Family Typical Antbirds (Thamnophilidae)

Least Concern

Silvery-flanked Antwren (Myrmotherula luctuosa)


French: Myrmidon endeuillé German: Silberflanken-Ameisenschlüpfer Spanish: Hormiguerito luctuoso
Other common names: Rio de Janeiro Antwren (“fluminensis”)

Myrmotherula luctuosa


, 1868,

Bahia, Brazil


Until recently considered conspecific with M. axillaris, but differs in its (in male) paler, broader vs darker, narrower grey upper and silvery-grey vs white lower flanks (3); black of mid-belly paler and more attenuated (1); (in female) ashy grey head (2); and very divergent song (drawn-out series of well-spaced slightly chirping, throaty notes on one pitch), differing in note shape, initial amplitude and frequency increase (2) and longer middle notes (1). Form described as M. fluminensis was initially thought by some to be perhaps a hybrid M. unicolor × luctuosa#R and later considered possibly a variant of luctuosa#R; recently obtained recordings of voice confirm that it is, indeed, a variant of luctuosa#R. Monotypic.

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

Coastal E Brazil (SE Rio Grande do Norte#R S to Rio de Janeiro).

Descriptive notes

9–10 cm. Compared to formerly conspecific M. axillaris male is somewhat paler (including on black of belly), flanks mostly pale grey (rather than white), and white... read more


Loudsong begins and ends with short harsh (frequency-modulated) notes, middle ones become longer... read more


Understorey and midstorey of evergreen forest and second-growth woodland, including restinga... read more

Food and feeding

Probably feeds mostly on insects and spiders, but no detailed investigation of diet. Forages in pairs, singly or in family groups, often... read more


Not well known, beyond some sparse data concerning seasonality, with completed nest in early Jul and young fledglings observed in Jan, both... read more


Presumed resident.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Largely confined to Atlantic forest lowlands EBA, but also occurs in Atlantic slope of Alagoas and Pernambuco EBA. Fairly common to... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Silvery-flanked Antwren (Myrmotherula luctuosa). 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 26 February 2020).