Family Antpittas (Grallariidae)

Least Concern

Rusty-breasted Antpitta (Grallaricula ferrugineipectus)


French: Grallaire à poitrine rousse German: Rostbrust-Ameisenpitta Spanish: Ponchito pechicastaño sureño

Grallaria ferrugineipectus

P. L. Sclater

, 1857,

near Caracas, Venezuela


Hitherto treated as conspecific with G. leymebambae. Species status has also been proposed for rara, mainly on basis of plumage, but vocal differences minor; subspecific identity of birds from Norte de Santander (Colombia) uncertain, tentatively placed in rara. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • G. f. ferrugineipectus (P. L. Sclater, 1857) – N Colombia (Santa Marta Mts) and N & W Venezuela (Coastal Range, and Andes from S Lara S to C Mérida).
  • G. f. rara Hellmayr & Madarász, 1914 – Sierra de Perijá, and E Andes of Colombia on W slope (in Cundinamarca) and, probably this race, on E slope (in Norte de Santander).
  • Descriptive notes

    10–10·5 cm; mean mass of ten birds 16·5 g. Adult has large buff or whitish loral spot (indistinct), buffy eyering, white spot behind eye; head side and... read more


    Song 2–2·2 seconds long, repeated at intervals of 7–9 seconds, a series of 14... read more


    Undergrowth of humid montane forest, less commonly forest borders; in some areas mainly dense... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet insects. Usually in pairs. Hops along moss-covered branches, peering at leaves, drops briefly to forest floor; also sallies to foliage... read more


    Breeds mainly during first half of rainy season, from late Mar to early Jun in Venezuela; eggs in Oct in N Colombia (Santa Marta Mts).... read more


    Presumably sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Quite common to common in Venezuela; apparently uncommon and local in Colombia, but probably overlooked. Occurs in several protected... read more

    Recommended citation

    Krabbe, N.K., Schulenberg, T.S. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Rusty-breasted Antpitta (Grallaricula ferrugineipectus). 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 21 February 2020).