Family Cardinals (Cardinalidae)

Least Concern

Red-throated Ant-tanager (Habia fuscicauda)


French: Habia à gorge rouge German: Rotkehlkardinal Spanish: Habia gorjirroja

Phoenicothraupis fuscicauda


, 1861,

Costa Rica


Race willisi appears to intergrade with nominate in NW Panama, from where one specimen is intermediate between the two. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • H. f. salvini (Berlepsch, 1883) – Salvin's Ant-tanager – E & SE Mexico (from San Luis Potosí and S Tamaulipas) S to Guatemala (except N), Belize, Honduras and El Salvador.
  • H. f. insularis (Salvin, 1888) – SE Mexico (N & E Yucatán Peninsula) and N Guatemala.
  • H. f. discolor (Ridgway, 1901) – Nicaragua.
  • H. f. fuscicauda (Cabanis, 1861) – Red-throated Ant-tanager – extreme S Nicaragua, and both slopes of Costa Rica S to W Panama.
  • H. f. willisi Parkes, 1969 – C Panama from NE Coclé and Colón E to San Blas (mainly on Caribbean slope).
  • H. f. erythrolaema (P. L. Sclater, 1862) – Caribbean coast of Colombia (N Atlántico, N Bolívar and Córdoba).
  • Descriptive notes

    18–20 cm; 29–46·5 g. Dark ant-tanager with strong bill. Male nominate race has head dull dark red, with usually concealed scarlet crown patch and dusky... read more


    Often quite vocal. Song, mainly at dawn during breeding season, a rich mellow series of whistles, e... read more


    Found in older second growth and forest borders or shrubby areas near forest. Especially fond of... read more

    Food and feeding

    Arthropods, including ants (Formicidae), caterpillars (including some up to three times length of bird’s bill), and long-horned... read more


    Season at least Apr–Jun in Costa Rica. Apparently a co-operative breeder at times. Males predominantly sing during the breeding... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Widespread, and locally fairly common. Occurs in various protected areas, including Tikal National Park (Guatemala), Indio-Maía Biological Reserve (... read more

    Recommended citation

    Hilty, S. (2019). Red-throated Ant-tanager (Habia fuscicauda). 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 June 2019).