A typical tapaculo, in bad light a plain and dark small bird with short tail. In good view, mostly plain dark gray with brown and slightly barred belly. Female more barred than male, and juvenile mostly brown and markedly barred. Acts like a mouse, staying near the ground in dense understory of bamboo thickets in cloud forest. Song nasal and noisy, one of the signature sounds in the mountains near Caracas; one version a series of four notes “wu-E-e-wu” and the another a faster series of 6 notes “wu-wU-e-e-wu-wu”; varied calls, the most common a descending mechanical rattle. The only tapaculo in its limited range in the Coastal Cordillera of Venezuela.