Family Typical Antbirds (Thamnophilidae)

Least Concern

Black-throated Antbird (Myrmophylax atrothorax)


French: Alapi de Buffon German: Braunscheitel-Ameisenvogel Spanish: Hormiguero gorjinegro
Other common names: Spot-breasted Antbird (“stictothorax”)

Formicarius attothorax

[sic] Boddaert

, 1783,

Cayenne, French Guiana


Form stictothorax (lower R Tapajós) sometimes considered a race of present species or even a separate species, but recordings and specimens from near type locality suggest it is a plumage variant of race melanura, itself already highly variable; proposed races obscurata (E Peru, W Brazil) and griseiventris (W Bolivia) inseparable from melanura. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. a. metae (Meyer de Schauensee, 1947) – C Colombia (Meta, W Guaviare).
  • M. a. atrothorax (Boddaert, 1783) – S Venezuela (S Bolívar, Amazonas), extreme EC Colombia (Guainía, Vaupés), the Guianas and N Amazonian Brazil (both banks of upper and E of lower R Negro, E to Amapá).
  • M. a. tenebrosa (J. T. Zimmer, 1932) – N of Amazon in E Ecuador (Napo, Pastaza), NE Peru (Loreto) and N Brazil (W of lower R Negro).
  • M. a. maynana (Taczanowski, 1882) – NC Peru S of R Marañón (Loreto W of R Huallaga).
  • M. a. melanura (Ménétries, 1835) – S of R Amazon in E Peru (E of R Huallaga), locally in W & C Brazil (upper regions of tributaries of R Amazon and along lower R Tapajós, and E to S Pará and SC Mato Grosso) and N & C Bolivia.
  • Descriptive notes

    13–14 cm; 14–18 g. Interscapular patch white. Male nominate race has crown and upperparts dark yellowish olive-brown, becoming blackish on rump; wing-coverts... read more


    Loudsong a short series (e.g. 9 notes, 1·6 seconds) of downslurred notes at about same pitch... read more


    Understorey of evergreen-forest edge (terra firme, transitional, várzea/... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds on various insects and spiders, probably also on other arthropods; frog fed to nestling. Recorded prey in Brazil include termites (... read more


    Nest found in Apr in French Guiana (details previously unpublished); adult carrying nest material in Jul in S Peru; fledgling seen in Dec... read more


    None recorded; presumed resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common throughout its extensive range. Numerous formally protected areas exist within regions occupied by this species, and in virtually every... read more

    Recommended citation

    Zimmer, K. & Isler, M.L. (2020). Black-throated Antbird (Myrmophylax atrothorax). 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).