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Variable Antshrike - BirdForum Opus

Male : Ssp. "melanochrous"
Photo by Stanley Jones
Owlet Lodge, Amazonas, Peru, Jan 2017
Thamnophilus caerulescens


14–16 cm (5½-6¼ in)

  • Black forehead and crown
  • Grey head sides
  • Dark grey upperparts
  • Brownish tinge to wings
  • White wing-bars
  • White tips to the tail feathers


South America: found in Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina.


Female, subspecies melanochrous
Photo by Stanley Jones
Amazonas, Abra Patricia Reserve, Owlet Lodge, Peru, January 2017


There are 8 subspecies[1]:

  • T. c. melanochrous:
  • East slope of Andes of Peru (Amazonas south of Río Marañón to northern Puno)
  • T. c. aspersiventer:
  • South East Peru (Puno) to west-central Bolivia (La Paz and Cochabamba)
  • T. c. dinellii:
  • T. c. paraguayensis:
  • T. c. gilvigaster:
  • Extreme south-eastern Brazil to Uruguay and north-eastern Argentina
  • T. c. caerulescens:
South East Brazil (Minas Gerais) to south-eastern Paraguay and north-eastern Argentina
  • T. c. ochraceiventer:
  • East-central Brazil (southern Tocantins, Goiás, Distrito Federal, south-central Bahia)
  • T. c. cearensis:
  • North East Brazil (Ceará, Pernambuco and Alagoas)


Under and mid-storeys of evergreen forest, secondary growth and thickets.



There is little detailed information available. They are known to eat insects such as moths, katydids and grasshoppers.

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