Family Typical Antbirds (Thamnophilidae)

Least Concern

Chestnut-backed Antshrike (Thamnophilus palliatus)


French: Batara mantelé German: Dunkelmantel-Ameisenwürger Spanish: Batará dorsicastaño

Lanius palliatus

M. H. C. Lichtenstein

, 1823,

Bahia, Brazil


Belongs to the “T. doliatus group” (which see). Part of a clade that also contains T. multistriatus and T. tenuepunctatus#R; has been considered conspecific with second of these, but the two have adjoining ranges with no apparent barriers and no evidence of intergradation. Validity and distributional limits of races of present species are in need of re-examination. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. p. similis J. T. Zimmer, 1933 – C Peru (Huánuco to Junín).
  • T. p. puncticeps P. L. Sclater, 1890 – SE Peru (Cuzco, Puno), N Bolivia (Beni, La Paz, Cochabamba, Santa Cruz), and Brazil S of R Amazon and W of R Tapajós (extreme SE Amazonas E to extreme SW Pará, S to Rondônia and NW Mato Grosso).
  • T. p. palliatus (M. H. C. Lichtenstein, 1823) – S of R Amazon and E of R Tapajós in N Maranhão, SE Pará and NE Mato Grosso, and coastal NE Brazil (Paraíba S to N Bahia).
  • T. p. vestitus (Lesson, 1831) – #Rcoastal E Brazil from S Bahia S to Rio de Janeiro; recorded in São Paulo#R.
  • Descriptive notes

    16–17 cm; 26–28 g. Male has black crown, forehead spotted white, black side of head and nape spotted white; upper­parts, wings and tail rufous-brown; throat... read more


    Loudsong a moderately long (e.g. 20 notes, 2·5 seconds), accelerating series of similar,... read more


    Understorey and mid-storey of evergreen-forest borders, taller second growth, regenerating... read more

    Food and feeding

    Little published. Feeds chiefly on insects, including orthopterans such as grasshoppers (Acrididae), katydids (Tettigoniidae), stick-... read more


    In Brazil, breeds Oct–Jan in SE and, in NE (Pará), female feeding fledgling in Jun near Belém and nest-building in Nov... read more


    None recorded; presumed resident throughout range.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Locally fairly common over much of its extensive range. This includes several protected areas, e.g. Tapajós and Tijuca... read more

    Recommended citation

    Zimmer, K. & Isler, M.L. (2020). Chestnut-backed Antshrike (Thamnophilus palliatus). 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).