Family Typical Antbirds (Thamnophilidae)

Near Threatened

Castelnau's Antshrike (Thamnophilus cryptoleucus)


French: Batara de Castelnau German: Flussufer-Ameisenwürger Spanish: Batará de Castelnau

Myrmelastes cryptoleucus

Ménégaux and Hellmayr

, 1906,

Pebas, Loreto, Peru


Sister to T. nigrocinereus#R and formerly considered conspecific. Monotypic.


NE Ecuador and N Peru (locally along R Napo, R Marañón, R Santiago and R Ucayali) E along R Amazon in W Brazil (E to vicinity of mouth of R Negro).

Descriptive notes

16–17 cm; 30–35 g. Male is black, with white interscapular patch, white tips or edges on scapulars, wing-coverts and bend of wing, sometimes very small white tips... read more


Rapidly accelerating series of evenly pitched, emphatic, complex notes (e.g. 14 notes, 2·2... read more


Understorey and mid-storey of seasonally flooded evergreen forest and tall second-growth woodland... read more

Food and feeding

Little published. Feeds on various insects and other arthropods; visual observations have identified large and small caterpillars. Pairs or... read more


Nothing known.


Presumed resident throughout range.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Fairly common throughout most of its narrow, linear distribution. Total population size, like that of most obligate river-island birds, is probably... read more

Recommended citation

Zimmer, K. & Isler, M.L. (2020). Castelnau's Antshrike (Thamnophilus cryptoleucus). 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).