The head is light brown with a buff supercilium and whitish malar stripe. The upperparts are brown, becoming rufous on the tail and rump, and there is a buff bar on the darker brown wings. The underparts are unstreaked pale olive brown. The sexes are similar, but young birds have dark brown throats. The lack of streaking is an obvious distinction from other xenops especially Streaked Xenops. It is also the only lowland species in the genus.
Listen to the sound of Plain Xenops
Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto
Found from southern Mexico south to western Ecuador, northeastern Argentina and central Brazil. In Suriname not uncommon in savannah forest and the interior.
Prefers tropical lowland forest and flooded evergreen forest.
Nest consists of plant fibres placed in a hole between 1.5 and 9 m high in a decaying tree trunk or branch. The normal clutch is two white eggs, incubated by both sexes. This species is a resident breeder in forest habitats.
The Plain Xenops is often difficult to see as it forages for insects, including the larva of wood-boring beetles, on bark, rotting stumps or bare twigs. It moves in all directions on the trunk like a treecreeper, but does not use its tail as a prop.
Video Plain Xenops
copyright: V. Yabar
This species has a large range, with an estimated global extent of occurrence of 9,800,000 km2. The global population size has not been quantified, but it is believed to be large as the species is described as ‘frequent’ in at least parts of its range (Stotz et al. 1996). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e., declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern.