Gray, spotted piculet of mid-elevation forests. Dusky gray above and white below, with extensive black spotting from the head to the belly; males have a scarlet red forehead patch. Found at higher elevations than most other piculets in its range; grayer, with much more extensive black spotting, than the pale Fine-barred Piculet. Forages singly or in pairs in the mid-story of humid montane forest, sometimes joining mixed-species flocks. Its song is a very high, descending series of sharp, metallic notes.