Family Typical Antbirds (Thamnophilidae)

Least Concern

Cinereous Antshrike (Thamnomanes caesius)


French: Batara cendré German: Bleiameisenvogel Spanish: Batará cinéreo

Muscicapa caesia


, 1820,

Bahia, Brazil


Closely related to T. schistogynus and formerly treated as conspecific. In recent genetic analysis, present species exhibited deep genetic divergence among populations, but monophyly confirmed in COI barcodes#R. Race simillimus sometimes subsumed, but here accepted on basis of male’s darker plumage and small white interscapular patch. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. c. glaucus Cabanis, 1847 – S Venezuela (Bolívar, Amazonas), the Guianas, E Colombia (S from Meta and Vichada), N Brazil (N Amazonas E to Amapá), E Ecuador and NE Peru (N of R Amazon and W of R Ucayali, S to N Ucayali).
  • T. c. persimilis Hellmayr, 1907 – C Brazil S of R Amazon (lower R Juruá and lower R Purus E to left bank of R Tapajós, S to N Rondônia and W Mato Grosso) and extreme NE Bolivia (NE Santa Cruz).
  • T. c. simillimus Gyldenstolpe, 1951 – SC Amazonian Brazil: known only from middle R Purus.
  • T. c. hoffmannsi Hellmayr, 1906 – EC Brazil S of R Amazon (from right bank of R Tapajós E to W Maranhão, S to NE Mato Grosso).
  • T. c. caesius (Temminck, 1820) – coastal E Brazil (Pernambuco S to Rio de Janeiro, and inland in R Doce drainage in Minas Gerais).
  • Descriptive notes

    14·5 cm; 16–18 g. Male nominate race is rather dark grey, underwing-coverts and inner edges of secondaries white. Female has upperparts and side of head dark olive-... read more


    Loudsong a moderately long (e.g. 5 seconds) series in which long clear upslurred notes shorten and... read more


    Understorey and midstorey of lowland evergreen forest, mostly below 600 m; to 900 m in Andes, to... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds on various insects, including hemipterans, homopterans (Jassidae), beetles (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) and ants (Formicidae:... read more


    Jul–Dec in Brazil and Aug–Dec (once May) in French Guiana. Nest a deep, leafy cup, external diameter 15 cm, depth 5 cm,... read more


    Presumed resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Considered fairly common to common throughout most of its large range. This includes numerous parks and reserves, such as the following: Canaíma,... read more

    Recommended citation

    Zimmer, K. & Isler, M.L. (2020). Cinereous Antshrike (Thamnomanes caesius). 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 24 February 2020).