Nondescript flycatcher restricted to savanna scrub on weathered sandy soils. Told from other elaenias by blurry streaking on underparts, relatively indistinct wingbars, and lack of a crest; rufous in crown is difficult to see in the field. Despite localized distribution, may be common in proper habitat. Pairs sit in shrubs or small trees, sallying to foliage for insects and calling frequently. Does not typically associate with other species. Other, similar-sized flycatchers in habitat are clear whitish below. Call is one or two odd, burry, growling notes; members of a pair often answer each other.