The White-barred Piculet has 10cm long and inhabits open forest and scrub. This species has a disjunct distribution, with populations in northern South America in southwestern Guyana, and in French Guiana and northeastern Brazil; and in south central South America, from Bolivia east to southern Brazil. The White-barred Piculet has a black crown (with a red forecrown in the male), dull brown upperparts and cheek patches, and white underparts that are barred with black. Their diet consists mainly of the larvae and eggs of wood-boring beetles, as well as ants and possibly sap. White-barred Piculets forage by audibly hammering in order to excavate holes in trees and shrubs.