Family Puffbirds (Bucconidae)


Lesser Crescent-chested Puffbird (Malacoptila minor)


French: Tamatia du Maranhao German: Sichelmond-Faulvogel Spanish: Buco chico

Malacoptila torquata minor


, 1911,

Miritiba, Maranhão


Hitherto considered conspecific with M. striata, but differs in its much smaller size, with tarsus width (2.0 vs 2.7 mm; n = 2 for minor) suggesting great difference in mass (at least 3); brighter and broader tan breastband (2); white vs pale brown, lightly barred lower breast, flanks and belly (2); call possibly slower in delivery, but larger sample needed (ns). Morphological evidence supported by molecular analysis#R. Monotypic.


NE Brazil (N Maranhão, Piauí).

Descriptive notes

17·5 cm. Previously considered conspecific with M. striata (see Taxonomy comments) and their plumage is broadly similar, but M. minor is obviously smaller (... read more


Vocalizations are apparently very similar to those of M. striata, but perhaps slower in... read more


Humid lowland forest, logged forest, secondary growth and forest edges with grass.

Food and feeding

No information.


Nest and eggs recently described from state of Maranhão. Nest a c. 60 cm-long tunnel excavated in flat or slightly sloping ground leading... read more


None known.

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. No estimate of current population size, but this recently recognized species occupies a range of just 127,000 km² within a region that is suffering rapid and... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Lesser Crescent-chested Puffbird (Malacoptila minor). 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 21 February 2019).