Family Wrens (Troglodytidae)


Apolinar's Wren (Cistothorus apolinari)


French: Troglodyte d’Apolinar German: Apolinarzaunkönig Spanish: Cucarachero de Apolinar

Cistothorus apolinari


, 1914,

Suba marshes, 8600 feet [c. 2620 m], 4 miles [c. 6.4 km] east of Bogotá, Colombia


Recently described race hernandezi suggested to represent a separate species#R: differs morphologically from nominate solely by its whitish, less buffy tinge on breast and belly (1); slightly paler, greyer flanks, wings and tail (1); slightly longer bill (effect size for males based on published data#R 1.35, ns) and wing (1.86, score 1); slightly shorter tail (1.3, score 1); possibly different social system (further research needed; ns); reportedly different voice#R, but one online recording sounds identical to that of nominate (further research needed; ns); moreover, genetically the two taxa are relatively close#R. Two subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. a. apolinari Chapman, 1914 – Apolinar's Wren – Cundinamarca and Boyacá, in Colombian Andes.
  • C. a. hernandezi Stiles & Caycedo, 2002 – Sumapaz Wren – Sumapaz Massif (S of Bogotá), in Cundinamarca (Colombia).
  • Descriptive notes

    12 cm; one male 17·7 g (hernandezi). Nominate race has crown dull chestnut-brown, side of face grey-brown, very obscurely patterned; postocular supercilium... read more


    Male song of nominate race a rapidly repeated sequence of half a dozen harsh, sawing churring notes... read more


    Nominate race inhabits marshland and lake-edge vegetation, especially cat-tails (Typha)... read more

    Food and feeding

    Details of food items of nominate race come entirely from faecal samples collected from trapped individuals; predominantly Chironomus... read more


    Little information on nominate race: males in breeding condition in Mar and Aug, eggs recorded in Jul, recently fledged young as late as... read more


    Sedentary. Individuals of nominate race observed away from regular sites, perhaps indicating some... read more

    Status and conservation

    ENDANGERED. Restricted-range species: present in Colombian East Andes EBA. Rare. Global range covers c. 1570 km², but found only in very limited areas within this. Has... read more

    Recommended citation

    Kroodsma, D. & Brewer, D. (2018). Apolinar's Wren (Cistothorus apolinari). 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 18 October 2018).