Family Typical Antbirds (Thamnophilidae)

Least Concern

Rufous-faced Antbird (Myrmelastes rufifacies)


French: Alapi à face rousse German: Grauwangen-Ameisenvogel Spanish: Hormiguero del Tapajós

Schistocichla leucostigma rufifacies


, 1929,

Apaçy, Rio Tapajós, Brazil


See M. schistaceus. Until recently considered conspecific with M. leucostigma (see below). Differs from latter in its much slower-starting, accelerating song, with generally fewer total notes (3); female with rusty vs grey crown and head sides (3); male paler in colour (1); from M. brunneiceps in its lower-pitched (2) and initially much slower (3) loudsong; and in its greyish vs all-brown crown in female (2); and from M. humaythae in its much higher (3), slower (3), accelerating and descending vs more even loudsong; male with grey vs olive-brown crown (2); female with face and supercilium rusty vs brown (at least 1); legs of both sexes pinker and paler#R (1). Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

Brazil E of R Madeira, E to Pará (W of R Tocantins) and S to N Rondônia and extreme N Mato Grosso).

Descriptive notes

14–16 cm; 21–26 g. A typical member of the M. leucostigma species complex; most similar to neighbouring M. humaythae, but male has crown grey, underparts... read more


Loudsong is most similar to that of allopatric M. saturatus (which see); differs from that... read more


Like other members of the M. leucostigma complex, inhabits understorey and floor of humid... read more

Food and feeding

Few data have been published. Feeds on variety of insects, also arachnids; recorded prey in Brazil (Pará) include pseudoscorpions (... read more


No information.


None recorded; presumed resident.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Uncommon throughout most of its range. Considered endemic to Brazil, but unconfirmed records of “Spot-winged Antbirds” from Noel... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Rufous-faced Antbird (Myrmelastes rufifacies). 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 February 2020).