Family Typical Antbirds (Thamnophilidae)

Least Concern

Ocellated Antbird (Phaenostictus mcleannani)


French: Fourmilier ocellé German: Halsband-Ameisenvogel Spanish: Hormiguero ocelado

Phlogopsis MeLeannani

[sic] Lawrence

, 1861,

Lion Hill Station, Colón, Panama


Proposed race chocoanus (E Panama, NW Colombia) appears indistinguishable from nominate. Publication date of species problematic: relevant section for May 1860 probably not published until Jun 1861#R. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. m. saturatus (Richmond, 1896) – N & NE Honduras S to Costa Rica (Caribbean slope, in N also Pacific slope) and extreme W Panama (W Bocas del Toro).
  • P. m. mcleannani (Lawrence, 1861) – C & E Panama (E from Veraguas on Caribbean slope, Panamá Province on Pacific slope) and NW Colombia (S along Pacific slope to Valle del Cauca, and on N Andean slope in Córdoba and Antioquia).
  • P. m. pacificus Hellmayr, 1924 – extreme SW Colombia (Cauca, Nariño) and NW Ecuador (Esmeraldas).
  • Descriptive notes

    19–19·5 cm; 48–54 g. Large bare periorbital area blue. Nominate race has crown olive-grey, nape rufous; upperparts and wing-coverts olive-brown, with large... read more


    Loudsong a series (e.g. 15 notes, 3·1 seconds) of short, rich whistles that gradually become... read more


    Understorey of humid and wet lowland and foothill evergreen forest and adjacent tall second-growth... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds on insects and other arthropods, also small lizards, almost all of which obtained when flushed by army ants. Most common prey are... read more


    Sightings of fledglings suggest egg-laying in Apr–Dec in Panama (earliest record of young out of nest 2nd Jun in Canal Zone, with... read more


    Presumed resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Generally uncommon to rare. Current status in Colombia not known. Considered rare to uncommon in Ecuador, where has been suggested... read more

    Recommended citation

    Zimmer, K. & Isler, M.L. (2020). Ocellated Antbird (Phaenostictus mcleannani). 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 2020).