Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Golden-tailed Woodpecker (Campethera abingoni) - HBW 7, p. 458

French: Pic à queue dorée German: Goldschwanzspecht Spanish: Pito Colidorado

Taxonomy: Chrysoptilus Abingoni A. Smith, 1836, district of Zeerust, western Transvaal, South Africa.
Forms a superspecies with C. mombassica and C. notata. Often treated as conspecific with former, but differs in plumage and vocalizations; apparent hybrids between C. mombassica and race suahelica of present species recorded from EC Tanzania and from just S of Mt Kilimanjaro; further studies needed. Proposed race tessmanni (Central African Republic) not distinguishable from chrysura; nor annectens (lower Congo and C Angola to Rwanda and Malawi) from nominate. In past, type locality of species erroneously listed as Durban, Natal; with rectificat.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Chrysoptilus Abingoni A. Smith, 1836, district of Zeerust, western Transvaal, South Africa.
Forms a superspecies with C. mombassica and C. notata. Often treated as conspecific with former, but differs in plumage and vocalizations; apparent hybrids between C. mombassica and race suahelica of present species recorded from EC Tanzania and from just S of Mt Kilimanjaro; further studies needed. Proposed race tessmanni (Central African Republic) not distinguishable from chrysura; nor annectens (lower Congo and C Angola to Rwanda and Malawi) from nominate. In past, type locality of species erroneously listed as Durban, Natal; with rectification, hitherto accepted name smithii becomes junior synonym of nominate. Six subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • chrysura (Swainson, 1837) - Senegambia and N Guinea, and recently recorded in NE Ivory Coast; also Central African Republic, S Sudan, NE Zaire and W Uganda.
  • abingoni (A. Smith, 1836) - lower R Congo and W Zaire E to W Tanzania, and S to NE Namibia, NW Zambia, Zimbabwe and N Transvaal.
  • kavirondensis van Someren, 1926 - E Rwanda, NW & NC Tanzania and SW Kenya.

     See all 6 subspecies
  • chrysura (Swainson, 1837) - Senegambia and N Guinea, and recently recorded in NE Ivory Coast; also Central African Republic, S Sudan, NE Zaire and W Uganda.
  • abingoni (A. Smith, 1836) - lower R Congo and W Zaire E to W Tanzania, and S to NE Namibia, NW Zambia, Zimbabwe and N Transvaal.
  • kavirondensis van Someren, 1926 - E Rwanda, NW & NC Tanzania and SW Kenya.
  • suahelica (Reichenow, 1902) - N Tanzania (Arusha, Moshi, N Pare Mts) to E Zimbabwe, Mozambique and N Swaziland.
  • anderssoni (Roberts, 1936) - SW Angola, Namibia (except NE) and SW Botswana to N Cape Province and SW Transvaal.
  • constricta Clancey, 1965 - S Swaziland, extreme S Mozambique and Natal.
  •      No sound recordings available yet