Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Yellow-olive Flatbill (Tolmomyias sulphurescens)


French: Tyranneau jaune-olive German: Olivscheitel-Breitschnabeltyrann Spanish: Picoplano sulfuroso
Other common names: Yellow-olive Flycatcher

Platyrhynchus sulphurescens


, 1825,

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Taxonomy requires further resolution. Regional differences in voice, plumage and eye colour suggest that races might represent more than one species; some plumage variation appears clinal but clines discordant; several races dubious, particularly within South America. Sixteen subspecies tentatively recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. s. cinereiceps (P. L. Sclater, 1859) – S Mexico (S Veracruz and N & SE Oaxaca E to Yucatán Peninsula) S to Costa Rica.
  • T. s. flavoolivaceus (Lawrence, 1863) – W Panama (Chiriquí, Colón) to NW Colombia (SW Bolívar).
  • T. s. asemus (Bangs, 1910) – W & C Colombia (Chocó to SW Cauca; upper Cauca Valley and Magdalena Valley in S Huila).
  • T. s. exortivus (Bangs, 1908) – NE Colombia (Sucre to Guajira and Cesar) and N Venezuela (mainly N of Orinoco, E to Sucre and Monagas).
  • T. s. berlepschi (E. J. O. Hartert & Goodson, 1917) – Trinidad.
  • T. s. cherriei (E. J. O. Hartert & Goodson, 1917) – E Venezuela (Delta Amacuro and N Bolívar), the Guianas and N Brazil (upper R Branco and Amapá).
  • T. s. duidae J. T. Zimmer, 1939 – S Venezuela (Amazonas, S Bolívar) and NW Brazil (N Amazonas perhaps to W Pará).
  • T. s. confusus J. T. Zimmer, 1939 – SW Venezuela (Táchira, W Apure), C & E Colombia (Magdalena Valley and E slope of E Andes) and NE Ecuador (W Sucumbíos, Napo).
  • T. s. aequatorialis (Berlepsch & Taczanowski, 1884) – W Ecuador (S from Esmeraldas) and NW Peru (Tumbes, Piura).
  • T. s. peruvianus (Taczanowski, 1875) – SE Ecuador (S from W Morona-Santiago) and N & C Peru (Amazonas, S San Martín, E Pasco, Junín).
  • T. s. insignis J. T. Zimmer, 1939 – NE Peru (along S bank of Amazon and lower R Ucayali, in Loreto) and NW Brazil (S of Amazon, from R Juruá E to R Jamundá and R Madeira; N of Amazon, from lower R Negro to R Nhamundá).
  • T. s. mixtus J. T. Zimmer, 1939 – NC Brazil (E Pará, NW Maranhão).
  • T. s. inornatus J. T. Zimmer, 1939 – SE Peru (N Puno).
  • T. s. pallescens (E. J. O. Hartert & Goodson, 1917) – C, S & E Brazil (S Maranhão, Piauí and Paraíba S to Mato Grosso, Bahia and possibly W Minas Gerais) S to Bolivia (Beni S to Tarija) and N Argentina (S to Tucumán).
  • T. s. grisescens (C. Chubb, 1910) – C Paraguay and N Argentina (E Chaco and Formosa, N Santa Fe).
  • T. s. sulphurescens (Spix, 1825) – E Paraguay, NE Argentina (Misiones) and SE Brazil (E Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo S to Rio Grande do Sul).
  • Descriptive notes

    13–15·5 cm; 14·5–15·2 g. Nominate race has dark olive crown, narrow whitish supraloral and eyering, pale olive auriculars with dusky patch... read more


    Song highly variable geographically, e.g. a series of 2–6 sharp or buzzy high notes, “... read more


    Wide variety of dry to humid forest habitats, including borders of humid and montane forests, and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food insects, including beetles (Coleoptera), ants (Hymenoptera), homopteran bugs; recorded prey include beetles of family Scolytidae.... read more


    Apr–Jun in Costa Rica, Apr–Jul in Trinidad and Jan–Jun in N Colombia. Male courtship displays involve trembling with... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Fairly common to abundant in most of range, though somewhat local on parts of E slope of Andes. The most widespread member of genus.... read more

    Recommended citation

    Caballero, I. (2019). Yellow-olive Flatbill (Tolmomyias sulphurescens). 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 November 2019).