Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Greater Flameback (Chrysocolaptes lucidus) - HBW 7, p. 546

French: Pic sultan German: Sultanspecht Spanish: Pito Sultán
Other common names: Greater Goldenback, Greater/Large Golden-backed Woodpecker; Crimson-backed Woodpecker (guttacristatus)

Taxonomy: Picus lucidus Scopoli, 1786, Mindanao, Philippines.
Exhibits considerable individual variation and, in particular, extreme geographical variation in plumage, especially in E of range; appreciable size variation also exists, being largest in N & W. Race guttacristatus has sometimes been treated as separate species, as also has strictus. Further research may reveal that some of the more distinctive taxa, especially those isolated on islands, have evolved into full species, but present knowledge insufficient to enable accurate assessment; DNA analysis and detailed study of vocalizations and ecology required. Proposed races su.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Picus lucidus Scopoli, 1786, Mindanao, Philippines.
Exhibits considerable individual variation and, in particular, extreme geographical variation in plumage, especially in E of range; appreciable size variation also exists, being largest in N & W. Race guttacristatus has sometimes been treated as separate species, as also has strictus. Further research may reveal that some of the more distinctive taxa, especially those isolated on islands, have evolved into full species, but present knowledge insufficient to enable accurate assessment; DNA analysis and detailed study of vocalizations and ecology required. Proposed races sultaneus (N India, Nepal), grandis (Polillo, in Philippines) and maculiceps (Basilan, in Philippines) considered too poorly differentiated to warrant recognition. Thirteen subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • socialis Koelz, 1939 - W coast of India.
  • guttacristatus (Tickell, 1833) - NW India and Nepal E to S China (Yunnan) and S to Thailand and Indochina.
  • stricklandi (E. L. Layard, 1854) - Sri Lanka.

     See all 13 subspecies
  • socialis Koelz, 1939 - W coast of India.
  • guttacristatus (Tickell, 1833) - NW India and Nepal E to S China (Yunnan) and S to Thailand and Indochina.
  • stricklandi (E. L. Layard, 1854) - Sri Lanka.
  • chersonesus Kloss, 1918 - Peninsular Malaysia S to Sumatra and W Java.
  • andrewsi Amadon, 1943 - NE Borneo (from around Sandakan to Sebatik I).
  • strictus (Horsfield, 1821) - E Java.
  • kangeanensis Hoogerwerf, 1963 - coastal E Java, Bali and Kangean Is.
  • haematribon (Wagler, 1827) - N Philippines (Luzon, Polillo, Marinduque and Catanduanes).
  • erythrocephalus Sharpe, 1877 - Balabac, Palawan and Calamian Group.
  • xanthocephalus Walden & E. L. Layard, 1872 - Ticao, Masbate, Panay, Guimaras and Negros.
  • rufopunctatus Hargitt, 1889 - Samar, Biliran, Leyte, Calicoan, Bohol and Panaon.
  • lucidus (Scopoli, 1786) - Basilan and W Mindanao (Zamboanga Peninsula).
  • montanus Ogilvie-Grant, 1905 - Mindanao (except W) and Samal.