Family New World Barbets (Capitonidae)

Least Concern

Black-spotted Barbet (Capito niger)


French: Cabézon tacheté German: Scharlach-Tupfenbartvogel Spanish: Cabezón negro

Bucco niger

Statius Müller

, 1776,

no locality = Cayenne


Until recently treated as conspecific with C. auratus, but differs in its clear-cut blood-red (vs very soft-edged and buff-brown, yellowish or brick-reddish) forecrown (3); distinct pale yellow mid-crown shading to buff-streaked blackish hindcrown (C. auratus does not show this mid-crown coloration or the clear three-coloured pattern which it makes, having simply a general backward shifting of colour from brightest to dullest) (2); blood-red throat and uppermost breast (vs orangey-reddish to yellow throat and upper breast, usually extending lower) (character part of forecrown difference: ns); barely perceptible dull golden-brown edges of flight-feathers (vs pale yellow edges of flight feathers, same colour as supercilium, etc) (1); appreciably different voice#R(at least 1). Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

E Venezuela, the Guianas, and NE Brazil N of Amazon.

Descriptive notes

16–19 cm; 41–68 g. Brightly patterned barbet, with spots or streaks below; much individual variation in richness of coloration. Previously considered to be... read more


Compared to previously conspecific C. auratus, this species is quiet and infrequently... read more


Lowland and low hill floodplain-forest, terra firme forest, riverine and várzea... read more

Food and feeding

Diet and foraging behaviour presumably much as C. auratus. Constituents of mixed-species flocks that this species sometimes joins... read more


Sept–May or later, to Jul. Display involves cocking and twisting of tail, male bouncing around female, also flutter-flight displays,... read more


Resident, and sedentary, no movements known.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Endemic to the Guiana Shield. Status not well known, especially in Brazilian portion of overall range, but fairly common in Venezuela... read more

Recommended citation

Short, L.L., Horne, J.F.M., Kirwan, G.M. & Sharpe, C.J. (2018). Black-spotted Barbet (Capito niger). 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 12 December 2018).