This species ha a black bill with lower mandible slightly lighter at base; iris dark brown; head, mantle and tail dark graybrown; underparts to breast gray, becoming slightly lighter on lower belly; wing coverts and flight feathers dark gray with tertials tipped ochraceous brown, with dark gray, but darker than other wing feathers; subterminal bar; wing rounded with wing point hard to discern but close to fifth (sixth from outermost) primary. flanks and undertail coverts ochraceous brown barred black on flanks; rump brown thinly barred dark gray; tarsus reddish dark gray frontally, behind lighter; Foot soles grayish yellow. S. g. gilesi is a skulking bird observed most frequently foraging in dense shrubs of páramo and subpáramo ridgetop habitat up to 2 m above ground level. Stomach contents suggest it is insectivorous, typical of the genus. It seems to be most numerous in slightly taller scrub found in sheltered alcoves, along exposed ridges and just above the treeline.
Donegan, Thomas & Avendano, Jorge E. (2008): Notes on Tapaculos (Passeriformes: Rhinocryptidae) of the Eastern Andes of Colombia and Venezuelan Andes, with a new subspecies of Scytalopus griseicollis from Colombia. Ornitologia Colombiana 6. 24-65