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Gray Antwren - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Stanley Jones
Sani Lodge, Sucumbios Province, Ecuador, January 2016
Myrmotherula menetriesii


8·5–9·5 cm (3¼-3¾ in)
Male is medium grey with slightly paler underside and hints of supercilium. On wings, a black wing band above a white one, and some black and white on the smallest coverts.

Female similar but with buff underside, side of head and supercilium.

Variation: south of the Rio Amazonas, the male has black throat and upper breast.


South America: found in Amazonian Brazil and neighboring lowlands of Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia.



There are 5 subspecies[1]:

  • M. m. pallida:
  • M. m. cinereiventris:
  • M. m. menetriesii:
  • Eastern Peru south of River Amazon to north-western Bolivia and south-western Amazonian Brazil
  • M. m. berlepschi :
  • South-central Amazonian Brazil (R. Madeira to R. Tapajós), northern Bolivia
  • M. m. omissa:
  • North-eastern Brazil (R. Tapajós to western Maranhão)


Humid forest in lowlands



Tends to flick its tail sideways.


Feeds higher in the forest than Long-winged Antwren and White-flanked Antwren where these occur together.

Their main diet consists of insects, beetles and spiders. Caterpillars are fed to the young.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Ridgely and Tudor 2009. Field guide to the songbirds of South America - The Passerines. University of Texas Press. ISBN 978-0-292-71979-8
  3. Morton & Stutchbury (2001): Behavioral Ecology of Tropical Birds. Academic Press. ISBN 0-12-675556-6
  4. Avibase
  5. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved May 2014)

Recommended Citation

External Links