Family Tapaculos (Rhinocryptidae)

Least Concern

Ocellated Tapaculo (Acropternis orthonyx)


French: Mérulaxe ocellé German: Perlmanteltapaculo Spanish: Tapaculo ocelado

Merulaxis orthonyx


, 1843,



Geographical variation weak; perhaps better treated as monotypic. Two subspecies tentatively recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. o. orthonyx (Lafresnaye, 1843) – Andes of Trujillo, Mérida and Táchira in NW Venezuela, and E & C Andes of Colombia.
  • A. o. infuscatus Salvadori & Festa, 1899 – Andes of Ecuador (S in W to Chimborazo) and NW Peru (Cerro Chinguela and Cordillera Colán, in S Amazonas).
  • Descriptive notes

    21·5 cm; male 90–100 g, female 81–89 g. Adult has lores, forecrown, throat and sides of neck and head orange-chestnut, crown, back and wing-coverts black,... read more


    Song 0·4–0·5 seconds long, repeated at intervals of 2–5 seconds for... read more


    Dense thickets of Chusquea bamboo, patches of Neurolepis cane in mossy ... read more

    Food and feeding

    Recorded food items include insects (e.g. beetles), a spider, and plant material. Walks, hops and runs through dense undergrowth and low... read more


    Nothing known.


    Presumably sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Considered to be generally uncommon to fairly common in Ecuador; rare in N Peru. Occurs in several protected areas, e.g. in Podocarpus National Park... read more

    Recommended citation

    Krabbe, N.K. & Schulenberg, T.S. (2020). Ocellated Tapaculo (Acropternis orthonyx). 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 23 February 2020).