Typical Antbirds (Thamnophilidae)

White-flanked Antwren (Myrmotherula axillaris) - HBW 8, p. 590

French: Myrmidon à flancs blancs German: Weißflanken-Ameisenschlüpfer Spanish: Hormiguerito Flanquialbo
Other common names: Black Antwren

Taxonomy: Myrmothera axillaris Vieillot, 1817, Guiana = French Guiana.
According to genetic studies, may be most closely related to M. longipennis and M. menetriesii. Also, M. fluminensis thought by some to be possibly a variant of race luctuosa of present species or, earlier, a hybrid between it and M. unicolor. Often grouped with those four species and M. schisticolor, M. sunensis, M. minor, M. iheringi, M. behni, M. grisea, M. snowi and M. urosticta as the “grey antwren assemblage”, although this grouping possibly not monophyletic. Substantial geographical differenc.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Myrmothera axillaris Vieillot, 1817, Guiana = French Guiana.
According to genetic studies, may be most closely related to M. longipennis and M. menetriesii. Also, M. fluminensis thought by some to be possibly a variant of race luctuosa of present species or, earlier, a hybrid between it and M. unicolor. Often grouped with those four species and M. schisticolor, M. sunensis, M. minor, M. iheringi, M. behni, M. grisea, M. snowi and M. urosticta as the “grey antwren assemblage”, although this grouping possibly not monophyletic. Substantial geographical differences in vocalizations strongly suggest that present species should be split into several distinct species, but further work required. Otherwise, morphological distinctions between races heterozyga and fresnayana unclear. Distributions of races given below are tentative, based primarily on previous published statements. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • albigula Lawrence, 1865 - Caribbean slope from SE Honduras S to Colombia (except Santa Marta Mts), and Pacific slope from C Panama (Panamá, Darién) S to Ecuador.
  • melaena (P. L. Sclater, 1857) - Santa Marta Mts and Colombia E of Andes, W Venezuela (Andean slopes E to Mérida and Barinas and, S of R Orinoco, E to R Caura), NW Brazil (upper R Negro S to N bank of R Amazon), E Ecuador and NE Peru (Amazonas, San Martín, Loreto).
  • axillaris (Vieillot, 1817) - E Venezuela (Apure, Monagas, Delta Amacuro, and S of R Orinoco E of R Caura), Trinidad, the Guianas, E Amazonian Brazil (from both banks of lower R Negro E to Amapá and, S of R Amazon, E of R Madeira to Maranhão and S to NE Mato Grosso and Tocantins) and NE Bolivia (NE Santa Cruz).

     See all 6 subspecies
  • albigula Lawrence, 1865 - Caribbean slope from SE Honduras S to Colombia (except Santa Marta Mts), and Pacific slope from C Panama (Panamá, Darién) S to Ecuador.
  • melaena (P. L. Sclater, 1857) - Santa Marta Mts and Colombia E of Andes, W Venezuela (Andean slopes E to Mérida and Barinas and, S of R Orinoco, E to R Caura), NW Brazil (upper R Negro S to N bank of R Amazon), E Ecuador and NE Peru (Amazonas, San Martín, Loreto).
  • axillaris (Vieillot, 1817) - E Venezuela (Apure, Monagas, Delta Amacuro, and S of R Orinoco E of R Caura), Trinidad, the Guianas, E Amazonian Brazil (from both banks of lower R Negro E to Amapá and, S of R Amazon, E of R Madeira to Maranhão and S to NE Mato Grosso and Tocantins) and NE Bolivia (NE Santa Cruz).
  • heterozyga J. T. Zimmer, 1932 - EC Peru (Ucayali S to Madre de Dios) and SW Amazonian Brazil (W of R Madeira).
  • fresnayana (d’Orbigny, 1835) - extreme SE Peru (Puno) and NW Bolivia (W of R Mamoré, and along base of Andes E to W Santa Cruz).
  • luctuosa Pelzeln, 1868 - coastal E Brazil (Paraíba S to Rio de Janeiro).