Family Typical Antbirds (Thamnophilidae)

Least Concern

Pygmy Antwren (Myrmotherula brachyura)


French: Myrmidon pygmée German: Weißkehl-Ameisenschlüpfer Spanish: Hormiguerito pigmeo

Muscic[apae]. brachyurae


, 1783,

Cayenne, French Guiana


Genetic and morphological analyses indicate that this species and M. ignota, M. ambigua, M. sclateri, M. surinamensis, M. multostriata, M. pacifica, M. cherriei, M. klagesi and M. longicauda represent a monophyletic group (the “streaked antwren assemblage”). Present species is closely related to M. ignota (which see), and previously treated as conspecific. Possibility of geographical variation requires investigation. Monotypic.


C & E Colombia (base of Andes S from Meta to E in Guainía, Vaupés and Amazonas), E Ecuador, E Peru, S Venezuela (Bolívar, Amazonas), the Guianas, Amazonian Brazil (E to R Tocantins, S to N & W Mato Grosso) and NW & NE Bolivia.

Descriptive notes

7·5–8 cm; 6–8 g. Small size, tiny tail. Male has crown and upperparts black, streaked white, streaks faintly tinged yellow except on crown; black postocular... read more


Loudsong an accelerating, uncountable series of short notes (e.g. 20 notes, 2·3 seconds)... read more


Canopy and subcanopy of lowland evergreen forest (including terra firme, várzea... read more

Food and feeding

Feeds on variety of small insects; probably also spiders. Stomach contents of specimens from Brazil and Surinam included lepidopterans,... read more


Little known. In Brazil, female with egg in oviduct in Jun in Acre, and pair feeding fledglings in Jan near Manaus; in Colombia (near... read more


None recorded; presumed resident throughout range.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Considered to be fairly common throughout its extensive range. This includes numerous large parks and reserves in most countries in which it occurs,... read more

Recommended citation

Zimmer, K. & Isler, M.L. (2020). Pygmy Antwren (Myrmotherula brachyura). 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 18 January 2020).