Family Typical Antbirds (Thamnophilidae)

Least Concern

White-browed Antbird (Myrmoborus leucophrys)


French: Alapi à sourcils blancs German: Weißstirn-Ameisenschnäpper Spanish: Hormiguero cejiblanco

Pithys leucophrys


, 1844,

Montaña de Vitoc, Junín, Peru


Races may constitute more than one species, while some appear to represent no more than clinal or individual plumage variation, and some plumage characters (e.g. crown/nape colour#R) apparently inconstant; also, distinct but undescribed populations may exist within ranges of races listed; taxonomic study needed. Population S of R Amazon in Pará and N Mato Grosso currently included in nominate, but considered by some to be part of angustirostris; conversely, that on N bank between R Japurá and R Negro placed with angustirostris, but perhaps closer to nominate. Birds from C Brazil and N Bolivia described as race griseigula, but appear to intergrade with nominate with no clear boundary, and better synonymized. Publication date of angustirostris revised from 1848 to Mar 1849#R. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. l. erythrophrys (P. L. Sclater, 1855) – E slope of Andes in NW Venezuela (Lara, Táchira, Barinas, Apure) and Colombia (except S of R Putumayo).
  • M. l. angustirostris (Cabanis, 1849) – S Venezuela (Amazonas, Bolívar), the Guianas and Brazil N of R Amazon (N bank between R Japurá and R Negro, also N Roraima E to Amapá).
  • M. l. leucophrys (Tschudi, 1844) – extreme S Colombia (S of R Putumayo), E Ecuador (on or near E slope of Andes), E Peru (in N only on or near E slope and also E of R Ucayali), S Amazonian Brazil (E to R Madeira, also in Pará from both banks of R Tapajós E to R Tocantins, S to Acre, Rondônia and SW & N Mato Grosso) and NE Bolivia (Pando, La Paz, Beni, Cochabamba).
  • M. l. koenigorum O’Neill & T. A. Parker, 1997 – C Peru (upper Huallaga Valley, in Huánuco).
  • Descriptive notes

    12–13 cm; 18–22 g. Male nominate race has white forehead and broad supercilium; rest of plumage dark bluish-grey, palest on rear underparts, darker wings and tail... read more


    Male loudsong a long (e.g. 4 seconds) trill typically increasing in intensity and pace initially,... read more


    Variety of disturbed or edge habitats in borders and understorey of evergreen forest and adjacent... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds on variety of insects and spiders. Stomach contents of two specimens from Brazil included orthopterans, hemipterans, beetles (... read more


    Little known. Nest found in Peru (Madre de Dios) in May (details previously unpublished): appeared to be constructed from bamboo leaves,... read more


    Presumed resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common throughout most of its extensive range. Numerous parks and reserves exist in virtually every country in which it occurs. The species’... read more

    Recommended citation

    Zimmer, K. & Isler, M.L. (2020). White-browed Antbird (Myrmoborus leucophrys). 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 26 February 2020).