Family Typical Antbirds (Thamnophilidae)

Least Concern

Black-bellied Antwren (Formicivora melanogaster)


French: Grisin à ventre noir German: Dunkelrücken-Ameisenfänger Spanish: Hormiguerito ventrinegro

Formicivora melanogaster


, 1868,

Goiás city, Goiás, Brazil


Forms a clade with F. serrana. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • F. m. bahiae Hellmayr, 1909 – NE Brazil (extreme E Maranhão E to Rio Grande do Norte, S to N Bahia and W Pernambuco).
  • F. m. melanogaster Pelzeln, 1868 – C Brazil (S Mato Grosso E to S Bahia, S to W Mato Grosso do Sul, W São Paulo and N Minas Gerais), SE Bolivia (Santa Cruz, Chuquisaca, Tarija) and extreme N Paraguay (Alto Paraguay).
  • Descriptive notes

    12–13 cm. Male nominate race has broad white supercilium, dark greyish-brown crown and upperparts, crown feathers with blackish centres, outer scapulars edged white,... read more


    Loudsong a monotonous series resembling that of F. grisea, but pace very slow (e.g. 14... read more


    Understorey and mid-storey of tropical deciduous forest (including mata-de-cipó vine... read more

    Food and feeding

    Little published. Feeds on variety of insects, including orthopterans and lepidopteran larvae, and spiders. Closely associated partners,... read more


    In Brazil, nest with young in Pernambuco and another in earliest stages of construction in Bahia (both previously unpublished), both in Jan... read more


    None recorded; presumed resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common throughout most of its range. Reliance on deciduous forest and caatinga makes it more sensitive to disturbance than are some... read more

    Recommended citation

    Zimmer, K. & Isler, M.L. (2020). Black-bellied Antwren (Formicivora melanogaster). 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 26 February 2020).