Family Ovenbirds (Furnariidae)

Least Concern

Chotoy Spinetail (Schoeniophylax phryganophilus)


French: Synallaxe damier German: Weißwangen-Dickichtschlüpfer Spanish: Pijuí chotoy

Sylvia phryganophila


, 1817,



Formerly placed by some authors in Synallaxis, but differs strongly in voice and plumage pattern. Isolated race petersi apparently differs only in being smaller, but more detailed study required. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. p. phryganophilus (Vieillot, 1817) – E Bolivia (Beni, Santa Cruz, Tarija), S Brazil (Mato Grosso do Sul, S Rio Grande do Sul), Paraguay (except extreme E), NE Argentina (S to Santiago del Estero, Santa Fe and N Buenos Aires) and Uruguay.
  • S. p. petersi O. M. O. Pinto, 1949 – E Brazil (N Minas Gerais, W Bahia; recently recorded as breeding in N Piauí#R).
  • Descriptive notes

    20–21 cm; 15–22·5 g. Large spinetail with distinctive throat pattern unlike that of any other furnariid. Has white super­cilium becoming duller... read more


    Song a distinctive series of low-pitched “cho” notes (sounding as if made by a larger... read more


    Riparian thickets and second-growth scrub; open areas with scattered trees and shrubs, edges of... read more

    Food and feeding

    Arthropods; reported items are Coleoptera. Forages singly or in pairs. Gleans items from foliage and small branches, usually within 1 m of... read more


    Season during austral spring-summer; nests from late Sept, eggs in Oct–Jan and nestlings in Nov–Jan in Argentina. Presumably... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Fairly common to common in most of its range. Seems to be fairly adaptable, occurring in secondary habitats and scrub. A new... read more

    Recommended citation

    Remsen, J.V., Jr (2019). Chotoy Spinetail (Schoeniophylax phryganophilus). 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 10 December 2019).