Significance to humans

Tapaculos are small and do not occur in concentrations, so although they taste good, they have never been hunted.

Their secluded existence is revealed only through their loud calls, giving rise to onomatopoetic local names, the name tapaculo itself being apparently derived from the distinctive "ta-pa-koo" call of Scelorchilus albicollis. The loud voice of Scelorchilus rubecula figures in folklore in southern Chile, and the distinctive voice of Liosceles heard through large parts of the Amazon basin is so loud that it must be part of some folklore. No tapaculo held in captivity has ever been reported except for a single Acropternis orthonyx, which survived for only a few months in New York Zoo.

1. Chucao tapaculo (Scelorchilus rubecula); 2. Ocellated tapaculo (Acropternis orthonyx); 3. Collared crescentchest (Melanopareia torquata); 4. Ochre-flanked tapaculo (Eugralla paradoxa); 5. Moustached turca (Pteroptochos megapodius); 6. Crested gallito (Rhinocrypta lanceolata); 7. Black-throated huet-huet (Pteroptochos tarnii); 8. Spotted bamboowren (Psilorhamphus guttatus); 9. Slaty bristlefront (Merulaxis ater); 10. Rusty-belted tapaculo (Liosceles thoracicus). (Illustration by Brian Cressman)

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