Family Gnateaters (Conopophagidae)

Least Concern

Chestnut-crowned Gnateater (Conopophaga castaneiceps)


French: Conophage à couronne rousse German: Roststirn-Mückenfresser Spanish: Jejenero coronicastaño

Conopophaga castaneiceps

P. L. Sclater

, 1857,

“Bogotá”, Colombia


Apparently closely allied to C. peruviana and C. ardesiaca, and part of the group centred on C. lineata. Meets C. ardesiaca saturata in SE Cuzco, which probably marks S limit of range. Birds from W slope of C Andes of Colombia may belong to an unnamed taxon, but no details available. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. c. chocoensis Chapman, 1915 – W Colombia on W slope of W Andes and in W Chocó (Baudó Mts).
  • C. c. castaneiceps P. L. Sclater, 1857 – C & E Andes of Colombia S to C Ecuador.
  • C. c. chapmani Carriker, 1933 – E slope of E Andes from S Ecuador S to N Peru (San Martín).
  • C. c. brunneinucha Berlepsch & Stolzmann, 1896 – E slope in C Peru (from Huánuco S to Cuzco).
  • Descriptive notes

    13–14 cm; mean of seven specimens 27·6 g. Male has top of head orange-­rufous, crown and nape tinged browner, prominent white postocular tuft; upperparts... read more


    Song a series of frog-like, slightly disyllabic notes at 3–4 kHz, pace accelerating and... read more


    Upper tropical and lower subtropical rainforest. Inhabits interior of tall, mossy forest, but... read more

    Food and feeding

    Arthropods. Prey taken from foliage and leaf litter on or near the ground, using short reaches and gleaning.


    In Colombia, nest found in Feb in Valle (upper Anchicayá Valley) and birds in breeding condition in Mar–Jun in C Andes. Nest... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common to uncommon and local, easily overlooked. In N Ecuador, density estimated at 1 pair/ha at appropriate elevations on Mt Sumaco (Napo).... read more

    Recommended citation

    Whitney, B. (2020). Chestnut-crowned Gnateater (Conopophaga castaneiceps). 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).