Adorable tiny bird that loosely resembles a minute tailless wren. Warm dark brown above with rufous overtones, and scaled below; pale-morph birds have white edgings to black “scales,” while dark-morph birds have edgings that are coffee-stain tan. Extremely similar to Chinese and Pygmy Cupwings. Readily separated from Chinese Cupwing by range, except in overlap zone in northern Myanmar. Smaller Pygmy Cupwing lacks the tan spots speckling the crown and neck of Scaly-breasted. Scaly-breasted inhabits dark, damp areas in dense forest, often around boulders, streams, and ravines. Song is a jumbled series of high-pitched melodic warbles without the distinctly ascending quality of Chinese Cupwing.