Lowland ravine of the Pacific coast and the Amazon, silent and difficult to observe. Electron derives from the Greek elektron which means amber and platyrhynchum also comes from the Greek terms platus = broad and rhunkhos = peak.
It measures 31 to 39 cm and weighs between 56 and 66 g. Both sexes have rufous head, neck and chest, the latter with two large black spots. It has a black mask, chin, and blue-green underparts. Its bill is black, large, broad and flattened with a pronounced ridge on the culmen and serrated edges on both jaws. Above it is green and its tail is blue with the shape of rackets at the tip.
It is confused with the Baryphthengus ruficapillus but in this one the rufous one extends to the belly, the black points on the chest are smaller, it does not have a green chin and is generally larger.
Six subspecies E. p. minor, E. p. chlorophrys., E. p. orienticola, E. p. platyrhynchum, E. p. colombianum and E. p. pyrrholaemum. These last three subspecies are found in Colombia, platyrhynchum has rackets on its tail, while colombianum and pyrrholaemum do not. colombianum has bluer chin and in pyrrholaemum the rufous one is darker.
It is found in Honduras, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Brazil. In Colombia it reaches up to 1,100 m above sea level on the Pacific coast, the middle valley of the Magdalena River, south of the Meta, the Macarena mountain range, west of Caquetá and Amazonas.
It inhabits humid and very humid forests, secondary growth forests and foothills. Sometimes it uses forest clearings.
It feeds on adult insects and larvae of dragonflies, beetles and cicadas among others. Also of spiders, scorpions, frogs, lizards and occasionally fruits.
Juveniles have been registered in the month of March in the town of Anchicayá (Valle del Cauca). They dig a burrow approximately 1 m long and 8 cm wide in ravines. They lay 2 to 3 eggs which both parents incubate. The chicks are almost ready to fly on the 24th or 25th day after the eggs hatch.
It is a difficult bird to see that generally remains alone or in pairs in the middle or low level of the vegetation. It perches silently, occasionally wagging its tail. It makes flights to the vegetation and sometimes to the ground where it captures its prey. It can be observed following legionary ants capturing the prey that rise in their path.
Closely related to E. carinatum from Central America, with which it could be conspecific. The subspecies pyrrholaemum lacking tail rackets has been considered by some experts as a separate species.
State of conservation
It is considered a kind of minor concern.
Vocalization / Singing