Tapaculos live such secluded lives that little is known about their behavior. They try to avoid the open so much that in most cases they can be observed only briefly. Except for Acropternis, which hops slowly on the forest floor, most of the large tapaculos walk or run, making sudden halts. The fairly small Teledromas also runs, taking long strides as it speeds over the bare ground. Most of the small species are more constantly active and tend to hop rather than run while on the ground, and all tapaculos hop when moving in the vegetation above ground. Most tapaculos can be very swift when surprised and have been observed attacking a tape-recorder after playback of their song, but both Acropternis and Liosceles appear to be always slow-moving. Acropternis is perhaps best described as lethargic.

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