Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Eurasian Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis) - HBW 7, p. 541

French: Pic vert German: Grünspecht Spanish: Pito Real
Other common names: (European) Green Woodpecker; Levaillant’s/Algerian (Green) Woodpecker, North African Green Woodpecker (vaillantii); Iberian Woodpecker (sharpei)

Taxonomy: Picus viridis Linnaeus, 1758, Europe = Sweden.
Has hybridized with P. canus in C Europe. Distinctive N African race vaillantii is often treated as a full species on basis of plumage differences and possibly ecological differences, but Iberian form sharpei, also sometimes suggested as a separate species, effectively represents an intermediate bridge between it and nominate; further study needed. Race karelini intergrades with nominate. Other proposed races are pluvius (Britain), frondium (C Europe), pronus (Italy), dofleini (Macedonia), romaniae (Romania) and saundersi (.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Picus viridis Linnaeus, 1758, Europe = Sweden.
Has hybridized with P. canus in C Europe. Distinctive N African race vaillantii is often treated as a full species on basis of plumage differences and possibly ecological differences, but Iberian form sharpei, also sometimes suggested as a separate species, effectively represents an intermediate bridge between it and nominate; further study needed. Race karelini intergrades with nominate. Other proposed races are pluvius (Britain), frondium (C Europe), pronus (Italy), dofleini (Macedonia), romaniae (Romania) and saundersi (Caucasus), all of which exhibit insignificant differences which come within range of variation of other races. Additional named form bampurensis, known only from type locality in R Bampur Basin in SE Iran (where species no longer survives), said to have particularly well-marked tailbars and heavy barring over entire lower underparts; validity and possible survival of this isolated form requires further investigation. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • viridis Linnaeus, 1758 - Europe from Britain and S Scandinavia E to W Russia, S to France, N Balkans and Black Sea.
  • sharpei (Saunders, 1872) - Pyrenees and Iberia.
  • karelini J. F. Brandt, 1841 - Italy E to Bulgaria, Asia Minor, Caucasus, N Iran and SW Turkmenia.

     See all 5 subspecies
  • viridis Linnaeus, 1758 - Europe from Britain and S Scandinavia E to W Russia, S to France, N Balkans and Black Sea.
  • sharpei (Saunders, 1872) - Pyrenees and Iberia.
  • karelini J. F. Brandt, 1841 - Italy E to Bulgaria, Asia Minor, Caucasus, N Iran and SW Turkmenia.
  • vaillantii (Malherbe, 1847) - NW Morocco to NW Tunisia.
  • innominatus (Zarudny & Loudon, 1905) - SW Iran (Zagros Mts).