Family Ovenbirds (Furnariidae)

Least Concern

Crested Spinetail (Cranioleuca subcristata)


French: Synallaxe huppé German: Strichelscheitel-Baumschlüpfer Spanish: Curutié copetón

Synallaxis subcristata

P. L. Sclater

, 1874,

near Caracas, Venezuela


See C. semicinerea. Race fuscivertex described from only two specimens, and poorly known; further research required. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. s. subcristata (P. L. Sclater, 1874) – N Venezuela (Maracaibo Basin, Sierra de San Luis in Falcón, E slope from Lara S to Barinas, mountains from Yaracuy E to Miranda, Cerro Platillón on Aragua–Guárico border, and mountains of NE Anzoátegui, Sucre and N Monagas) and NE Colombia (E slope of E Andes in Norte de Santander S to S Boyacá, and adjacent lowlands of R Arauca and R Casanare).
  • C. s. fuscivertex Phelps, Sr & Phelps, Jr, 1955 – E slope of Andes in W Venezuela (S Táchira, W Apure).
  • Descriptive notes

    14–15 cm; 14 g. Rather long-billed Cranioleuca with very slight crest. Has inconspicuous whitish-brown supercilium, dull brownish face, vaguely flammulated... read more


    Song 3 high, shrill notes followed by chattery descending trill, “pzeep, pzeep, pzeep, pee-... read more


    Primarily montane evergreen forest; tropical lowland evergreen forest locally, mainly in Maracaibo... read more

    Food and feeding

    Arthropods. Forages singly or in pairs, often in mixed-species flocks, from mid-storey up to subcanopy. Hitches and climbs along small... read more


    Season Jan–Jun in N Venezuela. Presumably monogamous. Nest a globular mass of mainly grass, entrance hole near bottom, suspended from... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common to common in much of range; rather uncommon and local in Andes. Occurs in Henri Pittier, Macarao and Guaramacal National Parks, in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Remsen, J.V., Jr (2020). Crested Spinetail (Cranioleuca subcristata). 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 27 February 2020).