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Length: 12cm. Dark brown head, whitish supercilium and malar stripe, brown upperparts, becoming rufous on the tail and rump, buff bar on the darker brown wings, white-streaked olive brown underparts. Short, upturned bill. Sexes are similar.
Eleven subspecies are recognized:
Wet forests in foothills and mountains between 600-2,200 m altitude.
The diet includes arthropods, and the larvae of wood-boring beetles. Foraging behavior is typical of furnarids - flies to a low position on a branch or tree trunk, and systematically scoots upwards probing for food. It places a few stems and roots in a hole 1.5-4.5 m high in a tree for its nest. 2 white eggs are laid and are incubated by both sexes.