Southern Wing-banded Antbird Myrmornis torquata


Justification of Red List Category

This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but this species is described as 'uncommon and patchily distributed' (Stotz et al. 1996).

Trend justification
The species is suspected to be declining due to habitat loss, but the rate of decline has not been quantified.

Distribution and population


Ground dwelling in lowland and foothill humid evergreen forest below 900m. Seem to prefer shaded interior forest with well-developed leaf-litter, often on slopes. Often in pairs, or family groups foraging very inconspicuously on the forest floor by turning over leaves in a methodical manner. Feeds on small arthropods. Not known to attend ant-swarms, or join mixed-species flocks. Breeding records between March-May and July-October in French Guiana; also October in Surinam and Panama. Normal clutch a single egg, juvenile still closely attended by female 30 days after hatching.
Presumed to be resident.


Projected deforestation is the primary threat affecting this species (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011). Deforestation and fragmentation of lowland forest throughout much of the range coupled with the apparent low density of the species in apparently suitable habitat may render it prone to local extinctions and potentially dramatic range contractions. This species was found to be highly extinction-prone in fragmented forest in a study of Amazonian terrestrial insectivores (Stratford and Stouffer 1999). In Brazil, proposed changes to the Forest Code reduce the percentage of land a private landowner is legally required to maintain as forest (including, critically, a reduction in the width of forest buffers alongside perennial steams) and include an amnesty for landowners who deforested before July 2008 (who would subsequently be absolved of the need to reforest illegally cleared land) (Bird et al. 2011).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
None is known.

Conservation Actions Proposed

Expand the protected area network to effectively protect IBAs. Effectively resource and manage existing and new protected areas, utilising emerging opportunities to finance protected area management with the joint aims of reducing carbon emissions and maximizing biodiversity conservation. Conservation on private lands, through expanding market pressures for sound land management and preventing forest clearance on lands unsuitable for agriculture, is also essential (Soares-Filho et al. 2006). Campaign against proposed changes to the Brazilian Forest Code that would lead to a decrease in the width of the areas of riverine forest protected as Permanent Preservation Areas (APPs), which function as vital corridors in fragmented landscapes.


14.5-15.5, 42-51g. Pot-bellied, short-tailed predominantly terrestrial antbird with a relatively long bill and blue periorbital patch extending behind the eye. Pale buff tips to black coverts and secondaries create striking wing bars, also tertials are brown-buff. White interscapular patch on buff mantle and grey underparts except throat, which is black in male and ochre-buff in female. Similar spp. Reminiscent of a Formicarius antthrush in behaviour, but plumage more like Spot-backed Antbird Hylophylax naevius. Overall a unique Thamnophilid and generally unmistakable. Voice Loudsong simple whistles increasing in intensity and pitch, M. t. stictoptera with upslurred notes increasing in pace as well and longer song duration.


Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J. & Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2018) Species factsheet: Myrmornis torquata. Downloaded from on 21/07/2018. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2018) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 21/07/2018.