Family Gnateaters (Conopophagidae)

Least Concern

Chestnut-belted Gnateater (Conopophaga aurita)


French: Conophage à oreilles blanches German: Rostbrust-Mückenfresser Spanish: Jejenero orejudo

Turdus auritus

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

Cayenne, French Guiana


Hitherto treated as conspecific with C. snethlageae (which see). Otherwise, perhaps closest to C. melanops. Precise range limits of races unclear. Some confusing variation within range of australis, as some specimens from R Purus (W Brazil) have appearance approaching that of C. snethlageae. Four subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. a. aurita (J. F. Gmelin, 1789) – Guyana E to French Guiana and S to N Brazil (Manaus E to Amapá).
  • C. a. inexpectata J. T. Zimmer, 1931 – SE Colombia and NW Brazil, S & E along W bank of R Negro.
  • C. a. occidentalis C. Chubb, 1917 – NE Ecuador and NE Peru (E of R Napo).
  • C. a. australis Todd, 1927 – S of R Amazon from NE Peru (S to Ucayali) to W Brazil (E to R Madeira, S to N Acre and C Rondônia); population E of R Madeira in W Rondônia provisionally placed here.
  • Descriptive notes

    10·5–13 cm; 12–23·7 g (nominate), 23–31 g (australis). Male of nominate race has crown to nape rufous-brown, white postocular plume;... read more


    Song a rapid, evenly paced series of 30–40 nearly identical notes at c. 3 kHz, lasting 2... read more


    Humid lowland forest. Most frequent in well-drained, tall terra firme forest with fairly... read more

    Food and feeding

    Small arthropods. Forages on and near the ground, alone or in pairs; food items captured with short reaches and gleans from foliage and... read more


    Little known; season Mar–Apr in French Guiana, when a male was photographed while incubating or brooding, and males observed feeding... read more


    Sedentary, or small-scale shifts of territory within a somewhat larger home range. For the nominate... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Uncommon to scarce through most of Guianan portion of range; recently (1998) recorded at Mt Kowa, on Potaro Plateau, representing... read more

    Recommended citation

    Whitney, B. & Kirwan, G.M. (2018). Chestnut-belted Gnateater (Conopophaga aurita). 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 21 November 2018).