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White-flanked Antwren - BirdForum Opus

Male, subspecies albigula
Photo by Gerald Friesen
Gamboa Region, Panama, February 2014
Myrmotherula axillaris

Includes: Silvery-flanked Antwren


Female, subspecies albigula
Gerald Friesen
Gamboa Region, Panama, February 2014

9–10 cm (3½-4 in)

  • Dark grey upperparts
  • Black underparts
  • Black wings with lines of white spots
  • White flanks and underwings

Female and immature male

  • Brown upperparts
  • Yellowish-buff underparts
  • Barred rufous wings
  • White flanks and underwings


Males of M. a. albigula and M. a. melaena have black upperparts and underparts, and the female is darker than nominate.
The eastern Brazillian subspecies M. a. luctuosa has much less white on the flanks.


From El Salvador and Honduras south through Central America and South America to western coastal regions of Colombia and Ecuador; additionally east of the Andes to Amazonian Bolivia, Brazil, Venezuela, Trinidad, and the Guianas; a disjunct population is found in coastal eastern Brazil.


Male, subspecies axillaris
Photo by Gallus
Asa Wright, Trinidad and Tobago, March 2005


Six subspecies are recognized[1]:

  • M. a. albigula:
  • M. a. melaena:
  • M. a. axillaris:
  • M. a. heterozyga:
  • E Peru (Ucayali to Madre de Dios) and south-western Amazonian western Brazil
  • M. a. fresnayana:
  • Extreme south-eastern Peru (Puno) and north-western Bolivia
  • M. a. luctuosa:
  • Coastal eastern Brazil (Paraíba to Rio de Janeiro)

The last subspecies has, by some authors, been considered a full species Silvery-flanked Antwren (Myrmotherula luctuosa). It is found only in coastal eastern Brazil to 800 m elevation, separated by a long distance from all other members of White-flanked Antwren.


Under and mid-storeys of primary evergreen and secondary growth forest, most places below 1000 m asl.



The cup nest is constructed from small plant fibres and dead leaves and placed low in a tree or shrub. The clutch consists of 2 purple-marked white eggs which are incubated by both sexes for 16 days.


The diet consists mostly of small insects and and spiders.


  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. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved March 2017)
  3. Wikipedia

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