Family Gnatcatchers (Polioptilidae)

Near Threatened

Creamy-bellied Gnatcatcher (Polioptila lactea)


French: Gobemoucheron lacté German: Rahmbauch-Mückenfänger Spanish: Perlita blanca

Polioptila lactea


, 1885,

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


In past, occasionally thought to be conspecific with P. plumbea. Monotypic.


S Brazil (S Mato Grosso do Sul E to Rio de Janeiro, and S to NW Rio Grande do Sul and W & NW Santa Catarina), SE Paraguay (E Alto Paraná) and NE Argentina (Misiones, N Corrientes).

Descriptive notes

10–12 cm; 7 g. Male has glossy bluish-black cap, white lores extending to a thin supercilium, distinct pale eyering; upperparts dark slaty blue, rump feathers tipped... read more


Song is a simple, rather fast repetition of c. 6–8 high (4–6 kHz), thin notes, each... read more


Canopy of open humid forest and woodland, bushes at forest edge, mixed temperate rainforest and... read more

Food and feeding

Little known. Probably feeds on small insects, and spiders. Gleans and hover-gleans from terminal twigs or foliage; behaviour similar to... read more


Poorly known. Only one nest described, in mid-Aug in Brazil; male with enlarged testes in late Sept. Nest built by both sexes, requiring 6... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near-threatened. Rare except at SW limits of range. Rare in Iguazú National Park, in Argentina. Formerly more widespread... read more

Recommended citation

Atwood, J. & Lerman, S. (2019). Creamy-bellied Gnatcatcher (Polioptila lactea). 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 April 2019).