Family Ovenbirds (Furnariidae)

Least Concern

Stripe-crowned Spinetail (Cranioleuca pyrrhophia)


French: Synallaxe à calotte rayée German: Streifenscheitel-Baumschlüpfer Spanish: Curutié ventriblanco

Dendrocopus pyrrhophius


, 1818,



Recent genetic data#R found this species to be sister to C. pallida, the two being closely related to C. obsoleta; appears to hybridize with C. obsoleta and has been suggested as being conspecific (see that species). Geographical variation complex but may be largely clinal, plumage becoming more greyish above and more whitish below towards S; within populations assigned to nominate race, variation in crown streaking evidently great, with streaking reduced in SE Brazil but many birds elsewhere at least as streaked as striaticeps, and those from lowland S Bolivia closer in appearance to nearby montane population of striaticeps but with undertail-coverts as in nominate; further study needed. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. p. rufipennis (P. L. Sclater & Salvin, 1879) – N Bolivian Andes in La Paz (Tilotilo) and NW Cochabamba.
  • C. p. striaticeps (d’Orbigny & Lafresnaye, 1837) – Andes of C & S Bolivia (C Cochabamba, W Santa Cruz, Chuquisaca, Tarija).
  • C. p. pyrrhophia (Vieillot, 1818) – S Bolivia (lowland Santa Cruz and Tarija), W Paraguay, NE & C Argentina (S to Río Negro and N Buenos Aires), extreme SE Brazil (S Rio Grande do Sul) and Uruguay.
  • Descriptive notes

    13–16 cm; 10–16 g. Rather small Cranioleuca with distinctive crown and tail patterns. Nominate race has broad white supercilium, dark brownish lores and... read more


    Song an accelerating, descending trill without introductory notes, c. 1·5–2·5... read more


    Tropical deciduous forest, gallery forest, arid montane scrub, second-growth scrub; variety of... read more

    Food and feeding

    Arthropods; recorded items are ants (Pheidole) and Coleoptera (Hydrophilidae). Forages singly or in pairs, often in mixed-species... read more


    Season during austral spring-summer; in Argentina, eggs in Oct–Dec, and nestlings in Oct–Nov in W, Dec in E and Feb in NW;... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common to common in much of its large range; uncommon in Paraguay. Tolerant of habitat disturbance; often present in areas with only small... read more

    Recommended citation

    Remsen, J.V., Jr (2019). Stripe-crowned Spinetail (Cranioleuca pyrrhophia). 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 9 December 2019).