Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Mouse-colored Tyrannulet (Phaeomyias murina)


French: Tyranneau souris German: Graubraun-Kleintyrann Spanish: Piojito pardo

Platyrhynchus murinus


, 1825,

Juazeiro, Rio São Francisco, northern Bahia, Brazil


Until recently considered conspecific with P. tumbezana (which see). Races incomta and wagae differ only very subtly, and may be better merged#R; they appear to intergrade extensively around the Guianas. In contrast, results of recent mtDNA study suggest that birds from Panama and Colombia may actually be closer to Nesotriccus than to other forms currently treated as conspecific#R; further study required. Proposed race ignobilis (SC Bolivia, NW Argentina, Paraguay) indistinguishable from nominate in large series. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. m. eremonoma Wetmore, 1953 – Pacific lowlands of S Costa Rica#R and Panama (Chiriquí to Panamá Province).
  • P. m. incomta (Cabanis & Heine, 1860) – #RColombia (N and Andes) and NE Ecuador E to Venezuela (except S Amazonas), Trinidad (including Monos I) and the Guianas.
  • P. m. wagae (Taczanowski, 1884) – the Guianas, Amazonian Brazil, E Peru and N Bolivia.
  • P. m. murina (Spix, 1825) – C, E & S Brazil (Maranhão, Ceará and Pernambuco S to Mato Grosso and São Paulo), C & S Bolivia (Cochabamba S to Tarija), Paraguay and NW & NE Argentina (S to La Rioja and E Chaco).
  • Descriptive notes

    10·5–12 cm; 7–12·4 g. Nondescript brownish flycatcher with medium-sized bill. Nominate race has broad but weakly defined whitish to creamy... read more


    Dry, nasal chatter preceded by 1–2 sharper notes, “chéé-dit-tr-tr-tr-tr-... read more


    Arid lowland and lower montane scrub, especially Acacia and other partially open trees,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects; fruits, especially of mistletoe (Loranthaceae), e.g. Phthirusa pyrifolia and Struthanthus concinnus, also eaten... read more


    Season probably mid Mar to early Jun in Panama, May–Oct in N, W & E Colombia, May–Jul in Venezuela, Jan–Jul and Sept... read more


    Moves downslope after breeding, e.g. nominate race in Bolivia breeds in highlands (see Habitat) but... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Uncommon to common, locally rare (e.g. in parts of Paraguay) and range rather restricted in Panama. Occurs in many national parks and... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fitzpatrick, J. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Mouse-colored Tyrannulet (Phaeomyias murina). 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 14 December 2019).