Family Ovenbirds (Furnariidae)

Least Concern

Thorn-tailed Rayadito (Aphrastura spinicauda)


French: Synallaxe rayadito German: Stachelschwanzschlüpfer Spanish: Rayadito común

Motacilla spinicauda

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

Tierra del Fuego


Validity of poorly known race bullocki recently confirmed#R. Individuals with ochraceous underparts, thus resembling fulva, apparently occur throughout near-shore Chilean islands, suggesting that this ventral pattern may appear independently in insular populations, perhaps as response to more humid conditions (Gloger’s Rule); population on Diego Ramírez I apparently differs morphologically from typical nominate; further study needed to clarify geographical limits of races. Three subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. s. spinicauda (J. F. Gmelin, 1789) – C & S Chile (S from S Coquimbo) and extreme W Argentina (S from Neuquén) S to Tierra del Fuego, Staten I and Diego Ramírez I; accidental on Falkland Is.
  • A. s. bullocki Chapman, 1934 – Mocha I, off SC Chile.
  • A. s. fulva Angelini, 1905 – Chiloé I, off SC Chile.
  • Descriptive notes

    13–14 cm; 10–13 g. Small, active, acrobatic furnariid. Nominate race has blackish-brown crown, contrasting broad ochraceous supercilium from forehead (where... read more


    Song a thin dry trill, variable in duration; calls include high-pitched “zee-zee” or... read more


    Southern temperate forest, locally arid lowland scrub; tall humid forest (usually Nothofagus... read more

    Food and feeding

    Arthropods; Diptera and Hymenoptera recorded as taken. Also seen to peck ripe fruits of Berberis, Ribes and Gunnera... read more


    Season during austral spring-summer; eggs in Nov–Dec and nestlings in Oct–Jan. Presumably monogamous. Nest placed behind loose... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common to locally abundant in most of range. Occurs in Vicente Pérez Rosales, Nahuelbuta and Cerro La Campana National Parks,... read more

    Recommended citation

    Remsen, J.V., Jr & Bonan, A. (2020). Thorn-tailed Rayadito (Aphrastura spinicauda). 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 22 February 2020).