Family Tapaculos (Rhinocryptidae)

Critically Endangered

Stresemann's Bristlefront (Merulaxis stresemanni)


French: Mérulaxe de Stresemann German: Stirnhaubentapaculo Spanish: Macuquiño de Stresemann

Merulaxis stresemanni


, 1960,

near Salvador, Bahia, Brazil


Closely related to M. ater (which see); possibly conspecific, but differs in general size, in proportions of bill and feet, and in vocalizations. Monotypic.


E Brazil in coastal Bahia, formerly in Recôncavo (near Salvador), Ilhéus and Una#R, but recent records only from Mata da Balbina, on Bahia–Minas Gerais border#R#R.

Descriptive notes

19·5 cm. Large, dark tapaculo with short frontal crest of stiff narrow feathers. Male has uniform slaty-black plumage; iris dark brown; bill black; tarsus dark brown.... read more


Song consists of clicks at c. 1·6 kHz, with terminal trill first rising from 0·7 to 1... read more


Recorded in low undergrowth at edge of a small clearing along a logging trail, in a patch of forest... read more

Food and feeding

Insects. Forages on and near the ground as it moves under fallen trunks and in shady parts of the undergrowth; rummages through leaf litter... read more


Song of strongly territorial male recorded in Jan; female collected in early May had undeveloped gonads. No other information.


Probably sedentary.

Status and conservation

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED. Restricted-range species: present in Atlantic Forest Lowlands EBA. Long known from just two specimens, collected near Salvador in 1830s and near Ilh... read more

Recommended citation

Krabbe, N.K., Schulenberg, T.S. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Stresemann's Bristlefront (Merulaxis stresemanni). 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 23 February 2020).