Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Buff-spotted Flameback (Chrysocolaptes lucidus)


French: Pic sultan German: Kupfermantel-Sultanspecht Spanish: Pito sultán moteado
Other common names: Greater Flameback (when lumped with species listed below)

Picus lucidus


, 1786,

Mindanao, Philippines


Until recently, considered conspecific with C. guttacristatus, C. stricklandi, C. strictus, C. erythrocephalus, C. haematribon and C. xanthocephalus (see under those species for differences, which are well marked). Proposed race maculiceps (from Basilan) considered too poorly differentiated to warrant recognition. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. l. rufopunctatus Hargitt, 1889 – EC Philippines: Samar, Calicoan, Biliran, Leyte, Panaon and Bohol.
  • C. l. lucidus (Scopoli, 1786) – S Philippines: Basilan and W Mindanao (Zamboanga Peninsula).
  • C. l. montanus Ogilvie-Grant, 1905 – Mindanao (except W) and Samal.
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 28–34 cm; c. 127 g (lucidus). Male nominate race has deep crimson forehead, crown and crest, contrasting reddish-buff face, neck and upper breast with broad... read more


    Single or, more often, rattling series of usually 4 (but variable) “kik” notes, series... read more


    Found in primary forest, mature secondary forest, lighter secondary forest with dense understorey,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Little specific information available. Presumably feeds largely on invertebrates, such as large caterpillars, larvae of wood-boring beetles... read more


    Very few data. Season probably Jan–Aug.



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Locally fairly common. Although thought not to be at immediate risk, this species inhabits islands where native forest has been... read more

    Recommended citation

    Winkler, H. & Christie, D.A. (2020). Buff-spotted Flameback (Chrysocolaptes lucidus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 21 February 2020).