Family Typical Antbirds (Thamnophilidae)

Least Concern

Moustached Antwren (Myrmotherula ignota)


French: Myrmidon de Griscom German: Kurzschwanz-Ameisenschlüpfer Spanish: Hormiguerito de Griscom
Other common names: Short-billed Antwren (obscura)

Myrmotherula brachyura ignota


, 1929,

Jesusito, Darién, Panama


A member of the “streaked antwren assemblage” (see M. brachyura). Closely related to M. brachyura, and nominate race formerly considered conspecific, but differs in vocalizations and plumage#R. Race obscura often treated as a separate species, but vocally indistinguishable from nominate#R. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. i. ignota Griscom, 1929 – E Panama (Caribbean slope in Canal area and San Blas, Pacific slope in E Panamá Province and Darién), W & N Colombia (Pacific slope and along N base of Andes E to Santander) and NW Ecuador (Esmeraldas, SW Imbabura, NW Pichincha).
  • M. i. obscura J. T. Zimmer, 1932 – SC & SE Colombia (locally along base of Andes S from Meta, and in Guainía and Vaupés), E Ecuador, NE Peru (S to Pasco and Ucayali), and SW & WC Amazonian Brazil (extreme SW S to NW Acre, and EC Amazonas along R Solimões E to R Negro#R).
  • Descriptive notes

    7·5–8 cm. Small size, tiny tail. Male is black above, narrowly streaked white, faintly tinged yellow except on crown, broad black postocular streak, white cheeks; white... read more


    Loudsong an accelerating series of short notes increasing and then decreasing in pitch and... read more


    Canopy and subcanopy of lowland evergreen forest, nominate race also in taller second-growth... read more

    Food and feeding

    Little published; most information pertains to race obscura. Feeds on variety of small insects, particularly lepidopteran larvae;... read more


    Previously unpublished observation of nest-building by pair in Aug in N Peru (obscura): nest a small bag c. 6 cm wide and 6 cm... read more


    None recorded; presumed resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Generally considered uncommon to fairly common throughout its range, which includes a number of formally protected parks and reserves. Among these... read more

    Recommended citation

    Zimmer, K. & Isler, M.L. (2020). Moustached Antwren (Myrmotherula ignota). 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).