Family Silky-flycatchers (Ptiliogonidae)

Least Concern

Black-and-yellow Silky-flycatcher (Phainoptila melanoxantha)


French: Phénoptile noir et jaune German: Gelbflanken-Seidenschnäpper Spanish: Capulinero negrigualdo
Other common names: Black-and-yellow Phainoptila

Phainoptila melanoxantha


, 1877,

San Francisco, Costa Rica


Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. m. parkeri Barrantes & Sánchez, 2000 – cordilleras of Tilarán and Guanacaste, in N Costa Rica.
  • P. m. melanoxantha Salvin, 1877 – cordilleras of Talamanca and Volcánica Central, in C & S Costa Rica.
  • P. m. minor Griscom, 1924 – W Panama (E to Veraguas).
  • Descriptive notes

    20·5–21·9 cm; 56–60 g. Unusual ptilogonatid, appearance like that of thrush (Turdidae), with tail shorter than wing, bill relatively large compared... read more


    Thin, high-pitched “tsip” call, sometimes uttered in twitters. Not known to sing.


    Evergreen subalpine and elfin forests, with fruiting plants such as Araliaceae, Melastomataceae,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Primarily frugivorous; eats small fruits of at least 40 plant species from 36 genera, including Schefflera, Clusia, ... read more


    Peak Mar–May; empty nests found in Apr, eggs in May, fledglings in Jun; adult moult late Jun. Monogamous; solitary nester. Open cup-... read more


    Resident. Moves between patchily distributed fruit sources; in small, loose flocks during non-... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Costa Rica and Panama Highlands EBA. Uncommon to fairly common in Costa Rica above 1200 m (in N cordilleras) and... read more

    Recommended citation

    Chu, M. (2019). Black-and-yellow Silky-flycatcher (Phainoptila melanoxantha). 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 19 February 2019).