Family Typical Antbirds (Thamnophilidae)

Least Concern

Black Antbird (Cercomacroides serva)


French: Grisin noir German: Schwarzbrust-Ameisenfänger Spanish: Hormiguero negro

Pyriglena serva

P. L. Sclater

, 1858,

Río Napo, Ecuador


Recent comprehensive molecular study#R found this species to be closest to C. tyrannina. Birds from C Peru and W Brazil S to Bolivia previously separated as race hypomelaena, but appear to represent S end of a cline of decreasing plumage darkness. Monotypic.


E of Andes from S Colombia (Putumayo), Ecuador, Peru and SW Amazonian Brazil (E to lower R Juruá, lower R Purus and upper R Madeira) S to NW Bolivia (Pando, La Paz).

Descriptive notes

13·5–14·5 cm; 15–17 g. Male is blackish to dark grey (darkest in N); interscapular patch and hidden patch under scapulars white; flight-feathers edged grey, wing-... read more


Male loudsong a series of 4–7 countable (e.g. 4 notes, 1·5 seconds) sharp notes rising... read more


Understorey of humid evergreen-forest borders (terra firme, transitional, várzea... read more

Food and feeding

Little published. Feeds on variety of insects, including orthopterans and homopterans (Cicadidae); probably also on spiders. Closely... read more


Four nests found in SE Peru contained eggs or nestlings in Sep–Dec; nest, a pensile hanging cup, much higher at the back that at the... read more


Presumed resident.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Uncommon throughout most of its range. Regions occupied by this species include a number of large protected areas, e.g. Yasuní National Park, in... read more

Recommended citation

Zimmer, K., Isler, M.L. & de Juana, E. (2019). Black Antbird (Cercomacroides serva). 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 21 May 2019).