Family Tapaculos (Rhinocryptidae)

Least Concern

Silvery-fronted Tapaculo (Scytalopus argentifrons)


French: Mérulaxe argenté German: Silberbrauentapaculo Spanish: Churrín plateado
Other common names: Chiriqui Tapaculo (chiriquensis)

Scytalopus argentifrons


, 1891,

Volcán de Irazú, Costa Rica


Race chiriquensis has sometimes been treated as separate species, but appears not to differ vocally. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. a. argentifrons Ridgway, 1891 – Costa Rica and W Panama (Volcán de Chiriquí).
  • S. a. chiriquensis Griscom, 1924 – W Panama in E Chiriquí and E Veraguas.
  • Descriptive notes

    11 cm; 17 g. A fairly small tapaculo with dusky-barred brown flanks and silvery forehead and brow. Male has forehead and short supercilium silvery grey; otherwise, mostly... read more


    Song 5–10 seconds long, a series of similar notes at 4–4·5 kHz (first overtone;... read more


    Undergrowth of humid forest and adjacent second growth, especially thickets and bamboo tangles... read more

    Food and feeding

    Larvae, pupae and adult insects, including beetles, earwigs (Dermap­tera), crickets (Gryllidae); also spiders and their egg cases, and... read more


    Nothing recorded.


    Probably sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Costa Rica and Panama Highlands EBA. Generally appears to be fairly common. Known to occur in several protected... read more

    Recommended citation

    Krabbe, N.K. & Schulenberg, T.S. (2020). Silvery-fronted Tapaculo (Scytalopus argentifrons). 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 18 February 2020).