Family Waxbills (Estrildidae)

Least Concern

Woodhouse's Antpecker (Parmoptila woodhousei)


French: Parmoptile à gorge rousse German: Woodhouse-Ameisenpicker Spanish: Estrilda piquifina de Woodhouse

Parmoptila Woodhousei


, 1859,

Camma River, Gabon


Sometimes treated as conspecific with P. rubrifrons and P. jamesoni; occurs close to latter in Central African Republic (R Ouissi) and in DRCongo (Ituri), but the two are not known to be locally sympatric. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. w. woodhousei Cassin, 1859 – S Nigeria, S Cameroon and Gabon E to S Central African Republic, Congo and W DRCongo.
  • P. w. ansorgei E. J. O. Hartert, 1904 – N Angola and C DRCongo.
  • Descriptive notes

    11 cm; c. 9·4 g. Male nominate race has forehead rufous with brighter red bars, crown and upperparts brown, mottled dark brown and with buff shaft streaks, upperwing... read more


    Call or song a long, shrill, high-pitched "tcseeep"; high-pitched whistle, pitch descending from 5·... read more


    Primary and secondary lowland forest, gallery forest, coffee forest, manioc (Manihot esculenta... read more

    Food and feeding

    Arboreal ants (Formicidae), also other small insects, including small caterpillars; also fruits, e.g. Xylopia aethiopica. In... read more


    Breeds in all months in Gabon; nest with eggs in Apr, in Cameroon. Courtship behaviour not described. Nest a large, bulky domed structure,... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Generally uncommon to rare. Rare in Nigeria; widespread but infrequent to rare in Cameroon forest zone; evidently uncommon in Central African... read more

    Recommended citation

    Payne, R. (2020). Woodhouse's Antpecker (Parmoptila woodhousei). 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 January 2020).