Family Tapaculos (Rhinocryptidae)

Least Concern

Chestnut-throated Huet-huet (Pteroptochos castaneus)


French: Tourco à gorge marron German: Braunkehl-Bürzelstelzer Spanish: Huet-huet gorjicastaño

Pteroptochus castaneus

R. A. Philippi [Krumwiede] and Landbeck

, 1864,

Hacienda de la Puerta, 5000 feet [c. 1525 m], Colchagua, Chile


Close to P. tarnii, and formerly considered conspecific. The two are geographically separated in W Argentina (Neuquén) by a distance of more than 200 km. Contrary to previous belief, the upper R Bío Bío does not represent an effective dispersal barrier, suggesting that the two have been in contact several times during fluctuating climatic conditions; however, they differ significantly in voice, and comparison of mtDNA (albeit based on small sample sizes) indicates genetic isolation for more than 3 million years. Monotypic.


C Chile from Colchagua S to R Bío Bío (at headwaters, only N of R Laja), and immediately adjacent Argentina (W Neuquén).

Descriptive notes

23 cm; male 158–185 g, female 130–175 g. Appearance of a large-bodied, short-tailed dark thrush (Turdidae). Adult has forecrown, supercilium, lower back and rump... read more


Song, delivered as duet at dawn, at dusk, and up to 1 hour later, and sporadically during day, a... read more


Humid forest, forest borders, and secondary woodland. In Neuquén, found in Nothofagus... read more

Food and feeding

Reported food includes beetles, beetle grubs and seeds. Feeds on or near ground. Scrapes the ground with one foot, like P. tarnii... read more


Lays in Nov or Dec. Nest an open cup of soft grass, placed in cavity at end of burrow 0·5–2 m long dug into bank, occasionally... read more


Presumably sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Central Chile EBA. Generally fairly common. Present in several protected areas in Chile, e.g. Laguna de Laja... read more

Recommended citation

Krabbe, N.K. & Schulenberg, T.S. (2020). Chestnut-throated Huet-huet (Pteroptochos castaneus). 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 29 February 2020).