Family Typical Antbirds (Thamnophilidae)

Least Concern

Pale-faced Bare-eye (Phlegopsis borbae)


French: Fourmilier à face pâle German: Weißstirn-Ameisenvogel Spanish: Hormiguero de Skutch
Other common names: Pale-faced Antbird

Phlegopsis borbæ


, 1907,

Borba, Amazonas, Brazil


Previously separated in monotypic genus Skutchia on basis of significant plumage differences, but recent molecular study#R indicates that it is sister to P. nigromaculata and should therefore be returned to Phlegopsis. Monotypic.


SC Amazonian Brazil from E bank of middle/lower R Madeira (S to E bank of R Roosevelt#R) E to W bank of middle/lower R Tapajós (S to E bank of lower R Aripuanã).

Descriptive notes

16·5–17·5 cm; 50 g. Both sexes have elongated white feathers on forehead and lores; crown dark rufous, patch of stiff black feathers above eye, post-ocular area whitish... read more


Loudsong a brief series (e.g. 3 notes, 3·2 seconds) of long, slightly downslurred whistles,... read more


Understorey of humid lowland evergreen forest (terra firme), to 150 m. Territories near... read more

Food and feeding

Not well known. Feeds on arthropods, probably also small lizards, almost all of which obtained when flushed by swarms of army ants. Pair-... read more


Virtually unknown. Nearly grown juvenile accompanied pair of adults at ant swarm on 12th Apr, indicating nesting in middle of rainy season... read more


Presumed resident.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Status not well known; appears to be uncommon to rare within its small total range. Considered highly sensitive to human disturbance. Principal... read more

Recommended citation

Zimmer, K. & Isler, M.L. (2020). Pale-faced Bare-eye (Phlegopsis borbae). 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).