Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Grey Woodpecker (Dendropicos goertae) - HBW 7, p. 469

French: Pic goertan German: Graubrustspecht Spanish: Pito Gris Occidental
Other common names: African Grey Woodpecker

Taxonomy: Picus Goertae P. L. S. Müller, 1776, Senegal.
Often placed with D. spodocephalus and D. griseocephalus in a separate genus Mesopicos, sometimes also including D. elliotii; forms a superspecies with the first two, hybridizing with them where ranges meet; often treated as conspecific with D. spodocephalus. Races intergrade. Proposed races agmen (tree-savanna belt from Gambia S to Liberia and across to EC Sudan), centralis (savanna from Cameroon to SW Sudan and W Kenya) and oreites (highlands of C Cameroon) all considered inseparable from nominate. Four subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • koenigi (Neumann, 1903) - Sahel zone from EC Mali E to W & S Sudan.
  • goertae (P. L. S. Müller, 1776) - SW Mauritania and Senegambia E to S Sudan and W & C Kenya, and S to NE Zaire, Rwanda and NW Tanzania.
  • abessinicus (Reichenow, 1900) - E Sudan and N & W Ethiopia.
  • meridionalis Louette & Prigogine, 1982 - S Gabon to NW Angola (Cabinda, possibly S to Malanje), and SC Zaire.

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