Smallish bird of savanna forests and those on sandy or rocky soils. Male is similar to several other black-and-gray antshrikes; best told from them by voice and habitat. Key field marks for female are bold wing pattern and chestnut cap. Tends to be in drier habitats than other antshrikes in range. Occurs mainly at lower and middle levels of the forest. Forages deliberately, gleaning insects from leaves. Often in pairs, giving song as a duet; usually not with mixed-species flocks.