Family Mitrospingid Tanagers (Mitrospingidae)

Least Concern

Olive-backed Tanager (Mitrospingus oleagineus)


French: Mitrospin à dos olive German: Olivmantel-Stärlingstangare Spanish: Tangara dorsioliva

Eucometis oleaginea


, 1886,

Mount Twek-quay, Guyana


Races very weakly differentiated; may be better treated as monotypic. Two subspecies provisionally recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. o. obscuripectus J. T. Zimmer & Phelps, Sr, 1945 – Sierra de Lema and cerros of the Gran Sabana (except Roraima area), in SE Bolívar region of SE Venezuela, S to N Brazil (on Uei-tepui).
  • M. o. oleagineus (Salvin, 1886) – extreme SE Venezuela (vicinity of Mt Roraima) and adjacent Guyana (on Mt Twek-quay); probably also tepui slopes in adjacent Brazil.
  • Descriptive notes

    19 cm; 35·5–46 g. Rather large, drab and undistinguished in appearance; wings fairly short and rounded, tail longish and rounded, and bill relatively slender. Nominate race... read more


    Easily overlooked song a short “zweee-eet?” or “zwee-er-eet?”, often repeated over and over at... read more


    Humid and wet forest and forest borders on slopes of tepuis. On Sierra de Lema found in mature... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mostly insects; also some fruit, especially melastome berries. Moves about in single-species groups of 5–20 individuals, occasionally more... read more


    No information.


    Resident. Possibly some altitudinal movement to lower elevations during rainiest months;... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Tepuis EBA. Fairly common to locally common. Canaima National Park, in Venezuela, protects a large proportion of... read more

    Recommended citation

    Hilty, S. (2018). Olive-backed Tanager (Mitrospingus oleagineus). 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 19 November 2018).