Family Antpittas (Grallariidae)


Giant Antpitta (Grallaria gigantea)


French: Grallaire géante German: Riesenameisenpitta Spanish: Tororoí gigante

Grallaria gigantea


, 1866,



See G. squamigera. May be conspecific with G. excelsa, or perhaps only race lehmanni better placed with that species; conversely, race hylodroma may deserve full species rank. Vocal analysis reveals very similar songs, differing subtly in degree of acceleration#R. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • G. g. lehmanni Wetmore, 1945 – SW Colombia at head of Magdalena Valley; probably extinct.
  • G. g. hylodroma Wetmore, 1945 – SW Colombia (Nariño) and Pacific slope of Andes in Ecuador (Pichincha, Cotopaxi).
  • G. g. gigantea Lawrence, 1866 – E slope of Andes of Ecuador (E Carchi and Napo S to Volcán Tungurahua and Sangay National Park#R).
  • Descriptive notes

    24 cm; three males 204–266 g (gigantea), one male 218 g, one unsexed 254 g (hylodroma). Adult has chestnut forehead, grading into slate-grey on crown... read more


    Song (hylodroma) 4–6 (rarely, 7) seconds long, at intervals of 5–15 seconds, a... read more


    Humid and wet primary montane forest, preferring level ground, but occasionally found on steep... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food items recorded include a large beetle, large grubs, slugs, and giant earthworms (Rhynodrylus) and other large earthworms.... read more


    Natural (unprovoked) song recorded Oct–Jan in NW Ecuador, Oct and Mar in E Ecuador. Song given just before dawn and at late dusk,... read more


    Presumably sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    VULNERABLE. Previously listed as Endangered. Restricted-range species: present in Northern Central Andes EBA and Southern Central Andes EBA. Rare and local in most of its... read more

    Recommended citation

    Krabbe, N.K., Schulenberg, T.S. & Sharpe, C.J. (2019). Giant Antpitta (Grallaria gigantea). 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 17 June 2019).