It is a species of passerine bird belonging to the numerous genus Grallaria of the family Grallariidae, previously included in Formicariidae. It is found in Colombia and Ecuador.

Distribution and habitat The nominal subspecies is distributed in the central Andes of Colombia from the south of Antioquia to the south west of Huila; and the romeroana subspecies from the south of Colombia (head of the Magdalena Valley and west of Putumayo) south to the northeast Andes of Ecuador (northwest of Sucumbíos). It lives in the soil and undergrowth of the primary and secondary forests and tree plantations of the Central Cordillera of the Andes, between 1950 and 3150 m of altitude.

It measures 16.5 cm in length. The back, head and throat are rufous reddish brown; the lower parts are gray, the chest and the infracaudal region dark gray. The beak is black.