Family Typical Antbirds (Thamnophilidae)

Least Concern

Jet Antbird (Cercomacra nigricans)


French: Grisin de jais German: Schwarzbauch-Ameisenfänger Spanish: Hormiguero azabache

Cercomacra nigricans

P. L. Sclater

, 1858,

Santa Marta, Magdalena, Colombia


See C. melanaria. Birds from NW Colombia sometimes separated as race atrata, but not reliably distinguishable from other populations. Monotypic.


C & E Panama (from Veraguas on Pacific slope and Colón on Caribbean E to Darién, also Pearl Is), W & N Colombia (Pacific slope in Chocó and Valle del Cauca, Caribbean slope E to Magdalena, upper Cauca Valley, Magdalena Valley, and base of E Andes S to Meta; recorded in SW Nariño#R), W, N & E Venezuela (S Táchira and W Apure, coastal zone from Aragua E to Delta Amacuro, and along R Orinoco) and W Ecuador.

Descriptive notes

14–15·5 cm; 15–17·5 g (female may weigh less). Male is black, outer scapulars edged white, interscapular patch and hidden patch under scapulars white, wing-... read more


Male loudsong 4 or more pairs of notes, each pair consisting of sharp abrupt note followed by... read more


Understorey and mid-storey of humid, semi-humid and deciduous forest edge and adjacent tall second... read more

Food and feeding

Little published. Feeds on various insects, including lepidopteran larvae, also spiders; stomach contents from Panama included beetles (... read more


Little known. In Colombia, adult male feeding juvenile on 10th Mar in Chocó (Quibdó) and juvenile seen in Dec in Meta. Single nest in... read more


None recorded; presumed resident.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Uncommon to fairly common throughout its large range, but patchily distributed. Occurs in a number of protected areas, e.g. Soberanía and Darién... read more

Recommended citation

Zimmer, K. & Isler, M.L. (2020). Jet Antbird (Cercomacra nigricans). 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 16 February 2020).