Family Typical Antbirds (Thamnophilidae)

Least Concern

Roraiman Antbird (Myrmelastes saturatus)


French: Alapi des tépuis German: Schieferameisenvogel Spanish: Hormiguero del Roraima

Heterocnemis saturata


, 1885,

Mt Roraima, 3500 feet [c. 1065 m]


See M. schistaceus (below). Until recently considered conspecific with M. leucostigma (along with M. rufifacies, M. brunneiceps and M. humaythae), but analysis separates it in a clade with M. schistaceus#R. Differs from M. leucostigma in its much higher-pitched (3) and slower-paced song (1); darker plumage in both sexes with female chestnut vs bright ferruginous below (1); male with virtually all-black vs three-quarters grey lower mandible (1); male with shorter wing (from published data#R at least 1); moreover, distribution parapatric (3). Position as geographical outlier to other taxa here accepted as reducing need for further comparisons, except in the case of M. brunneiceps, which superficially sings rather similarly (see under that species). Two subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. s. saturatus (Salvin, 1885) – vicinity of Mt Roraima, in extreme SE Venezuela and WC Guyana.
  • M. s. obscurus (J. T. Zimmer & Phelps, Sr, 1946) – SE Venezuela (tepuis of E Bolívar except Mt Roraima) and adjacent Brazil (extreme N Roraima).
  • Descriptive notes

    14–16 cm; 24–31·7 g (nominate). Plumage is very similar to that of nominate race of formerly conspecific M. leucostigma, but both sexes are appreciably darker, with... read more


    Loudsong is similar to that of broadly sympatric M. leucostigma, but its overall pace is... read more


    Prefers dense understorey vegetation in closed-canopy tall evergreen forest near clear, swift-... read more

    Food and feeding

    Nothing published. Most facets of its foraging behaviour and ecology, and diet, are probably very similar, if not identical, to those of... read more


    No definite information, although two nests with young in Apr at Bartica, in Guyana, described as open cups made of grass, with lining of... read more


    None recorded; presumed resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Uncommon throughout most of its range, and only recently (1998) discovered in Guyana. Known from several protected areas across the... read more

    Recommended citation

    del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Roraiman Antbird (Myrmelastes saturatus). 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 26 February 2020).