Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Brown-backed Woodpecker (Dendrocopos obsoletus) - HBW 7, p. 473

French: Pic à dos brun German: Braunrückenspecht Spanish: Pico Dorsipardo
Other common names: Lesser White-spotted Woodpecker

Taxonomy: Picus obsoletus Wagler, 1829, Senegambia.
Genus sometimes merged into Picoides. Species has also been included with other African species in Dendropicos, but probably more closely related to Asian D. temminckii, D. maculatus and D.moluccensis. S Ethiopian birds described as a separate race nigricans, but considered indistinguishable from ingens. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • obsoletus (Wagler, 1829) - Senegambia E to W Sudan and Uganda (E to Teso), S to C Sierra Leone, S Cameroon and NE Zaire.
  • heuglini (Neumann, 1904) - E Sudan, N Ethiopia and Eritrea.
  • ingens (Hartert, 1900) - WC & S Ethiopia, NE Uganda, W & C Kenya and extreme N Tanzania (Loliondo).
  • crateri (W. L. Sclater & Moreau, 1935) - N Tanzania from Crater Highlands S to Nou Forest.

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