Family Typical Antbirds (Thamnophilidae)

Least Concern

Northern Slaty Antshrike (Thamnophilus punctatus)


French: Batara tacheté German: Guayanaameisenwürger Spanish: Batará pizarroso punteado
Other common names: Peruvian Slaty Antshrike (leucogaster)

Lanius punctatus


, 1809,

Cayenne, French Guiana


Forms a group with T. stictocephalus, T. sticturus, T. pelzelni and T. ambiguus (the “T. punctatus group”), and all once regarded as conspecific; group also traditionally included T. atrinucha, but genetic analysis found it to be only distantly related#R. Race leucogaster (with huallagae) sometimes treated as a separate species on basis mainly of vocal differences#R, and differences in vocalizations between all taxa#R merit further consideration. Race huallagae originally placed with T. amazonicus. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. p. punctatus (Shaw, 1809) – Guianan Slaty Antshrike – E & S Venezuela (Amazonas, Bolívar, Sucre, Monagas, Delta Amacuro), the Guianas, and Brazil N of R Amazon and E of R Negro (in NE Amazonas, Roraima, N Pará, Amapá); sight records from extreme E Amazonian Colombia (Guainía, Vaupés) probably this race.
  • T. p. interpositus E. J. O. Hartert & Goodson, 1917 – E base of Andes in W Venezuela (Táchira, Apure, Barinas) and Colombia (Boyacá, Meta, W Caquetá).
  • T. p. leucogaster Hellmayr, 1924 – Maranon Slaty Antshrike – R Marañón drainage in extreme S Ecuador (Zamora-Chinchipe) and N Peru (Amazonas, Cajamarca).
  • T. p. huallagae Carriker, 1934 – R Huallaga drainage in N Peru (San Martín).
  • Descriptive notes

    13–15 cm; 19–21 g (punctatus), 16–18 g (leucogaster). Male nominate race has crown black, forehead mostly grey; back grey with few black... read more


    Loudsong an accelerating series of usually 10–15 progressively shorter notes starting with... read more


    Understorey and mid-storey of lowland evergreen-forest edge, white-sand forest, savanna woodland,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Little published. Feeds on variety of insects, including lepidopteran larvae, katydids (Tettigoniidae) and grasshoppers (Acrididae),... read more


    Little published. In Brazil, nests and recently fledged young recorded in Oct–Dec in Manaus area (Amazonas), nest in Aug in Par... read more


    None recorded; presumed resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Nominate race is fairly common to common throughout its rather extensive range. It is not restricted to one habitat, and benefits from human... read more

    Recommended citation

    Zimmer, K. & Isler, M.L. (2020). Northern Slaty Antshrike (Thamnophilus punctatus). 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 26 February 2020).