Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) - HBW 7, p. 484

French: Pic épeiche German: Buntspecht Spanish: Pico Picapinos
Other common names: Greater Pied Woodpecker

Taxonomy: Picus major Linnaeus, 1758, Sweden.
Genus sometimes merged into Picoides. Forms a superspecies with D. syriacus, D. leucopterus, D. assimilis and D. himalayensis. Hybridizes rarely with first two, and named race tianshanicus from C Tien Shan considered to refer to offspring of mixed pairs of present species and D. leucopterus; has also interbred with more distantly related D. leucotos. Variation over vast range is largely clinal, with races intergrading extensively and many intermediate populations. Many additional named races thus not certainly identifiable, and considere.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Picus major Linnaeus, 1758, Sweden.
Genus sometimes merged into Picoides. Forms a superspecies with D. syriacus, D. leucopterus, D. assimilis and D. himalayensis. Hybridizes rarely with first two, and named race tianshanicus from C Tien Shan considered to refer to offspring of mixed pairs of present species and D. leucopterus; has also interbred with more distantly related D. leucotos. Variation over vast range is largely clinal, with races intergrading extensively and many intermediate populations. Many additional named races thus not certainly identifiable, and considered unacceptable: anglicus (Britain), italiae (Pyrenees E to Switzer­land and Italy), parroti (Corsica), lynesi (Atlas Mts in Morocco), candidus (S Russia, Romania, Bulgaria), paphlagoniae (N Turkey), tenuirostris (Crimea, Caucasus, Transcaucasia), tscherskii (Ussuriland and Sakhalin), hondoensis (N & C Honshu and smaller islands), beicki (Gansu, in W China), mandarinus (S & SE China) and hainanus (Hainan I). Fourteen subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • major (Linnaeus, 1758) - Scandinavia and W Siberia E to Urals and S to N Poland and N Ukraine.
  • brevirostris (Reichenbach, 1854) - from W Siberia E to lower R Amur, Manchuria and Sea of Okhotsk, and S to C Tien Shan and Mongolia.
  • kamtschaticus (Dybowski, 1883) - Kamchatka and N Okhotsk coast.

     See all 14 subspecies
  • major (Linnaeus, 1758) - Scandinavia and W Siberia E to Urals and S to N Poland and N Ukraine.
  • brevirostris (Reichenbach, 1854) - from W Siberia E to lower R Amur, Manchuria and Sea of Okhotsk, and S to C Tien Shan and Mongolia.
  • kamtschaticus (Dybowski, 1883) - Kamchatka and N Okhotsk coast.
  • pinetorum (C. L. Brehm, 1831) - Britain, France and C Europe E to R Volga and S to Italy, Balkans, Turkey, S Ukraine and Caucasus.
  • hispanus (Schlüter, 1908) - Iberia.
  • harterti Arrigoni, 1902 - Sardinia and Corsica.
  • canariensis (König, 1889) - Tenerife, in Canary Is.
  • thanneri le Roi, 1911 - Gran Canaria.
  • mauritanus (C. L. Brehm, 1855) - Morocco.
  • numidus (Malherbe, 1843) - N Algeria and Tunisia.
  • poelzami (Bogdanov, 1879) - S Caspian region and Transcaspia.
  • japonicus (Seebohm, 1883) - C & E Manchuria to Sakhalin and Kuril Is, and S to Korea and Japan (Hokkaido, Honshu, Tsushima).
  • cabanisi (Malherbe, 1854) - S Manchuria S to E Myanmar, N Laos, N Vietnam (NW Tonkin), SE China and Hainan.
  • stresemanni (Rensch, 1924) - C China (E Qinghai, Gansu, Shaanxi, Sichuan) S to SE Tibet, NE India, W & N Myanmar and Yunnan.