Family Typical Antbirds (Thamnophilidae)

Least Concern

Western Ornate Antwren (Epinecrophylla ornata)


French: Myrmidon orné German: Schmuckameisenschlüpfer Spanish: Hormiguerito adornado occidental

Formicivora ornata

P. L. Sclater

, 1853,

“Bogotá” trade skin, Colombia


Formerly considered conspecific with E. hoffmannsi (which see). Forms meridionalis and atrogularis distinctive for lacking the chestnut dorsal patch (3) and with stronger tan-rufous in females (1), but vocal differences seemingly weak#R. Validity of races and precise ranges uncertain; saturata may not be diagnosably different from nominate, and it is unclear whether meridionalis and atrogularis intergrade. Identity of rufous-backed birds near base of Andes in SC Peru (Cuzco) uncertain. Further research required. Four subspecies currently recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • E. o. ornata (P. L. Sclater, 1853) – Western Ornate Antwren – C Colombia (Andean foothills in Meta).
  • E. o. saturata (Chapman, 1923) – SC Colombia (E Nariño, E Cauca, Putumayo), E Ecuador and NE Peru (N of R Marañón, W of R Napo).
  • E. o. atrogularis (Taczanowski, 1874) – Southern Ornate Antwren – EC Peru (San Martín S to Ayacucho and Cuzco, E to Ucayali) and extreme SW Amazonian Brazil (extreme SW Amazonas, W Acre).
  • E. o. meridionalis (J. T. Zimmer, 1932) – SE Peru (Madre de Dios, Puno), adjacent Brazil (Acre) and NW Bolivia (Pando, La Paz, Cochabamba).
  • Descriptive notes

    9–10 cm; 8·5–11 g. Male nominate race is grey above, back and rump rufous-chestnut; remiges and tail blackish-grey, wing-coverts tipped white, tail thinly... read more


    Loudsong a short (e.g. 1–1·5 seconds) high-pitched trill starting with emphatic note,... read more


    Understorey and midstorey of lowland and foothill evergreen forest (terra firme,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds on a variety of insects and spiders; analysis of stomach contents of seven specimens from Peru revealed that commonest prey were... read more


    Little known. Dec–Jul in lowland Ecuador; young fledglings seen in Jul in SE Peru. Nest and eggs not formerly described, but based on... read more


    None recorded; presumed resident throughout range.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Fairly common, but locally distributed throughout; density of 15·5 territories (thus pairs) per 100 ha in Madre de Dios, SE... read more

    Recommended citation

    Zimmer, K., Isler, M.L. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Western Ornate Antwren (Epinecrophylla ornata). 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 19 February 2020).