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Narrow-billed Antwren Formicivora iheringi
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species was formerly considered as Vulnerable. However, it is now known from more than ten locations and its population is believed to be moderately small (Collar et al. 1992). It also appears to tolerate some forest fragmentation, suggesting that population declines may not be as serious as previously suspected. It is consequently listed as Near Threatened.

Taxonomic source(s)
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

11.5 cm. Long-tailed, arboreal antwren. Male slate-grey. Black wings, with two white wing-bars and white spotting on shoulder. Narrow white tips to outer rectrices. Grey underparts, with black bib extending to mid-breast. Silvery-white flanks. Female olive-brown above and more rufescent on uppertail-coverts. Dusky wings and tail, with two indistinct, buff wing-bars. Ochraceous underparts, palest on throat with limited white on flanks. Similar spp. White-flanked Antwren Myrmotherula axillaris luctuosa is shorter tailed and female has less rufescent uppertail-coverts and less uniform ochre underparts. Apparently not sympatric. Voice Male song is musical series of 7-12 (2 per second) metallic píeep notes. Female gives shorter, softer version.

Distribution and population
Formicivora iheringi is known from nine sites in eastern Bahia (Senhor do Bonfim, Iramaia, Novo Acre, Jagaquara, Boa Nova, Jacobina [R. Parrini and J. Minns in litt. 1999], Serrinha [B. M. Whitney per F. Brammer in litt 1998], south of Jequié and three localities in the Chapada Diamantina National Park [R. Parrini and J. Minns in litt. 1999, Parrini et al. 1999]) and eleven sites in north-east Minas Gerias (Almenara, Divisópolis, Pedra Azul and recently Araçauí, Botumirim, Turmalina, Fazenda São Miguel, Fazenda do Senhor Onofre Sandinha, Campo Limpo, Catutiba and Mendanha [E. O. Wiilis and Y. Oniki in litt. 1999, Neto et al. 2001, Vasconcelos et al. 2006]), east Brazil. Recent findings in Minas Gerias suggest a larger extent of occurrence than previously thought, and show the species is able to use several types of forest (Neto et al. 2001). Population size is not known, but the species is considered common at Boa Nova and around Vitoria da Conquista, where recent surveys found it common in all forest fragments visited, and it is described as relatively abundant at Aracuai and Botumirim.

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

Trend justification
A moderately rapid population decline is suspected, owing to rates of habitat destruction within the species's range. However, recent data on population size or trends are lacking.

It typically inhabits tropical deciduous and semi-deciduous forest (250-1,050 m) (del Hoyo et al. 2003), apparently favouring mata-de-cipó interiors with vine-tangles and patches of terrestrial bromeliads. It forages for invertebrates singly or in pairs, sometimes with flocks, generally 3-8 m above the ground (Ridgely and Tudor 1994).

Its habitats are being rapidly cleared for cattle pasture in central-south Bahia, and much of the forest in north-east Minas Gerais and adjacent south Bahia has been cleared for coffee plantations. At Aracuai, tourmaline miners have disturbed all caatinga vegetation (Neto et al. 2001). Natural habitats are reduced to hilltops around Boa Nova (Whitney 1996b), and remaining forest patches are highly disturbed by livestock and subject to local exploitation of trees for firewood and fenceposts (Tobias et al. 1993). However, observations at Boa Nova suggest it is able to cope with forest fragmentation, persisting in small areas.

Conservation Actions Underway
It occurs in the Acaua Ecological Station protected area, Minas Gerais, Brazil (Neto and de Vasconcelos 2004). The species is protected under Brazilian law. Conservation Actions Proposed
Designate a forest reserve of mata-do-cipó in conjunction with an experimental agricultural station or as a community-level conservation initiative (Tobias et al. 1993). Research its precise ecological requirements, with particular reference to levels of tolerance of secondary, disturbed or fragmented habitats. Investigate the feasibility of protecting forest patches at Boa Nova. Conduct further surveys to locate additional sites for the species.

Collar, N. J.; Gonzaga, L. P.; Krabbe, N.; Madroño Nieto, A.; Naranjo, L. G.; Parker, T. A.; Wege, D. C. 1992. Threatened birds of the Americas: the ICBP/IUCN Red Data Book. International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge, U.K.

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Christie, D. 2003. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 8: Broadbills to Tapaculos. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Neto, S. D.; Vasconcelos, M. F. De; Silveira, L. F. 2001. Range extensions, plumage variation, and conservation of the Narrow-billed Antwren (Formicivora iheringi), a Brazilian endemic. International Journal of Ornithology 4(3/4): 225-229.

Neto, S.D.; Vasconcelos, M. F. de. 2004. Ocorrência do Formigueiro-do-nordeste Formicivora iheringi na Estaça ecológica de Acaua, Minas Gerais, Brasil. Cotinga 22: 92-93.

Parrini, R.; Raposo, M. A.; Pacheco, J. F.; Carvalhaes, A. M. P.; Melo, T. A. J.; Fonseca, P. S. M.; Minns, J. C. 1999. Birds of the Chapada Diamantina, Bahia, Brazil. Cotinga 11: 86-95.

Ridgely, R. S.; Tudor, G. 1994. The birds of South America. University of Texas Press, Austin, Texas.

Stotz, D. F.; Fitzpatrick, J. W.; Parker, T. A.; Moskovits, D. K. 1996. Neotropical birds: ecology and conservation. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Tobias, J. A.; Catsis, M. C.; Williams, R. S. R. 1993. Notes on scarce birds observed in southern and eastern Brazil: 24 July - 7 September 1993.

Vasconcelos, M.F. de; Neto, S.D'A.; Kirwan, G.M.; Bornschein, M. R.; Diniz, M. G.; da Silva, J.F. 2006. Important ornithological records from Minas Gerais state, Brazil. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 126(3): 212-238.

Vasconcelos, M.F. de; Neto, S.D"A.; Kirwan, G.M.; Bornschein, M. R.; Diniz, M. G.; da Silva, J.F. 2006. Important ornithological records from Minas Gerais state, Brazil. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists" Club 126(3): 212-238.

Whitney, B. 1996. Sites to save: Boa Nova, Brazil. World Birdwatch 18: 9-11.

Further web sources of information
Detailed species account from the Threatened birds of the Americas: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 1992). Please note taxonomic treatment and IUCN Red List category may have changed since publication.

Detailed species account from the Threatened birds of the Americas: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 1992). Please note, taxonomic treatment and IUCN Red List category may have changed since publication.

Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Recuento detallado de la especie tomado del libro Aves Amenazadas de las Americas, Libro Rojo de BirdLife International (BirdLife International 1992). Nota: la taxonomoía y la categoría de la Lista Roja de la UICN pudo haber cambiado desde esta publicación.

View photos and videos and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Gilroy, J., Sharpe, C J

Brammer, F., Minns, J., Oniki, Y., Parrini, R., Whitney, B., Willis, E.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Formicivora iheringi. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Thamnophilidae (Antbirds)
Species name author Hellmayr, 1909
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 21,000 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species