Woodpeckers (Picidae)

White-backed Woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos) - HBW 7, p. 483

French: Pic à dos blanc German: Weißrückenspecht Spanish: Pico Dorsiblanco
Other common names: Owston’s Woodpecker (owstoni)

Taxonomy: Picus leucotos Bechstein, 1803, Silesia, south Poland.
Genus sometimes merged into Picoides. No very close relatives within genus; has hybridized rarely with D. major, and probably closest to that superspecies; similarity to D. medius may suggest relatedness, but this not borne out by available genetic data. Subspecific differentiation largely a result of vast range that includes many isolated and island populations, some of which are highly distinctive and possibly merit status of full species; SW race lilfordi possibly also a distinct species, separated by altitude and ecology from parapatric nominate race. Other des.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Picus leucotos Bechstein, 1803, Silesia, south Poland.
Genus sometimes merged into Picoides. No very close relatives within genus; has hybridized rarely with D. major, and probably closest to that superspecies; similarity to D. medius may suggest relatedness, but this not borne out by available genetic data. Subspecific differentiation largely a result of vast range that includes many isolated and island populations, some of which are highly distinctive and possibly merit status of full species; SW race lilfordi possibly also a distinct species, separated by altitude and ecology from parapatric nominate race. Other described races are uralensis (W Siberia), voznesenskii (E Siberia and Kamchatka), saghalinensis (Sakhalin), ussuriensis (Ussuriland and NE China), sinicus (Korea) and quelpartensis (Quelpart I), all considered inadequately differentiated or representing intergrades. Ten subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • leucotos (Bechstein, 1803) - W Norway, Sweden, Finland and Poland S in Europe to E Switzerland, Austria, N Serbia and Carpathian Mts, and E through S taiga to Kamchatka, Sakhalin, NE China and Korea.
  • lilfordi (Sharpe & Dresser, 1871) - Pyrenees, C Italy, the Balkans and Peloponnese, Turkey (NAnatolia, Taurus Mts), Caucasus and Transcaucasia.
  • subcirris (Stejneger, 1886) - Hokkaido (N Japan).

     See all 10 subspecies
  • leucotos (Bechstein, 1803) - W Norway, Sweden, Finland and Poland S in Europe to E Switzerland, Austria, N Serbia and Carpathian Mts, and E through S taiga to Kamchatka, Sakhalin, NE China and Korea.
  • lilfordi (Sharpe & Dresser, 1871) - Pyrenees, C Italy, the Balkans and Peloponnese, Turkey (NAnatolia, Taurus Mts), Caucasus and Transcaucasia.
  • subcirris (Stejneger, 1886) - Hokkaido (N Japan).
  • stejnegeri (Kuroda, 1921) - N Honshu (NC Japan).
  • namiyei (Stejneger, 1886) - S Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu and Quelpart I (Cheju-do).
  • takahashii (Kuroda & Mori, 1920) - Dagelet I (Ullung do), off E Korea.
  • owstoni (Ogawa, 1905) - Amami-oshima (N Ryukyu Is).
  • tangi Cheng Tschsin, 1956 - C China (Sichuan).
  • fohkiensis (Buturlin, 1908) - SE China (Fujian).
  • insularis (Gould, 1863) - Taiwan.