Family Typical Antbirds (Thamnophilidae)

Least Concern

Southern Rufous-capped Antshrike (Thamnophilus ruficapillus)


French: Batara à tête rousse German: Rostscheitel-Ameisenwürger Spanish: Batará pardo sureño

Thamnophilus ruficapillus


, 1816,

no locality = Corrientes, Argentina


Belongs to the “T. doliatus group”. Hitherto treated as conspecific with T. subfasciatus. Sister to T. torquatus (see all). Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. r. cochabambae (Chapman, 1921) – E slope of Andes of C Bolivia (E Cochabamba and SW Santa Cruz) S to NW Argentina (Jujuy, Salta, Tucumán).
  • T. r. ruficapillus Vieillot, 1816 – E Paraguay and SE Brazil (S from E Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo) S to NE Argentina (Misiones, Corrientes, Entre Ríos, NE Buenos Aires) and Uruguay.
  • Descriptive notes

    15–17 cm; 16·3–25 g. Male nominate race has crown chestnut, sides of head and throat pale buffy brown, mottled and faintly barred dusky brown; upperparts... read more


    Loudsong a moderately long (e.g. 13 notes, 3·3 seconds, nominate race) accelerating series... read more


    Inhabits semi-humid forest and second growth, but also patches of dense shrubs and trees bordering... read more

    Food and feeding

    Little published. Feeds on various insects and other arthropods, including beetles (Curculionidae, Chrysomelidae), moths (Noctuidae), ants... read more


    Season Oct–Dec (once in Feb) in Argentina and Oct–Nov in Brazil; birds in breeding condition in E Bolivia (W Santa Cruz) in Jan... read more


    Presumed resident, but at least some individuals of nominate race may move N from S extremity of... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Fairly common throughout most of its highly disjunct range, although it is apparently rare and occurs at only low density in Paraguay... read more

    Recommended citation

    Zimmer, K., Isler, M.L. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Southern Rufous-capped Antshrike (Thamnophilus ruficapillus). 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).