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Species Guide

Fasciated Antshrike

Cymbilaimus lineatus

The fasciated antshrike, known scientifically as Cymbilaimus lineatus, is a robust member of the antbird family Thamnophilidae. Exhibiting sexual dimorphism, the male is adorned with striking black and white barring across his entire body, while the female boasts a rufous crown with her body cloaked in brown, accented with faint yellow-brown bars.

Identification Tips

When identifying the fasciated antshrike, look for a large antbird measuring 17 to 18 cm in length and weighing between 35 to 40 grams. The male's plumage is predominantly black with white bars, which are faint on the crown but become more pronounced further down the body. The female, on the other hand, has a rufous crown and a brown body with yellow-brown barring. Both sexes have a large, hooked bill, a distinctive feature among their kin.


This species thrives in the tropical moist lowland forests, favoring tangled and dense vegetation in the mid-story of the forest. It is more commonly found in secondary forests within Central America.


The fasciated antshrike graces us with its presence from eastern Honduras, stretching down through Colombia, the Amazon Basin, and into the Guyanas. It is typically observed below 800 meters, but can occasionally be found at altitudes up to 1,600 meters.


The fasciated antshrike is known to feed between 5 to 20 meters off the ground, often near vine clusters and tree trunks. It may also venture to the forest floor. This bird is not an obligate ant-follower but will opportunistically join mixed-species feeding flocks and follow army ants to capture prey disturbed by their march.

Song & Calls

A variety of vocalizations can be heard from this species, including lazy plaintive whistles and a rattle-like chatter, adding a unique chorus to the forest soundscape.


During the breeding season, the fasciated antshrike constructs a simple cup nest from plant fibers, placed 2 to 10 meters above the ground. The nest cradles two creamy white eggs, which are incubated by both parents during the day, while the female takes the night shift.

Similar Species

The bamboo antshrike shares a close relationship with the fasciated antshrike and was once considered the same species. However, they are now recognized as distinct species, with the bamboo antshrike typically residing at higher elevations where their ranges overlap.

Diet and Feeding

The fasciated antshrike's diet consists of large insects such as grasshoppers, bugs, beetles, and caterpillars, as well as spiders, lizards, amphibians, and occasionally fruit. It adeptly forages in the mid-story of the forest, but is not averse to descending to the forest floor for a meal.

Conservation status

The IUCN Red List categorizes the fasciated antshrike as Least Concern, indicating that, for now, this species does not face immediate threats to its survival.

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Fasciated Antshrikes on Birda

A map showing the sighting location
Jitka Pilar
19 Jul 2024 - 2:54pm

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