Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Social Flycatcher (Myiozetetes similis)


French: Tyran sociable German: Rotscheitel-Maskentyrann Spanish: Bienteveo sociable

Muscicapa similis


, 1825,

mouth of Rio Madeira, Brazil


See M. cayanensis. Rather marked differences among races in commonest daytime call, suggesting four groups: (a) primulus, hesperis and texensis; (b) columbianus and grandis; (c) nominate; and (d) pallidiventris#R; how­ever, morphological differences appear slight, and may not coincide with these groupings, so more study required. Proposed Peruvian races connivens (Urubamba) and fiedleri (Ucayali) included in nominate. Seven subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. s. primulus van Rossem, 1930 – W Mexico (S Sonora S to N Sinaloa).
  • M. s. hesperis A. R. Phillips, 1966 – W Mexico (C Sinaloa and S Zacatecas E to SW Puebla, S at least to SE Oaxaca).
  • M. s. texensis (Giraud, 1841) – E & S Mexico (from SW Tamaulipas S through Yucatán Peninsula and Chiapas), Belize, much of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica (except SW).
  • M. s. columbianus Cabanis & Heine, 1860 – #RSW Costa Rica and Panama, N coast of Colombia (S from Caribbean lowlands through Magdalena Valley to Huila) and N Venezuela (E to Sucre, S to N Amazonas and N Bolívar).
  • M. s. grandis Lawrence, 1871 – W Ecuador (S from W Esmeraldas) and extreme NW Peru (lowlands E of Andes and Pacific slope in Tumbes).
  • M. s. similis (Spix, 1825) – E Colombia E of E Andes (S from Norte de Santander), SE Venezuela (Amazonas, S Bolívar), French Guiana, E Ecuador, NE & E Peru, Amazonian Brazil (except most drainages of R Tocantins and R Xingu) and N Bolivia (S to Cochabamba and N Santa Cruz).
  • M. s. pallidiventris O. M. O. Pinto, 1935 – E Brazil (E Pará E to Paraíba, S to Mato Grosso do Sul and N Rio Grande do Sul), E Paraguay (W at least to Caaguazú) and NE Argentina (Misiones).
  • Descriptive notes

    16–18·5 cm; 24–27 g. Nominate race has head mostly dark grey to brownish-grey, large bright red to orangish-red coronal patch (mostly concealed), broad... read more


    Variety of loud, excited, generally strident calls; most common is a shrill and piercing “see... read more


    Moist to humid and semi-arid semi-open lowland areas with scattered bushes and trees, shrubby... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, also occasionally tadpoles; considerable quantities of small berries, arillate seeds, and other fruits also consumed. Most often... read more


    Season in most areas thought to be rather protracted: recorded in Feb–Jun in Costa Rica and May–Jul in Venezuela (Hato... read more


    Not well known; probably resident in many areas and at least partially migratory in others. In... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common to very common in most of range. Thrives in variety of semi-open habitats, including those that have been converted and those in agricultural... read more

    Recommended citation

    Mobley, J. (2019). Social Flycatcher (Myiozetetes similis). 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 8 December 2019).