This species, along with P. temminckii, P. kizuki, P. maculatus, P. ramsayi, P. canicapillus and P. moluccensis, was previously placed in Dendrocopos, but molecular studies indicate that they all form a separate clade of very small species, evidently sister to the P. tridactylus clade#R#R; all seven have been combined in Yungipicus by some authors. Present species has until recently been treated as conspecific with P. moluccensis, but separated by recent authors#R on “several characters”, enumerated here as: pale vs dark iris (3); red eyering (2); lack of dark malar stripe (3); and less heavy streaking below (ns). Sri Lankan form gymnopthalmos distinctive, both in plumage and in voice#R, and merits further study. Birds in E peninsular India described as race hardwickii, but considered to represent clinal variation. Three subspecies recognized.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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