Family Tapaculos (Rhinocryptidae)

Least Concern

Pale-bellied Tapaculo (Scytalopus griseicollis)


French: Mérulaxe du matorral German: Rostbürzeltapaculo Spanish: Churrín de matorral
Other common names: Matorral Tapaculo

Merulaxis grisei-collis


, 1840,

Bogotá, Colombia


Previously included in S. magellanicus; see also S. meridanus. Possible race infasciatus best considered inseparable from nominate#R; has at times alternatively been treated as a race of S. latebricola or a synonym of S. meridanus. Recently described race morenoi shows minor differences in coloration, morphology and voice#R. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. g. morenoi Avendaño & Donegan, 2015 – N part of E Andes in Colombia (from La Palmita, in Norte de Santander, S to Molagavita, in Santander) and immediately adjacent Venezuela#R.
  • S. g. gilesi Donegan & Avendaño, 2008 – Santander, in NC Colombia (Serranía de los Yariguíes)#R.
  • S. g. griseicollis (Lafresnaye, 1840) – E Andes of C Colombia (Cundinamarca and Boyacá).
  • Descriptive notes

    10–11·5 cm; 16·6–19·3 g (nominate), one male morenoi 17 g, two male gilesi 17·5–18 g. A fairly small tapaculo... read more


    Song 10–15 seconds long, an introductory note at 1·8 kHz followed by trill at even... read more


    Low humid and semi-humid scrub in elfin forest, páramo and rarely in montane and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Virtually no information, but presumably insectivorous.


    Very poorly known. Adult in breeding condition collected in Aug, with fledglings collected in late Apr, Jun and Sept (morenoi), or... read more


    Probably sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Locally fairly common in vicinity of Bogotá; tolerates considerable habitat disturbance and fragmentation; the W slope of the... read more

    Recommended citation

    Krabbe, N.K., Schulenberg, T.S. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Pale-bellied Tapaculo (Scytalopus griseicollis). 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).