The Ant-follower: Bicolored Antbird
Updated: Oct 9, 2021
The Bicolored Antbird (Gymnopithys bicolor) is a species of bird in the Thamnophilidae family. Nine subspecies are currently recognized over the species’ relatively wide range, which encompasses Central America from Honduras south to Panama, then through northern Colombia south to western Ecuador.
Is one of four species of Gymnopithys antbirds, and is speculated to be an obligate ant-follower. While many species of antbirds (and other families) may opportunistically feed at army ant swarms, 18 species of antbird are obligate ant-followers, obtaining most of their diet from swarms. Swarms of army ants are an important resource used by some species of antbird, and the one from which the family's common name is derived.
Bicolored Antbird inhabits the understory of lowland forests, ranging locally into the foothills, and feeds on insects, other arthropods, and small frogs and lizards.