Family Typical Antbirds (Thamnophilidae)

Least Concern

Plain-winged Antshrike (Thamnophilus schistaceus)


French: Batara à ailes unies German: Schieferameisenwürger Spanish: Batará alillano

Thamnophilus schistaceus


, 1837,

Cochabamba, Bolivia


Sister to T. murinus (which see). Race heterogynus might merit full species status, but current information insufficient. Two proposed races merged into nominate: dubius (E Peru), which represents intermediate plumage in broad cline; and inornatus (C Brazil), representing end of a cline and intergrading broadly with “typical” nominate. Three subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. s. heterogynus (Hellmayr, 1907) – Tefe Antshrike – extreme E Colombia (E Vaupés, presumably this race) and WC Amazonian Brazil (lower R Japurá, middle R Jaú, and both banks of R Solimões from R Juruá and lower and middle R Purus E to R Madeira).
  • T. s. capitalis P. L. Sclater, 1858 – SE Colombia (E base of Andes S from Meta), E Ecuador and NE Peru (N of R Marañón and R Amazon).
  • T. s. schistaceus d’Orbigny, 1837 – Plain-winged Antshrike – EC & SE Peru (S of R Marañón and R Amazon), S Amazonian Brazil (S of lower R Juruá and middle R Purus, and E from R Madeira to R Tocantins, S to Acre, Rondônia, N & W Mato Grosso and S Pará) and N Bolivia (S to C Santa Cruz).
  • Descriptive notes

    13–14 cm; 19–21 g. Male is grey, slightly darker on upperparts; wings and wing-coverts slightly brownish, edged grey; plumage darker in W (“dubius”),... read more


    Loudsong a slightly accelerating series of similar notes at same pitch, ending in sharply... read more


    Mid-storey of upland and seasonally flooded lowland evergreen forest, to 1100 m. Appears to prefer... read more

    Food and feeding

    Little published. Feeds on variety of insects and arthropods. Pairs or individuals forage mostly at 5–10 m, occasionally lower, or to... read more


    Little recorded. Two nest descriptions from Brazil, in Feb and Oct, and two from Peru, in Mar and Sept. Nest a shallow cup constructed of... read more


    Presumed resident throughout range.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common to common throughout its extensive range. This includes vast areas of intact, protected habitat, e.g. Yasuní National Park, in Ecuador... read more

    Recommended citation

    Zimmer, K. & Isler, M.L. (2020). Plain-winged Antshrike (Thamnophilus schistaceus). 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).