Family Antpittas (Grallariidae)

Least Concern

Rufous Antpitta (Grallaria rufula)


French: Grallaire rousse German: Einfarbameisenpitta Spanish: Tororoí rufo
Other common names: Santa Marta Rufous Antpitta (spatiator)

Grallaria rufula


, 1843,

Bogotá, Colombia


Genetic data indicate that rufula is sister to G. blakei#R. Considerable geographical differences in vocalizations, including within nominate race, indicate that major revision of species limits is needed#R; this expected in 2017. Commonly includes G. saltuensis (which see) but this recently given species rank, confirmed here; race spatiator also once elevated to species rank#R. Six subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • G. r. spatiator Bangs, 1898 – Sierra Nevada Antpitta – N Colombia in Santa Marta Mts.
  • G. r. rufula Lafresnaye, 1843 – Rufous Antpitta – SW Venezuela (E & W Táchira) and Andes of Colombia (E, N part of W, and middle C ranges) S to extreme N Peru.
  • G. r. cajamarcae (Chapman, 1927) – Cajamarca Antpitta – W Andes of Peru in S Cajamarca.
  • G. r. obscura Berlepsch & Stolzmann, 1896 – North Peruvian Antpitta – C Andes of Peru (S to Junín).
  • G. r. occabambae (Chapman, 1923) – South Peruvian Antpitta – SE Peru (Cuzco) SE to W Bolivia (W La Paz).
  • G. r. cochabambae J. Bond & Meyer de Schauensee, 1940 – Bolivian Antpitta – C Bolivia (N Cochabamba, possibly also W to C La Paz).
  • Descriptive notes

    14·5–15 cm; male 35–46 g, female 39–46 g, unsexed average 45·5 g. Adult is rufous-brown above; head-sides and underparts rufous, flanks dark... read more


    Song of spatiator a ringing three-second trill of c. 30 notes, at even pace of 9·5... read more


    Floor and lower parts of understorey in stands of bamboo or cane in humid montane forest and forest... read more

    Food and feeding

    Two stomachs held small insects and caterpillars. Hops unobtrusively on mossy ground; occasionally into the open on landslides and mossy... read more


    Eggs in Mar–Apr and specimens in breeding condition in Mar in NE Ecuador, with nesting record in SE Ecuador in Nov; specimens in... read more


    Presumably sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Uncommon to fairly common over large range (estimated at 2,440,000 km²); locally common in areas with large stands of ... read more

    Recommended citation

    Krabbe, N.K., Schulenberg, T.S. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Rufous Antpitta (Grallaria rufula). 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 June 2019).