The Band-tailed Manakin is broadly distributed across southern Amazonia, and it also occurs south to Paraguay and northeastern Argentina. This species primarily is found in the understory of river-edge forests (varzea) and in gallery forests. A striking features of the male is the white iris. The male's black back and wings contrast with the bright red crown and yellow forecrown, sides of the face, and throat. The several subspecies differ most obviously in the color of the breast, which varies from mostly deep red to mostly yellow with a red or orange wash. The female is dull olive green, with yellower throat and belly; the irides of the female often are light gray, although they rarely are as pale as in the male. Males maintain only small, closely packed territories at a lek, where they display to visiting females. Although one male (the alpha male) defends the territory, one or more subdominant males (beta males) participate with the alpha male in performing a complex, coordinated display. Only the alpha male, however, actively courts any females that visit the territory.