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Tapaculos: Rhinocryptidae

Rusty-belted Tapaculo (liosceles Thoracicus): Species Account

Physical characteristics: The rusty-belted tapaculo is one of the larger tapaculos. They are about 7.5 inches (19 centimeters) long and weigh about 1.5 ounces (42 grams). Rusty-belted tapaculos live on the forest floor. Their dark gray-brown back helps them blend in well with their environment. Their throat and breast are white, with a rusty reddish breast band that gives them their name. They have a black, white, and rusty pattern on their undersides.

Geographic range: Rusty-belted tapaculos live in South America in southeastern Colombia, western Brazil, and neighboring parts of Peru and Ecuador.

Habitat: Unlike many tapaculos that prefer higher, cooler elevations, rusty-belted tapaculos live in humid lowland rainforests on the forest floor.

Diet: Like all tapaculos, these birds eat insects. They feed by walking or hopping slowly along the forest floor looking for prey.

Rusty-belted tapaculos live in humid lowland rainforests on the forest floor. (Illustration by Brian Cressman. Reproduced by permission.)

Behavior and reproduction: Rusty-belted tapaculos build underground nests among the roots of trees. Little is known about their reproductive behavior, because they are shy and difficult to observe.

Rusty-belted tapaculos and people: These birds have little interaction with people and are rarely seen. They are of interest mainly to ornithologists and birdwatchers.

Conservation status: Rusty-belted tapaculos are not threatened or in danger of extinction. ∎



Ridgley, Robert S., and Guy Tudor. The Birds of South America. Vol 2, The Suboscine Passerines. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1994.

Web sites:

"Birds, Mammals, and Amphibians of Latin America." NatureServe. http://www.natureserve.org/infonatura (accessed on May 4, 2004).

Robertson, Don. "Bird Families of the World." CREAGRUS@Monterey Bay. http://www.montereybay.com/creagrus/index.html (accessed on May 4, 2004).

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceBirdsTapaculos: Rhinocryptidae - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status, Rusty-belted Tapaculo (liosceles Thoracicus): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, TAPACULOS AND PEOPLE