Family Ovenbirds (Furnariidae)

Least Concern

Ruddy Spinetail (Synallaxis rutilans)


French: Synallaxe ardent German: Schwarzkehl-Dickichtschlüpfer Spanish: Pijuí rojizo

Synallaxis rutilans


, 1823,

Cametá, Rio Tocantins, Brazil


Genetic data#R indicate that this species is sister to S. cherriei (type specimen of which once considered aberrant individual of race amazonica of present species); both are closely related to S. cinnamomea. Distinctive race omissa may be a separate species, but sings like other races. Differentiation and distribution of other races uncertain, and present arrangement tentative; some listed races may not be distinguishable, while small series of specimens from N Bolivia suggests that darkness of plumage coloration varies clinally from W Amazonia to extreme E Bolivia (near type locality of tertia); thorough analysis needed. Seven subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. r. dissors J. T. Zimmer, 1935 – E Colombia (Vichada, Guainía), S Venezuela (Amazonas, Bolívar), the Guianas and N Brazil (E of R Negro).
  • S. r. caquetensis Chapman, 1914 – SE Colombia (S from Meta and Vaupés), E Ecuador and NE Peru.
  • S. r. confinis J. T. Zimmer, 1935 – NW Brazil (W of R Negro).
  • S. r. amazonica Hellmayr, 1907 – E Peru, W & C Brazil (S of R Amazon, E to R Tapajós) and N Bolivia (Pando, La Paz, N Beni).
  • S. r. rutilans Temminck, 1823 – Ruddy Spinetail – EC Brazil from R Tapajós E to R Tocantins, S to NE Mato Grosso.
  • S. r. tertia Hellmayr, 1907 – SW Brazil (S to SW Mato Grosso) and E Bolivia (E Santa Cruz).
  • S. r. omissa E. J. O. Hartert, 1901 – Sooty Spinetail – R Tocantins E to N Maranhão (E Brazil).
  • Descriptive notes

    13–14 cm; 15–22 g. Distinctive Synallaxis with plumage mostly chestnut and blackish. Male nominate race has fore­crown and face deep ruddy chestnut,... read more


    Most frequent vocalization a nasal “kéé-kawow”, “tac, tac-owet... read more


    Tropical lowland evergreen forest; undergrowth of tropical forest (mainly terra firme),... read more

    Food and feeding

    Recorded dietary items are Coleoptera (including Curculionidae), shield-bugs (Pentatomidae), cicadas (Cicadidae), cockroaches (Blattodea),... read more


    Nest a globular mass of twigs with long horizontal entrance tunnel. Clutch 3–4 eggs. No other information.



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to fairly common over most of its extensive range. Local in E Ecuador. Occurs in numerous protected areas.

    Recommended citation

    Remsen, J.V., Jr (2019). Ruddy Spinetail (Synallaxis rutilans). 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 12 December 2019).