Family Ovenbirds (Furnariidae)

Least Concern

Striped Woodcreeper (Xiphorhynchus obsoletus)


French: Grimpar strié German: Streifenbaumsteiger Spanish: Trepatroncos loco

Dendrocolaptes obsoletus

M. H. C. Lichtenstein

, 1820,

no locality = State of Pará, Brazil


Relationships uncertain; on basis of molecular data, earlier thought perhaps to be ancestral to a morphologically variable clade that included X. susurrans, X. guttatus, X. flavigaster and X. lachrymosus, and possibly also X. erythropygius and X. triangularis. Assessment of race notatus complicated by marked individual variation in coloration, and intergradation over seemingly wide area with both nominate and palliatus; birds from R Purus drainage (possibly also R Madeira), in W Brazil, sometimes recognized as race multiguttatus, but intermediate between nominate and palliatus. Race caicarae poorly differentiated (relative to nominate) and with biogeographically unlikely range; doubtfully valid. Original description of race palliatus in issue dated 1855, but not published till 1856#R. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • X. o. notatus (Eyton, 1852) – drainages of R Apure, upper R Orinoco, lower R Caura and upper R Negro in E Colombia (Arauca, Vichada), W & S Venezuela and adjacent NW Brazil; birds from lower R Negro intermediate with nominate.
  • X. o. caicarae J. T. Zimmer & Phelps, Sr, 1955 – middle Orinoco Valley in C Venezuela (NW Bolívar).
  • X. o. palliatus (Des Murs, 1856) – W Amazonia, both N & S of Amazon, in SE Colombia (Meta, Caquetá), E Ecuador, E Peru, W Amazonian Brazil (E to R Negro and to R Juruá) and N Bolivia (S to N La Paz and NW Beni); birds from R Purus intermediate with nominate.
  • X. o. obsoletus (M. H. C. Lichtenstein, 1820) – E Amazonia in E Venezuela (Delta Amacuro), the Guianas and N Brazil (lower R Negro E to Amapá and, S of Amazon, from R Madeira E to R Tocantins and S to W & N Mato Grosso); populations in NE Bolivia (NE Santa Cruz) and NE Venezuela (E Monagas) likely represent this race.
  • Descriptive notes

    18–20·5 cm; male 27–37 g, female 24–36 g. Medium-sized woodcreeper with slim, slightly decurved bill and about as long as width of head. Nominate race has... read more


    Song, among first heard in flooded forests at dawn and last heard at dusk (also intermittently... read more


    Evergreen forest, especially near water. Principally floodplain-forest and seasonally (and tidally... read more

    Food and feeding

    Chiefly insectivorous. Stomach contents mostly beetles and various species of ant, with lesser quantities of hemipteran bugs, cicadas and... read more


    Specimens in breeding condition in Nov and Feb–May in S Venezuela, E Colombia and adjacent Brazil, but nests with eggs in both mid-... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Generally uncommon to fairly common in C Amazonia, especially where bottomland and seasonally flooded forests are extensive; rare and somewhat local... read more

    Recommended citation

    Marantz, C.A., Aleixo, A., Bevier, L.R. & Patten, M.A. (2020). Striped Woodcreeper (Xiphorhynchus obsoletus). 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 25 February 2020).