Family Gnateaters (Conopophagidae)

Least Concern

Black-bellied Gnateater (Conopophaga melanogaster)


French: Conophage à ventre noir German: Weißbüschel-Mückenfresser Spanish: Jejenero ventrinegro

Conopophaga melanogaster


, 1835,

Cuiabá; error = Rio Madeira, Brazil


In past, sometimes awarded separate genus Pseudoconopophaga, on basis mainly of larger size. Affinities not clear, but voice and biogeography suggest probably most closely related to group centred on C. lineata (which see). Proposed form rusbyi, based on a single specimen from Bolivia, is not distinguishable. Monotypic.


Lower Amazonian Brazil S of R Amazon, from E bank of R Madeira E to both banks of lower R Tapajós and S to N Rondônia#R and NW Mato Grosso#R, and from E bank of R Xingu E to W bank of lower R Tocantins; presence in intervening area not confirmed. Also, single specimen record from NW Bolivia (NW Beni), but locality open to question.

Descriptive notes

14·4–15·8 cm; 37–43·5 g. The largest gnateater, with distinctive plumage coloration. Male has large white postocular tuft, black head and... read more


Song c. 2·5 seconds long, an evenly paced series of 2–5 short, low (2–2·5... read more


Humid lowland rainforest, often under broken canopy; found only in densest growth, such as brakes... read more

Food and feeding

Arthropods. Few direct observations of foraging; seeks prey by hopping along logs and on the ground, usually perching just above ground to... read more





Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Fairly common, but particularly difficult to detect if voice is unfamiliar to observer. Few officially protected areas exist within its range.... read more

Recommended citation

Whitney, B. (2019). Black-bellied Gnateater (Conopophaga 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 25 March 2019).