Family Typical Antbirds (Thamnophilidae)

Least Concern

Long-winged Antwren (Myrmotherula longipennis)


French: Myrmidon longipenne German: Silberameisenschlüpfer Spanish: Hormiguerito alilargo

Myrmotherula longipennis


, 1868,

Marabitanas, Rio Negro, Amazonas, Brazil


Appears closest to M. urosticta and possibly M. menetriesii; the three are often grouped with similarly plumaged species in the “grey antwren assemblage” (see M. axillaris). Although plumage and vocal differences, and some genetic studies#R#R, suggest that some races may be separate species, recent analysis of vocal characteristics revealed a gradual change in the song from one race to the next (starting with nominate in N of range and proceeding in anticlockwise direction through Amazonia to paraensis); thus, at the two extremes of the range, nominate song sounds very different from that of paraensis#R. Geographical ranges of races given below are tentative, based mainly on previously published statements. Full review of all parameters required. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. l. longipennis Pelzeln, 1868 – S Venezuela (Bolívar, Amazonas), the Guianas, N Amazonian Brazil (E to Amapá), SE Colombia, extreme NE Ecuador (N of R Napo) and extreme N Peru (Loreto N of R Napo and R Amazon).
  • M. l. zimmeri Chapman, 1925 – E Ecuador (S of R Napo) and NE Peru (S of R Napo, N of R Amazon and R Marañón).
  • M. l. garbei H. von Ihering, 1905 – E Peru (S of R Amazon and R Marañón), SW Amazonian Brazil (E to R Madeira) and NW Bolivia (Pando, La Paz).
  • M. l. ochrogyna Todd, 1927 – lower R Madeira E to lower R Tapajós.
  • M. l. paraensis (Todd, 1920) – from R Tapajós E to W Maranhão, S to NE Mato Grosso.
  • M. l. transitiva Hellmayr, 1929 – upper R Madeira E to upper R Tapajós.
  • Descriptive notes

    9–10·5 cm; 8–10 g. Male nominate race is dark grey, paler below, concealed white interscapular patch; wing-coverts black, tipped white, scapulars and tail tips... read more


    Loudsong nominate race a series of harsh upslurred notes (e.g. 10 notes, 5·5 seconds),... read more


    Understorey and mid-storey of lowland and foothill evergreen forest, primarily terra firme... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds on variety of insects and spiders. Stomach samples from Surinam contained lepidopteran larvae, beetles (Chrysomelidae), ants (... read more


    Nests found in Aug (2) and Dec (1) in French Guiana and in Aug–Nov in SE Peru (4). In French Guiana, nest built mainly by female, a... read more


    None recorded; presumed resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Considered to be fairly common throughout most of its range. Extensive range includes a number of large, protected areas, such as Alto Orinoco-... read more

    Recommended citation

    Zimmer, K. & Isler, M.L. (2020). Long-winged Antwren (Myrmotherula longipennis). 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).