Rather nondescript rufous bird with a long, spiky tail. The plumage is mostly chestnut with a dark brown rump, tail, and underparts. Found patchily in humid primary and second growth, usually in light gaps or in bamboo or vine tangles, where it typically forages near the ground. The song is a distinctive “prrrr-préét” of which the second note is higher. The similar Ruddy Spinetail has a black throat patch.