White-bellied Antbird


White-bellied Antbird
White-bellied Antbird
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Thamnophilidae
Genus: Myrmeciza
Species: M. longipes
Binomial name
Myrmeciza longipes
(Swainson, 1825)

The White-bellied Antbird (Myrmeciza longipes), is a passerine bird which breeds in the tropical New World from Panama to northern Brazil and in Trinidad. It is also called Swainson's Antcatcher (usually in historical sources) after William John Swainson, who first described it scientifically. This is the type species of Myrmeciza.

This antbird, like others in its family, is a forest bird with a preference for undergrowth in dry or moist deciduous habitats. It is a resident breeder which lays two or three eggs in a nest in a tree, both sexes incubating.

The White-bellied Antbird is typically 15 cm long, and weighs 26 g. It has rufous brown upperparts and whitish underparts shading to cinnamon-buff on the flanks and lower belly. There is a long grey supercilium. The pink legs are long and strong, reflecting this bird's terrestrial lifestyle.

The male has a black face, throat and upper breast. The female has a darker crown, grey cheek patches and small dark spots on the wings, and lacks the black markings of the male. The northern race griseopectus has black spots on the wings and grey central underparts in both sexes.

The White-bellied Antbird is an insectivore which feeds on ants and other arthropods at or near the ground; it sometimes follows columns of army ants. It may be located by its bright descending jeer-jeer-jeer-jeer-jeer-jeer-jeer-jeer-jeer-jeer-jeer-jeer song, which ends with a few chew notes.

References

  • BirdLife International (2004). Myrmeciza longipes. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 12 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern

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