Family Crescentchests (Melanopareiidae)

Least Concern

Elegant Crescentchest (Melanopareia elegans)


French: Cordon-noir élégant German: Rotflügel-Bandvogel Spanish: Pecholuna elegante

Synallaxis elegans


, 1844,

Guayaquil, west Ecuador


Vocally very similar to M. maranonica (which see). Birds from S Ecuador (Loja) are probably intergrades between nominate race and paucalensis. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. e. elegans (Lesson, 1844) – W Ecuador (S from Manabí and extreme S Pichincha).
  • M. e. paucalensis (Taczanowski, 1884) – Pacific NW Peru S to La Libertad.
  • Descriptive notes

    14·5 cm; male 16–20·2 g, female 15·5–19 g. Male has black crown and nape, pale creamy-buff supercilium from base of bill to nape, black lores and face; back and... read more


    Song loud and resonant, increasing in volume initially, often decreasing at end, a series of 7... read more


    Dense dry scrub and undergrowth of low semi-arid woodland; locally in fairly humid but heavily... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet not recorded. Forages singly. Hops on or near the ground, usually under dense cover.


    Three nests found in Mar in SW Ecuador were on the ground in arid scrub, extremely well-camouflaged; nests enclosed except for a small side... read more


    Probably sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Restricted-range species: present in Tumbesian Region EBA. Uncommon to locally fairly common; fairly common on Santa Elena Peninsula... read more

    Recommended citation

    Krabbe, N.K., Schulenberg, T.S. & de Juana, E. (2020). Elegant Crescentchest (Melanopareia elegans). 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 30 March 2020).