Uncommon in tropical lowlands, mainly in forest borders, plantations, open woodlands, and second growth. Mainly forages at low to middle levels and, like many antbirds, often in pairs, which keep in touch by singing. Male is gray overall with a messy blackish cap, blackish wings with white wingbars and edgings, and white-tipped black tail. Female has similar wing and tail pattern, but is drab brownish overall, paler on underparts. Formerly known as Western Slaty Antshrike.