Bahia Tapaculo Eleoscytalopus psychopompus
aka Scytalopus psychopompus)

Brazilian name: Macuquinho-baiano
Bahia Tapaculo, Fazenda Michelin, Ituberá, Bahia, Brazil, November 2008 - click for larger image Fazenda Michelin, Ituberá, Bahia, Brazil
November 2008

The Bahia Tapaculo is classified as Critically Endangered by Birdlife International given that the known population is tiny and its habitat is small and declining. Until recently it was thought to be extinct but has now been rediscovered in four municipalities of Bahia where it is endemic.

Bahia Tapaculo, Fazenda Michelin, Ituberá, Bahia, Brazil, November 2008 - click for larger image Recent research has shown that the Bahia Tapaculo and its related species White-breasted Tapaculo S. indigoticus are more closely related to the Merulaxis bristlefronts than to other members of the Scytalopus genus and a new genus Eleoscytalopus has been erected for these two species. See the comments from the South American Classification Committee.

The Bahia Tapaculo is similar to White-breasted Tapaculo in having grey upperparts, a white loral spot and white underparts with lower flanks and vent chestnut-rufous but the Bahia Tapaculo lacks the barring on the chestnut-rufous flanks.

It inhabits tangled undergrowth in marshy areas in lowland Atlantic Rain Forest and is normally within 50 metres of a stream or river. Like all tapaculos and bristlefronts it is exceedingly difficult to see and photograph. Our local guide quite rightly insisted that we did not disturb the bird too much so I was unable to get a good photo showing the chestnut-rufous flanks.

There are recordings on xeno-canto, a distribution map from NatureServe and additional information available via Avibase.
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