• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Spotted Barbtail - BirdForum Opus

Nominate subspecies
Photo © by Pitter
Dapa, Valle Del Cauca, Colombia, 3 February 2020
Premnoplex brunnescens


13–15 cm (5-6 in)

  • Dark brown overall plumage
  • white to tawny
  • Tawny-ochraceous spots on the breast and round the eye
  • Dark brown to roufus barbed tail


Central and South America:
Central America: found in Costa Rica, Panama
South America: Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia



Subspecies brunneicauda
Photo © by Stanley Jones
La Cinchona, Alajuela Province, Costa Rica, March 2006

There are 8 subspecies[1]:

  • P. b. brunneicauda:
  • P. b. distinctus:
  • Subtropical mountains of central Panama (Veraguas)
  • P. b. mnionophilus:
  • Mountains of Panama (western San Blas)
  • P. b. albescens:
  • Subtropical mountains of eastern Panama (Cerro Tacarcuna)
  • P. b. coloratus:
  • Subtropical Santa Marta Mountains (north-eastern Colombia)
  • P. b. brunnescens:
  • P. b. stictonotus:
  • South East Peru (Puno) and western Bolivia (La Paz and Cochabamba)
  • P. b. rostratus:
  • Mountains of northern Venezuela (Lara, Aragua, Carabobo and Miranda)


Mountainous evergreen forests, particularly in areas with moss and ephiphytes.



Their main diet consists of insects such as ants and cockroaches and their eggs.


Adults sleep in dormitories, similar in form to breeding nests. Both sexes construct the loose cup shaped nest from tree ferns lined with fibres and placed over water. The clutch contains 2 white eggs. Incubation lasts 27-31 days and nestlings fledged after 19-22 days.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. Remsen, J.V., Jr (2020). Spotted Barbtail (Premnoplex brunnescens). 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 https://www.hbw.com/node/56526 on 4 February 2020)

Recommended Citation

External Links