Family New World Warblers (Parulidae)

Least Concern

Slate-throated Whitestart (Myioborus miniatus)


French: Paruline ardoisée German: Larvenwaldsänger Spanish: Candelita plomiza
Other common names: Slate-throated Redstart

Setophaga miniata


, 1827,

woods of Valladolid [= Morelia], Michoacán, Mexico


Geographical variation largely clinal, e.g. colour of underparts gradually changes from dark red in N to yellow in South America and amount of black on face decreases from N to S. Subspecies groups based on a recent phylogeographic study, which recovered four distinct clades, but noted the existence of clear morphological differences between the different constituents of the Central American clade (S Guatemala to W Panama) that were not reflected in their genetics#R. Races ballux and subsimilis may be better synonymized with verticalis. Race subsimilis misspelt in HBW. Twelve subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. m. miniatus (Swainson, 1827) – Northern Slate-throated Whitestart – Mexico from S Sonora, SW Chihuahua and San Luis Potosí S to S Oaxaca.
  • M. m. molochinus Wetmore, 1942 – Sierra de los Tuxtlas, in SE Veracruz (E Mexico).
  • M. m. intermedius (Hartlaub, 1852) – Chiapas Slate-throated Whitestart – S Mexico (extreme E Oaxaca, N & E Chiapas) and E Guatemala (NE of Pacific cordillera).
  • M. m. hellmayri van Rossem, 1936 – Pacific cordillera from S Guatemala S to SW El Salvador.
  • M. m. connectens Dickey & van Rossem, 1928 – Honduran Slate-throated Whitestart – El Salvador and Honduras S to NC Nicaragua.
  • M. m. comptus Wetmore, 1944 – W & C Costa Rica.
  • M. m. aurantiacus (S. F. Baird, 1865) – Costa Rican Slate-throated Whitestart – E Costa Rica and W Panama.
  • M. m. ballux Wetmore & Phelps, Sr, 1944 – SE Panama (Darién), N Colombia (excluding Santa Marta Mts) and W Venezuela (E to Trujillo) S through Colombian Andes to N Ecuador.
  • M. m. sanctaemartae J. T. Zimmer, 1949 – Santa Marta Mts (N Colombia).
  • M. m. pallidiventris (Chapman, 1899) – N Venezuela from Falcón E to Sucre and Monagas.
  • M. m. subsimilis J. T. Zimmer, 1949 – W Andes in SW Ecuador (El Oro) and NW Peru (Piura).
  • M. m. verticalis (d’Orbigny & Lafresnaye, 1837) – Yellow-bellied Whitestart – E Andes from S Ecuador (Loja) S to C Bolivia (Cochabamba); also tepuis of S Venezuela, W Guyana and N Brazil (Roraima).
  • Descriptive notes

    13–13·5 cm; 6–15 g. Nominate race has front of face and throat blackish, crown patch tawny, rest of head and upperparts slate-grey, tail black with... read more


    Song in Mexico a variable series of rich "s-wee" notes, changing in pitch in middle,... read more


    In N of range occurs in humid pine (Pinus) and pine-oak (Pinus-Quercus)... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds on insects and other arthropods. Forages generally at middle to high levels, by gleaning and flycatching; often probes dead-leaf... read more


    Egg-laying in Apr–May in Costa Rica and Dec–Jul in Colombia; dependent young seen in Aug in W Venezuela (Mérida), Feb in... read more


    N populations (in Mexico, at least) altitudinal migrants, making post-breeding descent to below... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Generally common throughout its range. No population estimates available. This species' ability to utilize disturbed forests and second growth... read more

    Recommended citation

    Curson, J. & de Juana, E. (2019). Slate-throated Whitestart (Myioborus miniatus). 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 July 2019).