Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Southern Beardless Tyrannulet (Camptostoma obsoletum)


French: Tyranneau passegris German: Haubenkleintyrann Spanish: Mosquerito silbón

Muscicapa obsoleta


, 1824,

Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil


Numerous races have been described, many weakly defined and intergrading broadly with neighbouring ones. Races form five geographically and morphologically discrete groups (Central American; N South American; W South American; W Amazonian; C South American), within which the various taxa could arguably be merged. Some of these groups may merit status of full species, as recently suggested by molecular analysis#R. Other proposed races include venezuelae (N Venezuela), indistinguishable from pusillum; and bogotense (upper Magdalena Valley), merged with caucae, as it represents a barely discernible intergrade between caucae and pusillum. Thirteen subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. o. flaviventre P. L. Sclater & Salvin, 1865 – Central American Beardless Tyrannulet – Pacific coast of Costa Rica and both coasts of Panama.
  • C. o. orphnum Wetmore, 1957 – Coiba I, off SW Panama.
  • C. o. majus Griscom, 1932 – Pearl Is, off S Panama.
  • C. o. pusillum (Cabanis & Heine, 1860) – #RColombian Beardless Tyrannulet – N Colombia (Caribbean coast, Magdalena Valley S to Santander), N Venezuela (E to Sucre, S to Táchira, Barinas, Apure, N Amazonas and N Bolívar) and Trinidad.
  • C. o. caucae Chapman, 1914 – C Colombia (W slope of W Andes, Cauca Valley, upper Magdalena Valley, E slope of E Andes in W Meta).
  • C. o. napaeum (Ridgway, 1888) – S Venezuela (Amazonas, SE Bolívar), the Guianas, and N Brazil (E Amazonas, Pará, Amapá).
  • C. o. sclateri (Berlepsch & Taczanowski, 1884) – #RWestern Beardless Tyrannulet – W Ecuador and extreme NW Peru (Tumbes, N Piura).
  • C. o. maranonicum Carriker, 1933 – N Peru (extreme E Piura, and middle Marañón Valley in Amazonas, E Cajamarca and E Ancash).
  • C. o. griseum Carriker, 1933 – arid Pacific coast and slopes of W Peru (Lambayeque S to Lima).
  • C. o. olivaceum (Berlepsch, 1889) – Olive Beardless Tyrannulet – SE Colombia, E Ecuador, E Peru (S to C Ucayali) and W Brazil (S of Amazon in W Amazonas).
  • C. o. bolivianum J. T. Zimmer, 1941 – E slope of Andes in C Bolivia (E La Paz, Cochabamba) and NW Argentina (S to Tucumán); migrant to SE Peru#R.
  • C. o. cinerascens (Wied, 1831) – E Brazil (Maranhão E to Ceará, S to C Mato Grosso and Espírito Santo) and E Bolivia (E Santa Cruz).
  • C. o. obsoletum (Temminck, 1824) – Southern Beardless Tyrannulet – S Brazil (S Mato Grosso E to Rio de Janeiro, S to Rio Grande do Sul) S to Paraguay, C & NE Argentina (S to La Pampa and N Buenos Aires) and Uruguay.
  • Descriptive notes

    9·5–10·5 cm; 7–9 g. Drab tyrannulet with parulid-like bill, somewhat bushy crest. Nominate race is medium olive-grey above, slightly greyer on crown... read more


    Thin, high whistle, “fleeeeer”, rising and falling slightly, sometimes with terminal... read more


    Variety of scrub habitats, including cactus desert, arid thorn-scrub, deciduous forest, gallery... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects and spiders; also feeds extensively on berries, e.g. of mistletoes (Loranthaceae), and small fruits. Generally alone or in pairs;... read more


    Dec–Mar in Middle America and Venezuela, Feb–Apr (also Jul, Oct–Nov) in Trinidad, Sept–Dec in Surinam, Jan–... read more


    Largely resident; not known to be migratory, but populations in extreme S may move N during austral... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common to very common, and widespread; uncommon and local in some areas (e.g. E Ecuador). Occurs in numerous national parks and other... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fitzpatrick, J. (2019). Southern Beardless Tyrannulet (Camptostoma obsoletum). 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 14 December 2019).