Family Typical Antbirds (Thamnophilidae)

Least Concern

Black-faced Antbird (Myrmoborus myotherinus)


French: Alapi masqué German: Schmalbrauen-Ameisenschnäpper Spanish: Hormiguero carinegro

Thamnophilus myotherinus


, 1825,

no locality = Fonte Boa, Rio Solimões, Brazil


In need of taxonomic study; races may constitute more than one species, while some may represent only clinal plumage variation. Revised interface between nominate and race elegans is based on preliminary analysis of vocalizations. In addition, elegans intergrades with proposed race napensis (E Ecuador, NE Peru), with no clear boundary between them; these two best synonymized, pending further review. Seven subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. m. elegans (P. L. Sclater, 1857) – S Venezuela (W Bolívar, S Amazonas), extreme NW Amazonian Brazil (N Roraima, NW Amazonas in upper R Negro region), and SE Colombia (Meta, Vaupés) S to C Peru (N of R Amazon, W of R Ucayali).
  • M. m. myotherinus (Spix, 1825) – extreme E Peru (E of R Ucayali), SW Amazonian Brazil (W Amazonas, Acre) and NW Bolivia (Pando S to La Paz, Cochabamba and WC Santa Cruz).
  • M. m. incanus Hellmayr, 1929 – NW Amazonian Brazil (N bank of R Solimões between R Japurá and R Içá).
  • M. m. ardesiacus Todd, 1927 – R Japurá E to lower R Negro.
  • M. m. proximus Todd, 1927 – S bank of R Amazon between R Purus and R Madeira.
  • M. m. sororius (Hellmayr, 1910) – SC Amazonian Brazil (SE Amazonas, Rondônia).
  • M. m. ochrolaemus (Hellmayr, 1906) – E from R Madeira and R Roosevelt to R Tocantins and S Marajó I, and S to SW & C Mato Grosso.
  • Descriptive notes

    12–13 cm; 16–22 g. Small white interscapular patch. Male nominate race is dark bluish-grey above, wings and tail slightly darker, wing-coverts black with small... read more


    Male loudsong nominate race a countable series (e.g. 13 notes, 3·7 seconds) of evenly spaced... read more


    Understorey of lowland and foothill evergreen forest and adjacent tall second-growth woodland,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Little published. Feeds on variety of insects and spiders. Closely associated pair-members, individuals, or family groups forage mostly 0... read more


    Little known. In Ecuador, nest found in Feb in Napo (details previously unpublished) and season thought to be May–Feb at Limoncocha... read more


    None recorded; presumed resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common to common over most of its extensive range. Regions occupied by species include numerous large protected areas, e.g. Yasuní... read more

    Recommended citation

    Zimmer, K. & Isler, M.L. (2020). Black-faced Antbird (Myrmoborus myotherinus). 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).