Family Typical Antbirds (Thamnophilidae)

Least Concern

Plain Antvireo (Dysithamnus mentalis)


French: Batara gorgeret German: Olivgrau-Ameisenvogel Spanish: Batarito cabecigrís

Myothera mentalis


, 1823,

Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil


See D. stictothorax. Division into races tentative: some may represent points on a cline of plumage variation, so clear range delimitations impossible in some areas (e.g. parts of Colombia and Peru, where napensis may not be separable from tambillanus#R); molecular studies needed in order to establish relationships among populations. Eighteen subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • D. m. septentrionalis Ridgway, 1908 – Atlantic slope from SE Mexico (S Campeche, E Tabasco, NE Chiapas) E to N Honduras, extreme SE Nicaragua#R and both slopes in Costa Rica and W Panama (W of Canal).
  • D. m. suffusus Nelson, 1912 – both slopes in E Panama and extreme NW Colombia (N Chocó, NW Antioquia).
  • D. m. extremus Todd, 1916 – W Colombia (W Andes and W slope of C range from S Antioquia, W Caldas and Risaralda S to Cauca).
  • D. m. aequatorialis Todd, 1916 – Pacific slope in W Ecuador (S from W Esmeraldas) and extreme NW Peru (Tumbes).
  • D. m. viridis Aveledo & Pons, 1952 – N Colombia (mountains from La Guajira S to N Santander) and W Venezuela (Sierra de Perijá and W portion of Andes in Zulia, Mérida and Táchira).
  • D. m. cumbreanus Hellmayr & Seilern, 1915 – N Venezuela (Coastal Range from Falcón and Lara E to N Sucre).
  • D. m. oberi Ridgway, 1908 – Tobago.
  • D. m. andrei Hellmayr, 1906 – NE Venezuela (S Sucre S to NE Bolívar) and Trinidad; presumably this race in W & S Guyana.
  • D. m. ptaritepui J. T. Zimmer & Phelps, Sr, 1946 – SE Venezuela (Ptari-tepui and Sororopán-tepui, in SE Bolívar).
  • D. m. spodionotus Salvin & Godman, 1883 – S Venezuela (S Bolívar, Amazonas) and extreme N Brazil (N Roraima).
  • D. m. semicinereus P. L. Sclater, 1855 – WC Colombia from S Santander S to W Caquetá (E slope of C Andes, C & S portion of E range, and Macarena Mts).
  • D. m. napensis Chapman, 1925 – extreme S Colombia (E slope of Andes in W Putumayo) S to extreme N Peru (N Amazonas).
  • D. m. tambillanus Taczanowski, 1884 – E slope in N & C Peru (E Piura, S Amazonas and SW Loreto S to Huánuco and W Ucayali).
  • D. m. olivaceus (Tschudi, 1844) – E slope in C Peru (Pasco S to Cuzco and W Madre de Dios).
  • D. m. tavarae J. T. Zimmer, 1932 – SE Madre de Dios S to C Bolivia (S La Paz, S Beni, Cochabamba, SW Santa Cruz).
  • D. m. emiliae Hellmayr, 1912 – NE Brazil (NE Pará E to Ceará and Paraíba, S to N Tocantins and Alagoas).
  • D. m. affinis Pelzeln, 1868 – extreme NE Bolivia (NE Santa Cruz) and C Brazil (S Mato Grosso, N Mato Grosso do Sul, S Tocantins and N Goiás).
  • D. m. mentalis (Temminck, 1823) – EC & SE Brazil (E Bahia, S Minas Gerais and S Mato Grosso do Sul S to N Rio Grande do Sul), E Paraguay and NE Argentina (Misiones).
  • Descriptive notes

    10–13 cm; 12·5–14·5 g (sep­tentrionalis), 14–16 g (extremus, tambillanus), 13–15 g (olivaceus,... read more


    A short (e.g. 2 seconds) series starting with a few (e.g. 4) evenly paced, countable notes at same... read more


    In N of range and in Andes occupies understorey and mid-storey of humid, foothill and lower montane... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds on variety of insects, including adult and larval lepidopterans and beetles (Coleoptera), katydids (Tettigoniidae), true bugs (... read more


    Feb–Jul in Costa Rica, Apr–Jul in Trinidad, Nov in SE Brazil and Nov in N Argentina. Additional nest and egg descriptions from... read more


    None recorded; presumed resident throughout its range.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Generally fairly common throughout its extensive range. Occurs in several protected areas. In some areas, continuing deforestation could ultimately... read more

    Recommended citation

    Zimmer, K. & Isler, M.L. (2019). Plain Antvireo (Dysithamnus mentalis). 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 9 December 2019).