Family Typical Antbirds (Thamnophilidae)

Least Concern

Streak-backed Antshrike (Thamnophilus insignis)


French: Batara à dos rayé German: Tepuiameisenwürger Spanish: Batará insigne

Thamnophilus insignis

Salvin and Godman

, 1884,

Mount Roraima, 5000 ft [c. 1525 m], Venezuela


Molecular analyses#R found that this species is sister to T. divisorius#R, the two being members of a group that includes also T. melanonotus, T. melanothorax and T. amazonicus. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. i. nigrofrontalis Phelps, Sr & Phelps, Jr, 1947 – extreme SW Venezuela (Macizo de Cuao-Sipapo, in W Amazonas).
  • T. i. insignis Salvin & Godman, 1884 – S Venezuela (tepuis of Bolívar and E Amazonas S to Cerro de la Neblina), and Mt Roraima and vicinity in extreme W Guyana and adjoining N Brazil (extreme N Roraima).
  • Descriptive notes

    16–17 cm; 22–30 g. Male has crown and upperparts black, some white feathers on crown and nape; white inter­scapular patch exposed as spots or streaks on back... read more


    Loudsong an accelerating series of similar notes (e.g. 13 notes, 2·5 seconds), rising in... read more


    Understorey and mid-storey of montane evergreen forest, at 900–2000 m. Primarily in stunted (... read more

    Food and feeding

    Little published. Feeds on various insects and other arthropods. Forages in pairs or singly, mostly 1–5 m above ground, sometimes to... read more


    Nothing known.


    Presumed resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Tepuis EBA. Uncommon to locally common. There are large numbers of specimens from the slopes of several tepuis... read more

    Recommended citation

    Zimmer, K. & Isler, M.L. (2020). Streak-backed Antshrike (Thamnophilus insignis). 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).