Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Scale-crested Pygmy-tyrant (Lophotriccus pileatus)


French: Microtyran chevelu German: Rot-Schuppenkopftyrann Spanish: Cimerillo andino

E[uscarthmus]. pileatus


, 1844,

Valley of Vitoc, Junín, Peru


Race santaeluciae misspelt in HBW. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • L. p. luteiventris Taczanowski, 1884 – E Honduras (foothills of the Olancho), N Nicaragua#R, Costa Rica and Panama (E to E Darién).
  • L. p. santaeluciae Todd, 1952 – NW & N Venezuela (from W Zulia E to NW Anzoátegui and S to Táchira) and adjoining Colombia.
  • L. p. squamaecrista (Lafresnaye, 1846) – Andes of Colombia and W Ecuador.
  • L. p. pileatus (Tschudi, 1844) – Andes of E Ecuador and E Peru (S to Junín).
  • L. p. hypochlorus Berlepsch & Stolzmann, 1906 – SE Peru from Cuzco (Urubamba Valley) S to Puno (R Madre de Dios).
  • Descriptive notes

    9·7 cm; 7–8 g. Distinctive, crested tyrannid. Nominate race has long crown feathers black with rufous edging, forming distinctive crest (sometimes erected and fanned,... read more


    Extremely loud trill sounding like a police whistle, as if from a much larger bird, often given... read more


    Humid forest, older second growth, also in gaps and edges; foothills and lower slopes at 700–... read more

    Food and feeding

    Stomach contents in SE Peru included 30 prey items, of which beetles (Coleoptera) 62%, hymenopterans 16% (wasps 6%, ants 10%), hemipteran... read more


    Birds in breeding condition in Mar–Jun in Colombia. Bag-like domed nest with lateral side entrance, small awning projecting above... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Fairly common to common. Numerous both on Cerro Campana and in Cerro Azul-Jefe area, in Panama. Occurs in many national parks and... read more

    Recommended citation

    Clock, B. (2020). Scale-crested Pygmy-tyrant (Lophotriccus pileatus). 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 January 2020).