Family Typical Antbirds (Thamnophilidae)

Near Threatened

Blackish-grey Antshrike (Thamnophilus nigrocinereus)


French: Batara demi-deuil German: Schwarzgrau-Ameisenwürger Spanish: Batará ceniciento

Thamnophilus nigrocinereus

P. L. Sclater

, 1855,

Rio Tocantins, Pará, Brazil


Sister to T. cryptoleucus#R and formerly considered conspecific. Races distinctive in plumage; furthermore, reported differences among them in calls, and possibility that Amazonian races may meet each other without intergradation, require study. Five subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. n. cinereoniger Pelzeln, 1868 – CE Colombia, SW Venezuela and NW Amazonian Brazil (drainages of, respectively, R Meta, upper R Orinoco, and lower R Uaupés and R Negro).
  • T. n. tschudii Pelzeln, 1868 – WC Brazil (E Amazonas along lower R Madeira).
  • T. n. huberi E. Snethlage, 1907 – EC Brazil (W Pará along lower R Tapajós).
  • T. n. nigrocinereus P. L. Sclater, 1855 – E Brazil from near mouth of R Tapajós along lower R Amazon and surrounding rivers E to Amapá and islands in estuary.
  • T. n. kulczynskii (Domaniewski & Stolzmann, 1922) – E French Guiana and adjacent Brazil (extreme N Amapá).
  • Descriptive notes

    16–17 cm; 28–32 g. Male nominate race is blackish-grey, blackest on head, throat and back, palest on rump and belly, tinged brownish on wings; interscapular patch... read more


    Loudsong of male a strongly accelerating, slowly delivered (e.g. 8 notes in 2·4 seconds)... read more


    Understorey and mid-storey of seasonally flooded evergreen forest, gallery forest, and scrubby... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds on variety of insects and other arthropods. Most available data are for race cinereoniger: on river islands in R Negro... read more


    Little recorded; breeding reported in Mar on upper R Orinoco, Venezuela; other data available only from French Guiana (kulczynskii... read more


    None recorded; presumed resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally fairly common, including in a number of parks and biological reserves. Fairly common in, for example, Jaú and Tapajós National Parks and Rio... read more

    Recommended citation

    Zimmer, K. & Isler, M.L. (2020). Blackish-grey Antshrike (Thamnophilus nigrocinereus). 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 24 February 2020).