Family Typical Antbirds (Thamnophilidae)


Spiny-faced Antshrike (Xenornis setifrons)


French: Batara masqué German: Strichelrücken-Ameisenwürger Spanish: Batará moteado
Other common names: Speckled Antshrike

Xenornis setifrons


, 1924,

Tacarcuna, 2050 ft [c. 625 m], Darién, Panama


Relationships uncertain; possibly closest to Thamnomanes or Megastictus on basis of similarities in posture, tail movements, foraging behaviour within mixed-species flocks, and some vocalizations. Monotypic.


E Panama (E from Colón) and extreme NW Colombia (Chocó).

Descriptive notes

15–16 cm; 25 g. Male is olive-brown above, all but rump feathers edged blackish, giving spotty appearance; wings dark brown, spotted and edged light reddish yellow-... read more


Male loudsong a short, countable series (e.g. 9 notes, 2·8 seconds) of whistles, rising in... read more


Understorey of undisturbed wet and humid lowland and foothill evergreen forest, at 150–800 m... read more

Food and feeding

Feeds on various insects and other arthropods. In Nusagandi region of Panama, typically encountered as closely associated pair-members,... read more


Two nests found in May in Panama (San Blas). Both cup-shaped, external measurements 11–12 cm deep, 14 cm wide, constructed entirely... read more


Presumed resident.

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Restricted-range species: present in Darién Lowlands EBA. Recorded rarely and from just a few localities within a relatively tiny range. The only... read more

Recommended citation

Zimmer, K. & Isler, M.L. (2020). Spiny-faced Antshrike (Xenornis setifrons). 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 24 February 2020).