Family Typical Antbirds (Thamnophilidae)

Least Concern

Grey Antbird (Cercomacra cinerascens)


French: Grisin ardoisé German: Aschgrau-Ameisenfänger Spanish: Hormiguero gris

Formicivora cinerascens

P. L. Sclater

, 1857,

Río Napo, Ecuador


See C. brasiliana. Races sclateri and iterata suggested as perhaps representing a separate species from nominate and immaculata, but vocal differences, if they exist at all, seem to be very slight. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. c. cinerascens (P. L. Sclater, 1857) – S Venezuela (W & S Bolívar, Amazonas), SE Colombia, E Ecuador, NE Peru (N of R Amazon and R Marañón) and NW Amazonian Brazil (N Amazonas, Roraima, N Pará W of R Nhamundá).
  • C. c. immaculata C. Chubb, 1918 – E Venezuela (E Bolívar), the Guianas and NE Amazonian Brazil (Amapá, N Pará E of R Nhamundá).
  • C. c. sclateri Hellmayr, 1905 – E Peru (mainly S of R Amazon and R Marañón, but occurs also N of latter), SW Amazonian Brazil (S of R Amazon, E to R Madeira) and NW Bolivia (Pando, La Paz, Beni).
  • C. c. iterata J. T. Zimmer, 1932 – SE Amazonian Brazil (E of R Madeira to W Maranhão, S to Rondônia, W Mato Grosso and S Pará) and NE Bolivia (N Santa Cruz).
  • Descriptive notes

    13–14 cm; 14–18 g. Male nominate race is dark grey above, small white interscapular patch; wings tinged brown, coverts occasionally with minute white spots (often... read more


    Male loudsong a short “cuk” followed by long harsh note, or notes in reverse order, or... read more


    Vine tangles in subcanopy and mid-storey (including canopy of mid-storey trees) of lowland... read more

    Food and feeding

    Little published. Feeds on various insects, including lepidopteran larvae, orthopterans, also spiders. Stomach contents from Brazilian... read more


    Little known. A nest under construction in Sept in French Guiana, c. 10 m off ground in thick clump of lianas, from which nest materials... read more


    None recorded; presumed resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common throughout its large range. Range essentially covers most of the humid lowland forest in the Amazon Basin and Guianan region; this includes... read more

    Recommended citation

    Zimmer, K. & Isler, M.L. (2020). Grey Antbird (Cercomacra cinerascens). 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).