Family Ovenbirds (Furnariidae)

Least Concern

Tepui Spinetail (Cranioleuca demissa)


French: Synallaxe des tépuis German: Tepuibaumschlüpfer Spanish: Curutié de tepuí

Synallaxis demissa

Salvin and Godman

, 1884,

Mount Roraima, Bolívar, Venezuela


Previously considered conspecific with C. curtata by some authors, but recent genetic analysis#R shows present species to be sister to a group consisting of C. semicinerea, C. hellmayri and C. subcristata. Race cardonaorum originally spelt cardonai, but internal information (“...a los Ingenieros Jordi y Heinz Cardona...”) requires emendation. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. d. cardonaorum (Phelps, Jr & Dickerman, 1980) – tepui region of S Venezuela in Amazonas (cerros of Neblina, Parú, Paraque and Duida) and C Bolívar (Cerro Tabaro, Cerro Guaiquinima).
  • C. d. demissa (Salvin & Godman, 1884) – tepui region of S Venezuela (Mt Roraima and tepuis of Gran Sabana region, in SE Bolívar), extreme WC Guyana (Mt Ayanganna, also sight record Mt Kowa) and extreme N Brazil (Mt Roraima).
  • Descriptive notes

    14–15 cm; 14–17 g. Nominate race has whitish supercilium, rest of face dull brownish, faint pale shaft streaks on auriculars; forehead brown with variable amount... read more


    Song a thin, descending, accelerating series, “téé-téé-te-ti ti’ti’ti’ti’ti’i’i’i”; alarm a rattle.


    Montane evergreen forest; also gallery forest locally in Bolívar (Gran Sabana); 1100–2450 m.

    Food and feeding

    Arthropods. Forages singly or in pairs, usually in mixed-species flocks, from mid-storey to canopy. Hitches and climbs along small branches... read more


    Nest a globular mass of moss, partially suspended from branch. No further information.



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Tepuis EBA. Fairly common within its limited range.

    Recommended citation

    Remsen, J.V., Jr (2019). Tepui Spinetail (Cranioleuca demissa). 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 11 December 2019).