Family Typical Antbirds (Thamnophilidae)

Least Concern

Black-spotted Bare-eye (Phlegopsis nigromaculata)


French: Fourmilier maculé German: Tropfenmantel-Ameisenvogel Spanish: Hormiguero maculado

Myothera nigro-maculata

d’Orbigny and Lafresnaye

, 1837,

Plains of Guarayos, Santa Cruz, Bolivia


Occasionally interbreeds with P. erythroptera; form described as “P. barringeri” (“Argus Bare-eye”) shown to be a hybrid between the two. S populations (Rondônia and Mato Grosso S to NE Bolivia) tentatively included in bowmani, but may represent an undescribed race; further study needed. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. n. nigromaculata (d’Orbigny & Lafresnaye, 1837) – SC Colombia (Meta S along E base of Andes to Putumayo and extreme S Amazonas), NE Ecuador (N of R Napo), E Peru (except W Loreto), SW Amazonian Brazil (E to R Madeira) and NE Bolivia (Pando, La Paz, Beni, Cochabamba, W Santa Cruz).
  • P. n. bowmani Ridgway, 1888 – SC Amazonian Brazil (R Madeira E to R Xingu, S to Rondônia and W & N Mato Grosso) and NE Bolivia (N Santa Cruz).
  • P. n. confinis J. T. Zimmer, 1932 – R Xingu E to R Tocantins and R Araguaia.
  • P. n. paraensis Hellmayr, 1904 – E Brazil (S Amapá, W Marajó I and, S of R Amazon, E from R Tocantins to W Maranhão).
  • Descriptive notes

    16·5–17·5 cm; 42–51 g. Bare periorbital patch red. Nominate race has head and neck down to centre of belly black; upperparts and wing-coverts light olive, covered... read more


    Loudsong a short series (e.g. 3 notes, 2·6 seconds) of moderately long, flat, rich whistles... read more


    Understorey of humid lowland and foothill evergreen forest, mostly below 600 m, locally to 900 m.... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds on variety of insects and other arthropods, also on small reptiles; virtually all food obtained when flushed by swarms of army ants.... read more


    Nest found in Jul in Colombia; breeds in Aug–Mar in Brazil and Oct–Feb in Peru; in Ecuador nest found in Apr, and gonadal... read more


    None recorded; presumed resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to fairly common throughout most of its extensive range. Occurs in several formally protected large areas, e.g. Amacayacu National Park, in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Zimmer, K. & Isler, M.L. (2020). Black-spotted Bare-eye (Phlegopsis nigromaculata). 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 29 January 2020).