pelzeln, 1868 – Grey-capped Antshrike – SW Venezuela (W Amazonas), EC Colombia (Vichada and Meta S to Caquetá and Vaupés) and NW Brazil (both banks of upper R Negro and along W lower bank S to R Solimões).
  • T. a. divaricatus Mees, 1974 – extreme E Venezuela (E Bolívar), the Guianas, and NE Brazil N of R Amazon (E of R Branco and R Negro, E to N Pará and Amapá).
  • T. a. amazonicus P. L. Sclater, 1858 – Amazonian Antshrike – SE Colombia (S Amazonas), extreme E Ecuador (E Orellana), E Peru, W Brazil S of R Amazon and W of R Tapajós (S Amazonas and extreme W Pará S to Acre, Rondônia and W Mato Grosso) and N Bolivia (Pando, N La Paz, N Beni, NE Santa Cruz).
  • T. a. obscurus J. T. Zimmer, 1933 – SC Amazonian Brazil (S Pará between R Tapajós and R Tocantins).
  • T. a. paraensis Todd, 1927 – E of R Tocantins in E Pará, W Maranhão and N Tocantins.
  • Descriptive notes

    14 cm; 17–21 g. Male nominate race has centre of forehead and crown black, side of head grey; back mostly black, rump grey, interscapular patch white; outer scapulars... read more


    Loudsong a long (e.g. 30 notes, 3 seconds) uncountable series that typically increases in speed and... read more


    Understorey and mid-storey of lowland evergreen forest, edges, and second growth, specific habitat... read more

    Food and feeding

    Little published. Feeds on a variety of insects, including lepidopteran larvae, katydids (Tettigoniidae), mantids (Mantidae), stick-insects... read more


    May–Jan in Brazil; food-carrying adults seen in Mar, Aug and Sept. Nest a deep cup 10 cm in diameter and 5 cm in depth, variably... read more


    None recorded; presumed resident throughout range.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Varies from being uncommon to being locally common. Extensive range includes vast areas of protected suitable habitat, examples being Brownsberg... read more

    Recommended citation

    Zimmer, K. & Isler, M.L. (2020). Amazonian Antshrike (Thamnophilus amazonicus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 24 February 2020).